Tuesday, July 7th, 2015...9:00 am

Ginsberg for sale

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Sanders 1

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring material from the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.

The Beats continue their expansion onto Houghton’s shelves by means of Santo Domingo Collection accessioning; Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) is the most recent author to attain fuller representation in our catalog. Ginsberg books in the collection range from the slightest volume of early poetry to the most sumptuous facsimile reissue of Howl, and, as is typical of Santo Domingo, rarities abound.

Pictured here is an unusual bit of Ginsbergiana: a sales catalog issued by Ed Sanders, the countercultural poet, activist, publisher, and vocalist for the Fugs, and a friend of Ginsberg’s. Sanders would go on to release at least five more of these catalogs during the years 1964 and 1965; they’re full of published and unpublished work with which Sanders was affiliated, principally in his role as founder of the Fuck You Press. Sanders, of course, rejects the typical structure of the rare-book catalog; while he offers a variety of books, manuscripts, and magazines, he also puts up for sale a handful of less conventional items. To wit: lot 23, a jar of Pond’s cold cream formerly owned by Ginsberg, and annotated by its owner as to its habitual use (a description too graphic to reproduce here). Sanders asks $35 for this literary curiosity. A few entries down, however, is perhaps the most exciting item in the list:

  1. GINSBERG. You may purchase the Freak Eagle himself, returned from his journeys around the universe shitting light. Price: $1,650,000 plus an Aiphean Pleasure Dome & a guaranteed annual grope host of young ganymedean delights of Apollo.

Sanders 2

A catalogue of manuscripts, holographs, literary relics …offered for sale by Ed Sanders. [New York, N.Y.] : [Sanders], [1964]. AC95.G4351.A964s. HOLLIS 014404005

Thanks to rare book cataloger Ryan Wheeler for contributing this post.

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