C Press, 1965. Item #569
Decorated cloth over boards. The fourth title from Berrigan’s C Press, Time, is in part Burroughs’ response to “… the libelous review of Naked Lunch [Time Magazine, Nov. 30, 1962] called ‘King of the YADS’ (Young American Disaffiliates), in which it was claimed that Burroughs had cut off a finger to avoid the draft. By transforming this supreme organ of control Burroughs was aiming at the jugular” (Miles 435).
Ron Padgett, editor for the edition, relates, “Burroughs’ original manuscript was so faintly typed that the printer (a very helpful gentleman named Mr. Dymm at Fleetwood Letter Service) said it would not be legible in an offset edition.” In order to solve the problem, the editor created a facsimile of Burroughs’ manuscript. He rented a typewriter (with the same font as Burroughs’) and then acquired “a fresh (used) copy of the issue of Time (‘Transatlantic Edition,’ it called itself) he had used as the basis for his manuscript.”
"It was a lot of work, and I became rather obsessed with creating a perfect replica, but I enjoyed doing it. Burroughs was pleased with the result, but, given his characteristic reserve, he didn’t gush. Throughout the project he was cordial, polite, somewhat old-fashioned in his formal good manners. Brion Gysin was equally polite but a bit warmer in his demeanor." (Email from Ron Padgett.)
Padgett also recalls the bookbinder for this project—who produced other hardcover bindings for C Press publications—and notes:
"His name was Roman Pelech (sp?), a Romanian émigré who had a small, no-frills storefront shop on either 9th or 10th Street between First and Second Aves. He was agreeable and his prices were very reasonable. He bound a number of items for Ted, Joe, Kenward, and me ca. 1963–66. I think it was Joe who discovered him. Pelech’s main business was in binding family Bibles. Then his shop suddenly closed. Years later I ran into him on the street in Manhattan and asked him what he was doing these days. "I no longer bind book," he said, 'I go up and down in elevator.' He had become an elevator operator." (Email from RP.)
The first edition comprises 1000 copies: 886 in a trade edition; 100 numbered and signed; 10 lettered A–J, hardbound, with original manuscript page by Burroughs and original drawing by Gysin, signed; and four hardcover numbered copies hors commerce with original manuscript page by Burroughs and original drawing by Gysin, signed.
The hors commerce copies were distributed to Burroughs, Gysin, Ted Berrigan, and Ron Padgett. This is no. 4, RP’s copy, and though not called for is signed by him. Bound in beautiful cloth over boards with floral pastedowns and endpapers (Maynard and Miles A 11 a).
Regarding the hors commerce state, no. 1 is in the Berg Collection, NYPL, no. 2 is in a private collection in England, no. 3 is in the Butler Library at Columbia.
A very fine beautiful copy.