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Rare Copy of It Catches My Heart in Its Hands: Signed Twice by Bukowski with Two Drawings and One Quotation On Rare White Paper Stock

Rare Copy of It Catches My Heart in Its Hands: Signed Twice by Bukowski with Two Drawings and One Quotation On Rare White Paper Stock

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It Catches My Heart in Its Hands was produced by Jon and Louise Webb, founders of LouJon Press. It was printed on an old sheet-fed press and bound in their tiny apartment in New Orleans in 1963. Unlike the Bukowski chapbooks that came before, this was a true book and an incredible book at that.

This incredibly beautiful book is every bit a piece of art as the poetry itself. It was hand-printed on thick paper stock of various colors, dispersed with tissues and hand-bound with a cork-lined cover. The detail, the printing methods, the craftsmanship, and the pure insanity it took to create the book was as unparalleled then and as it is today

What actually makes this copy rare is the white, heavy stock page on which Bukowski has added a quotation. This page is absent in “regular” copies of the book. Instead, on the “regular” copies, Bukowski’s signature and date appears on the first blank page, which is purple.

Why Jon Webb stopped sending Bukowski the white pages for signing is unknown. Perhaps he couldn’t afford the white paper stock for all copies and started sending him the purple pages to sign.

On the white page on this copy, Bukowski has done a drawing of a man holding a heart in his hand in red ink. He also signs his name and date in red ink. The date is 10-27-63. The following quotation in silver ink starts above the drawing and finishes below the signature and date: 

your heart
                 hand –
let’s not
    masturbate --

In this copy, Bukowski has also added his signature and a drawing of his classic Little Man and a Bottle on the purple page where just the signature would normally appear. This page is dated 5-26-63, so Bukowski drew this much earlier than the white page. At some point, the white and purple pages were inserted into the copy together.

This copy has the orange/red color block over the title and the turquoise lines on the cork cover, but other colors were used on these copies as well. The wrap-around jacket underneath the cork is on white paper (some are yellow). I’ve heard from more than one person that the ones with the turquoise lines are also rarer, but that’s not the case in my experience, so don’t buy a copy just for that.

This copy also comes with the uncommon letterpress sheet that is a facsimile of the  letter he sent to the Webbs upon receiving the first copy of the book on November 23, 1963. The sheet measures 10.5” x 8” and is folded once, with the deckled edge sticking out above the portion of the sheet paper below it. The other three pages are blank.

The letterpress sheet is in Fine condition.

In addition to publishing two Bukowski books, Jon and Louise “Gypsy Lou” Webb published four issues of The Outsider magazine, which became the standard for poetry journals at the time. No other publication attracted nearly the talent that appeared in its pages and the production value of the magazine itself was unrivaled. Bukowski appeared in all four issues, with a large collection of poems in Outsider 1 (1961) and as the named “Outside of the Year” in Outsider 3 (1963), featuring Bukowski on the cover and a large center section.

File Box 1 and Case 5

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