Ligeia: A Libretto.
Granary Books, 1996. Item #GB_46
6 1/2 x 13 1/4 in., 40 pp., cloth over boards.
Originally published in 1838, Edgar Allan Poe’s engaging short story “Ligeia” “invites a diversity of readings and one feels confidence in making a determination for one’s own necessary uses.”
–from “A Note on Ligeia” by Robert Creeley
Here, the material has been translated into an operatic context: Creeley’s first libretto. He excerpts from Poe’s narrative in brief: “the narrator/hero meets the exceptional Ligeia, is captivated by her, marries her, and becomes entirely influenced by her commanding powers of intellect and beauty. Then she dies harshly, resistingly. And then, after a brief time, the hero remarries, and the cycle is almost immediately repeated but without seeming resistance, which leads to the intense conclusion, the recreation of Ligeia in the corpse of the Lady Rowena.”
Ligeia: A Libretto makes use of the emphasized pattern of Poe’s narrative. His vocabulary, rhythms, and rhetorical emphasis also inform Creeley’s compositional strategy. Ultimately, however, one is left with a new and unique work here beautifully transformed for the stage. Alex Katz has made the drawing for set and costume design toward the eventual production of Ligeia.
Designed and printed letterpress by Philip Gallo at The Hermetic Press. Bound by Jill Jevne. This is no. 47 from an edition of 135 copies, of which 35 are hors commerce and 100 are for sale; each signed by the poet and artist. Out-of-print. As new.
Pictured: cover; pp. 3–4 and 19–20.