An Oyster is a Wealthy Beast by James Purdy
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"Fading violets go
Under the leaves prepared for snow,
Aspens tremble, breaking bows,
Fall descends, death-shrouded cloud."
Published by Black Sparrow Press in the 1960's, this limited edition of James Purdy's writing (a volume exceptionally cared-for) is an artfully designed book of writing set against and leaning towards a voice between two genres. Purdy presents both prose and poetry, that sit on the long white pages in very different pictures. The prose is the long white pages make very different pictures. First half, the prose is chopped with dialogue indentations and almost talks itself off the bottom of the page, offset as it is beyond the lower margin. The second half of the book is of the title poems; the "wealthy beast" is tight, narrow-lined and short-stacked. Poetic objects and descriptions are specific, hard, shiny. As a book, formal contrasts have an effect of both establishing the uncrossable difference between distinct voices, as well as necessitating the contrasts of each other––and show Purdy's mastery of doubled forms.
Signed & Edition by hand by the author.
Designed and Printed by Graham Mackintosh.