Elysium: Asphodel Editions (2005). 1st Edition. Hardcover. This edition is the first English translation of the eccentric Baron Fersen's decadent gay novel, Lord Lyllian: Messes Noires. Fersen (1880-1923) was arrested in 1903 and charged with indecent assault and exciting minors to debauchery. He was forced to leave France and settled in Capri, where he began the novel the following year. Originally published in 1905, it was one of the first novels written about Oscar Wilde after his demise and is filled with outrageous descriptions of fin de siècle excesses, including Fersen’s own addiction to opium and adolescent boys. The edition is limited to 500 copies bound in black silk moiré, with a reproduction of the original cover illustration by Claude Simpson tipped onto the cover. Jeremy Reed has contributed an Introduction to the edition. Printed at the Stinehour Press in Vermont.
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1st Edition. Hardcover. From the Introduction: "These two stories about youths and youth were written more than half a century ago, when I was twenty-six years old, almost at the end of an overly prolonged and troubled adolescence. The undue length of this adolescence may have been caused in part by traumatic experiences encountered as a soldier during World War II, in which my role, though largely peripheral, was nonetheless personal enough to inflict psychic shocks that distress me still today. The grim, sadistic subject matter of both stories may, perhaps, be construed as a delayed reaction to those shocks. All the other writing that I did throughout this early period, none of which I wish to preserve, is more or less similar in content and feeling. "George Sickes, The Boy Who Wrote NO, makes his aggressive and irreverent declarations of dissent specifically against business, banking, conventional social manners, the law, the family, and, most offensive of all, against religion. His punishment is the worst society in its self-righteous outrage can impose: death in life. The young boy, Dan, introduced in The Lizard, takes a decisive step toward manhood and independence through his experience of the symbolic unity between death and sexuality, cruelty and purity, blindness and discernment. "Although I began to write in childhood and have spent my life at it since leaving the army, these stories were my first writings to be published. The Lizard appeared in Points, a literary review edited in Paris by Sindbad Vail (summer issue, 1949); The Boy Who Wrote NO in Horizon, a literary review edited in London by Cyril Connolly (Nos. 120-121, December 1949-January 1950, a double issue and the final one), reprinted in The Golden Horizon, a volume published in London in 1953 by Weidenfeld and Nicholson, containing Connolly's selection of works that had appeared in his review which he deemed worth preserving in book form." James Lord is widely known for his several volumes of memoirs, as well as his definitive biography of the artist Albert Giacometti. Stories of Youth is limited to 200 signed and numbered copies bound in handmade paper boards with a linen spine (ISBN # 1-893450-11-2). Fine as issued in the second state of the binding.