PATCHEN, Kenneth. The Memoirs of a Shy Pornographer. London: Grey Walls Press, 1948.
Crown 8vo. Original black cloth, spine lettered in silver; vibrant pictorial dust jacket; pp. 235, [i]; a very good copy; light pushing to head and foot of spine; in jacket which is lightly toned to edges and spine, yet uniformly so; a striking book.
First UK edition of a satirical novel by this Beat Generation author, best known for his poetry. Considerably scarcer than the US edition.
A witty satire on contemporary American society, and particularly the methods of building literary reputations, written with what Diane DiPrima called "tender silliness". The plot centres around Alfred Budd, an innocent character and part-time pornographer. The first American edition printed several questions on the jacket, which sets the tone for the entire book:
Can you imagine why a pornographer would be shy?
Are you satisfied with the state of (a) World Society (b) your soul (c) American writing?
Do you really want the truth?
Do you know how angels learn to fly?
What would you feed a green deer?