24 March 2007

Americana. Don DeLillo, 1971

"America is the world's living myth. There's no sense of wrong when you kill an American or blame America for some local disaster. This is our function, to be character types, to embody recurring themes that people can use to comfort themselves, justify themselves and so on. We're here to accommodate. Whatever people need, we provide. A myth is a useful thing." Don DeLillo.

Don DeLillo. AMERICANA. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1971. ISBN 3499134802

Current Selling Prices
$650-$1000 /£350-£520

Novel of an attempt to find the heart of America by privileged refugee from the 'souless sycophants' of the NY media. The first work of the modern master of American fiction, some claim the most significant debut since WW2. Might be pushing it. Certainly a literary genius, not sure where the above quote came from...if he wrote it around the time of "Americana' it's weirdly prescient.

VALUE? True firsts are usually a little north of $800 if fine in fine. Jacket tends to get worn so flawless copies are not common. Add a couple of hundred or more for a signature. 4560 copies printed of the first. Not scarce at present, but DeLillos's reputation and collectability are likely to increase. His signature is not especially elusive - you can buy a fine/fine signed copy of his great JFK assassination book of 1988 Libra for £40 at ABE as we speak. I'm tempted. [WL 26/ Highish]

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