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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Big Surprise

We recently acquired a copy of Andy Warhol's Index (Book).  Published in 1967, this work is a fine example of book as art, "toy for hipsters", ephemera, piece of pop culture, and reflection of the times.  Here is Sean's description:

Silver foil wrappers with b&w photo.  Contributors include Andy Warhol, Stephen Shore, Billy Name, Nat Finkelstein, Paul Morissey, Ondine, Nico, Christopher Cerf, Alan Rinzler, Gerald Harrison, Akihito Shirakawa and David Paul. Unpaginated (74 pages), with pop-ups, fold-outs and affixed items, one flexi 45-rpm record and black-and-white illustrations throughout. 11-1/8 x 8-5/8 inches. CONDITION: Binding and spine are tight; Covers have some surface wear, scuffing, and minor creasing, very minor edge wear, sharp corners.  Castle pop-up is in excellent condition, red accordion is attached, complete and excellent in form but only inhales and exhales with gentle silence, bi-plane pop-up is attached, complete, clean ready for lift-off and fully-functioning; "The Chelsea Girls" paper wheel mounted on a spring is in fine shape, the self-inflating dodecahedron is complete (rubber band is slack), on string and with sharp corners revolving around subject's nipple,  the Lou Reed Picture Disc Record is attached and in excellent shape with center hole unpunched, the double image of the rainbow nose with pink overlay is complete, functioning, clean and sharp, as are the fold-out pages, the "Hunts Tomato Paste" can pop-up is complete, functioning and in excellent condition, all eight of the rectangular tear-offs, from the "FOR A BIG SURPRISE!!!" page are present including all four printed with "Andy Warhol" (though prospective buyer should verify this at time of purchase, as we may determine shelf life), the balloon has melted and stuck the last two pages together, though you can still see Warhol's arm raised in the bifold where he would be holding the balloon's string.  Wrapped in protective jacket and will be shipped with extreme care only.  

It's funny to see how various dealers have described the "rectangular tear-offs, from the 'FOR A BIG SURPRISE!!!' page (I particularly like "warm water tester"):
presumably dissolving 'Andy Warhol'/blank rectangles on perforated sheet
eight rectangular name tabs
signature labels
"For a big surprise" 8-part paper, 4 sections with warhol's name
warm water tester
achtgeteilte wasserlösliche Zettel "For a big Surprise"
"Big Surprise" drop-in water tabs
sheet of moisture sensitive tabs
"acid tabs"

Reading Notes
I've finally started reading E. Annie Proulx, after having tried The Shipping News in the past, but not having been able to get into it.  Then I read one of her stories in The Best American Short Stories about a young homesteading couple who buy land, but have no money for food.  When the deer meat is running out, the husband travels a few days away to work on a cattle ranch, leaving his pregnant wife alone.  A few months later, she gives violent birth, the baby dies, the mother dies after burying her baby where the coyotes will get it; meanwhile, the young husband catches pneumonia and dies along with his pal in a hunting cabin in a snowstorm.  Since reading that, I've read a book of short stories, Heart Songs, and a novel, Accordion Crimes, and there's a definite death and music theme going on.  In Accordion Crimes, so many deaths are described (often the future deaths of minor characters are described parenthetically), that they're rendered absurd.

Here's an article by Proulx, "Inspiration? Head Down the Back Road, and Stop for the Yard Sales," which has some interesting comments about books and bookselling; she isn't a fan of the internet.