Friday, November 28, 2008

Paperback 169: The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze (Red Seal 17)

Paperback 169: Red Seal 17 (1st ptg, 1937)

Title: The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze
Author: William Saroyan
Cover artist: N/A

Yours for: $22


Best things about this cover:

  • The red seal makes a nice pattern, but ... that's really all there is to say about this cover, aesthetics-wise.
  • Modern Age Books - which includes Red Seal, as well as Blue and Gold Seal books - are remarkable only for their historical importance. This book is from the pre-mass market era (i.e. before Pocket Books started up in 1939). So novel was the idea of issuing books in paper covers (in much bigger printing runs and at much lower prices) that the publisher has printed an entire page at the back of the book explaining the rationale for the whole enterprise. I reprint that page here, in lieu of the back cover, which is just more seals (as always, just click to enlarge):

Page 123~

For there is some grace in dying quietly amid some fragment of a fragment of another's death and there is some grace in standing in the mazdalight our noblest contribution to sleeplessness our offering to children dying standing in the mazdalight awake and awake and dying and alive and the grace is a form of immobility as of quiet death and it is of the dance and the dance is of stone hard rock and never of fluid never of waves in motion and the dance is of smash of mountain graceful sky beloved pointlessness.


And you thought Joyce was inscrutable. "Beloved pointlessness" would be a nice title for something. My life story, perhaps. Saroyan is my homeboy, after all.

~RP

5 comments:

Caravatti said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ryan said...

What is a "mazdalight", anyway? I have tried looking it up but can't find a definition anywhere ...

-Ryan

Michael5000 said...

When I drive Mrs.5000's car at dusk or at night, I always turn on the mazdalights.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, your google-fu is weak. It's a incandescent light bulb; for example, see Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_(light_bulb)

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