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The Cruelty of Loveless Love (11/35) with Signed “A lady with Some French Wine” Manuscript

The Cruelty of Loveless Love (11/35) with Signed “A lady with Some French Wine” Manuscript

Regular price $2,500.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $2,500.00 USD
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Published by Kunst Editions in 2001, The Cruelty of Loveless Love is a striking folio consisting of 18 paper folders, each containing a mounted monochrome photograph with a letterpress poem on the facing page.

Only 35 copies were available for sale, this copy being 11/35. There were also 25 copies marked H. C. and reserved for the Black Sparrow Press and the contributors.

The photographs were taken by Joan Levine Gannij and printed by hand from the original negatives. There is a foreword by Carl Weissner (Bukowski’s long-time agent, friend, and German translator), with an introduction and poem by Gannij.

This copy also comes with a signed, two-page manuscript by Charles Bukowski titled, a lady with some French wine. The poem appears to be about Gannij and a call he received from her many years after these photographs were taken.

There’s a little bit of drama concerning the refrigerator photographs, which are exquisite in this collection. Over the years one of these photographs has become one of the most iconic of Bukowski, partly because of the woman posing with him. Her name was Georgia Hubbard and you really couldn’t have picked a better prop for the growing Bukowski Myth about the skid row poet.

As part of the portfolio, Gannij presents a well-written, powerful essay about Georgia Hubbard’s presence at the shoot that day.

But back to the drama. Famous celebrity photographer Ulvis Alberts was also there that day to photograph Bukowski in front of his refrigerator. It was part of a “refrigerator series” he had already begun of celebrities like Alice Cooper posing in front of their refrigerator with the door open. Because Bukowski’s refrigerator was so sparce, he decided to keep the door shut.

In any case, over the years the famous photograph has been published with a credit to both Gannij and Alberts. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me and a lot of other people. And in this portfolio, Gannij is given sole credit. I’ve come to the conclusion that both were there that day and both took some similar photographs. Being a famous photographer who already had rights to the photograph, I think Alberts got tired arguing about it. For her part, I don’t doubt Gannij may have taken some of these and may have played a part in getting Georgia Hubbard to pose, being a fellow woman. Who knows? Neither photographer seems to care any longer and a legal settlement is often mentioned as a reason neither one is able to talk about it.

The portfolio consists of 12 leaves printed on rectos only, and 18 paper folders each containing a mounted monochrome photo with a letterpress poem on the facing page. The poems are by both by Linda Lee and Charles Bukowski.

The poems are handset in 10-point, reproducing Typewriter (Broadface) No 721, resembling as close as possible the typeface of Bukowsky's typewriter when he wrote these poems. The poems had not been previously published and were provided by John Martin of Black Sparrow Press.

All of the contents are housed in a Burgundy red Thai silk-covered clamshell case measuring approximately 12.25” x 14.75”, with a photographic insert of a monochrome photograph of Bukowski on the cover. The box is housed in an unprinted hard black slipcase that shows some inevitable wear. The outer box was somewhat cheaply made with cardboard and is not part of the design. It was simply included to protect the primary box and its contents and it has certainly accomplished its mission here.

The box and its contents are all in fine condition with the box having a small loose/hanging string on the lower front.

The manuscript was folded once and has some light wrinkles throughout the page.

Crate 3 and Case 5

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