NY: Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1929. Lynd Ward. First Printing. Hardcover. 8vo. A novel in woodcuts, with 144 powerful and evocative images, drawn by Lynd Ward after his year-long apprenticeship in Graphic Arts, and exposure to German expressionist art in Leipzig, Germany.
Moderate rubbing and shelf-wear to extremities with cardboard peeking out from lower right corner. Front hinge just started between copyright and dedication pages. Binding very solid. Fraying to top 1/8 inch of spine. Association copy inscribed on half-title page, to Will H. Solle and signed by Ward.
Solle was a well-known bookman who, to preserve his health, declaring himself done with the book business once and for all, then famously abandoned his big-city job in Chicago as Vice President of Kroch's Books, and retired to the touristy village of Omena, in Northern Michigan. Soon however, he opened a shop out of his home there which became one of the most popular destinations in North America for serious bibliophiles. Very Good Minus. Item #73462
Ward's GODS' MAN was the first American wordless novel, which he created after being inspired by European wordless works by Frans Masereel and Otto Nuckel. The book was issued a week before the Great Crash of 1929 and became a bestseller. Essentially a Faustian tale, the 144 (one-per page) darkly striking woodcut images tell the tale of a young artist who receives an enchanted paintbrush from a mysterious stranger, which brings him fame and success, in return for some unspecified exchange. Later the stranger comes to collect, and verily, he does.