London: Hogarth Press, 1925. First Edition. First Impression of this "forgotten modernist masterpiece," out of print for more than 90 years. (Dispatches from the Secret Library) Demy 8vo (223 x 133mm): 24pp. White paper-covered boards titled in black and decorated with drawings by Eugene McCown; fore-edge untrimmed. One of 420 copies hand printed by the Woolfs (Virginia set the type and selected the title [see The Diary of Virginia Woolf, v. II, p. 320]). A note on the front paste down says this was Raymond Mortimer's copy (the critic and literary editor, Charles Raymond Bell Mortimer, 1895-1980). A handsome example (covers toned, as usual; several small stains to page margins only, else tightly bound and clean throughout). Woolmer 57. Item #BB2330
F. R. Leavis, New Bearings in English Poetry (1932, dismissed Cunard’s poem as "simple imitation" of Eliot's The Waste Land and Laura Riding and Robert Graves, in A Survey of Modernist Poetry (1927), called it imitation as well. But Parallax was without its admirers. Samuel Beckett, whose early work Cunard published, was a fan, and William Carlos Williams thought Cunard "one of the major phenomena of history." Janet Flanner had even higher praise, calling Parallax "superior" to The Waste Land. Oliver Tearle, in The Great War, The Waste Land and the Modernist Long Poem, from which this information is drawn, notes that while Parallax "was clearly influenced by Eliot’s poetry, Cunard is doing something far more interesting: she is offering a critique of Eliot’s bleak vision of postwar life but in the form of a poem that adopts a similar length and style to Eliot’s. . . . Since Nancy Cunard’s poem encourages us to recalibrate our understanding of modernist poetry, it is itself parallactic." N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).