Book Porn, no.4


John Millington Synge’s Playboy of the Western World, first American edition, published by John W. Luce & Company, Boston (1911).  A beautiful little book of under 100 pages, printed in large type on thick acid-free paper with a soft, quilted texture.  Early performances of the play in both Ireland and the U.S. ended in rioting. 

A week ago my son asked to see something “a hundred years old” and I handed him this.  The Latin grammarian Terentianus Maurus wrote that books have their own destinies.  I’ve owned this one for nearly twenty years but never guessed its destiny would include serving as an example of antiquity for a six-year-old boy.

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4 Comments

Filed under Book Porn

4 responses to “Book Porn, no.4

  1. That’s wonderful. I hope this will not lead to your scion to riot at home.

  2. Ian Wolcott

    He manages that already, without literary provocation.

  3. Ah the days when people rioted over plays. Parisians rioted when Najinsky danced ‘The Rite of Spring.’ Now they riot because they’re immigrants penned in like animals in suburbs that are little more than townships. Come to think of it, maybe riots have become far more purposeful.
    TOG

    P.S. Most plays want to make me riot because…yawn…they’re so damn boring.

  4. Ian Wolcott

    I saw former professors of mine go into fits over Mamet’s ‘Oleanna’ once, but the mood was more indignantly aroused than riotous.

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