New York: New Directions, 1960. First Revised Edition. Cloth. 8vo, tan pebble-grain cloth with brown lettering on spine, Mylar-protected pictorial dust jacket (unclipped) with drawing of Dahlberg by James Kearns, who also illustrated the volume with 42 B&W drawings, [i-viii], xi-xii + [1-2], 3-177, [378-379 pages]. Fine / Near Fine. Item #2534
SUPERIOR CONDITION internally and externally. The book is tight and clean with a black remainder mark on its page bottom edges. The dust jacket has a couple of very clean nicks and very slight soil, else Fine.
Edward Dahlberg (1900 – 1977) was an American novelist, essayist and autobiographer. After losing an eye during World War I, Dahlberg joined other American expats in Paris during the 20's when he knew everyone of importance: Joyce, Beckett, O'Casey, Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, Pound, Yeats, D.H. Lawrence and others. His novel Bottom Dogs elaborated his childhood in an orphanage and Western travels.
After relocating to New York's Greenich Village, Dahlberg became a member of the Stieglitz Group and emersed himself in literary classics. Do These Bones Live (1941) a series of essays grew out of such varied experiences.
He moved to the Danish island of Bornholm in 1955 while working on The Flea of Sodom. The Sorrows of Priapus was published in 1957, becoming his most successful book thus far. His reworking of earlier essays was then republished as CAN THESE BONES LIVE in 1960.
Said Sir Herbert Read in its Preface: “There is no contemporary prose work from which I have got so much pleasure and profit...The pleasure comes from the texture––a prose style which, in an age that has forsaken the art of prose, gleams with such expressive beauty… and is as relevant to our present condition as any book of wisdom… “It is a work of criticism and exposition. Shakespeare, Dostoevski, Cervantes, Thoreau, Melville, Whitman, Rilke, Randolph Bourne… these are the prophets to be expounded, related, excoriated (stripped of accretions of platitude and misunderstanding). But behind them are the original prophets, the great Hebrew prophets, and the greatest prophet of them all, the Galilean."
The author later moved to Mallorca, while working on Because I Was Flesh (1964), an autobiography. During the 1960s and 1970s, he further refined his unique style through the publication of poetry, autobiographical works like his Confessions (1971), fiction and criticism.