Bibliographic question re: Ah Pook/Cities

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David D
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Bibliographic question re: Ah Pook/Cities

Post by David D » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:51 am

I just noticed something that I find intriguing ... It's really a detail that should be insignificant, but still, it's puzzling me, so I hope one of you bibliographic buffs here can shed some light on this ...

On the inside dustjacket flap, and on one of the first pages, before the title page (I'm sure there's a name for those ...) of my Ah Pook is Here and Other Texts (Calder 1979), among the 'other titles from the same publisher', Cities of the Red Night is listed. Now, as far as I know, Cities was only published in 1981, and by Holt, so what did I miss? I don't think Ah Pook was reprinted as a hardback (or at all) in later years, and the colophon certainly doesn't indicate this would be a later printing. Or does this refer to an announced earlier publication of Cities by Calder that was scrapped?
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Jed
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Re: Bibliographic question re: Ah Pook/Cities

Post by Jed » Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:09 pm

The Calder edition was not scrapped. It came out in 1981 in hardcover in Great Britain as did the Holt edition in the US.

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David D
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Re: Bibliographic question re: Ah Pook/Cities

Post by David D » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:36 am

I see, thanks Jed.
So I suppose what I'm seeing is simply a type of announcement then, as there was no pre-81 publication of Cities, and no post-79 reprint of Ah Pook. Right?
"Most people simply aren't human so far as I am concerned."

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Re: Bibliographic question re: Ah Pook/Cities

Post by Jed » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:18 pm

As far as I know that is right. Cities of the Red Night was floating around for years in various drafts and forms and rumored to be just around the corner for a while.

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Greeny
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Re: Bibliographic question re: Ah Pook/Cities

Post by Greeny » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:51 am

There's also an interesting passage in the Cities:
The books are color comics. "Jokes," Jim calls them. Some lost color process has been used to transfer three-dimensional holograms onto the curious tough translucent parchment-like material of the pages. You ache to look at these colors. Impossible reds, blues, sepias. Colors you can smell and taste and feel with your whole body. Children's books against a Bosch background; legends, fairy stories, stereotyped characters, surface motivations with a child's casual cruelty. What facts could have given rise to such legends?
Could this quote be referencing to Ah Pook? Exactly at that time, Burroughs was interested in the graphic novel idea, and worked on the Ah Pook concept.

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David D
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Re: Bibliographic question re: Ah Pook/Cities

Post by David D » Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:07 am

Indeed, Greeny, there seem to be some interesting correspondences between the process of making Ah Pook is Here and the making of the books in Cities of the Red Night. Ah Pook visual artist Malcolm Mc Neill also points this out in his memoir Observed While Falling that I'm currently reading (and must recommend to anyone interested in the different versions, published and unpublished, of Ah Pook is Here).
Some of the techniques used by Clem Snide and his assistant Jim in Cities are apparently those that Mc Neill used for the Ah Pook illustrations, such as the projection of photographs with actors in the roles of Ah Pook characters being projected onto paper etc.
"Most people simply aren't human so far as I am concerned."

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