FORD, Charles Henri, and TYLER, Parker

The Young and Evil

Paris: Olympia Press, 1960

Small 8vo, pp. 186. Original green stiff paper wrappers, lettered in black to front and rear panels and spine. Ink smudge to front panel, which has an old crease to lower leading edge. Contemporaneous rubber-stamped re-pricing to rear panel. A little bumped and edgeworn, but an unread copy with an unbroken spine. Lacking the very scarce card dustwrapper.

First Olympia edition, preceded only by the Obelisk Press edition of 1933.

Ford and Tyler were Americans, and had met when Tyler became a contributor to Ford's New York-based poetry magazine Blues. They became lovers, and together cruised New York's underground gay scene. The drag balls of Harlem and the speakeasies of Greenwich Village would provide them with the raw material for their collaboration on The Young And Evil. Originally entitled Jump Back, it was turned down by Liveright, Cape, and Gollancz. When it was championed by Gertrude Stein it finally found a home with the obscure Paris-based imprint Obelisk Press, an English-language publishing house specialising in the erotic and outré.

Modernist and uncensorious, impressionistic and joyous, The Young And Evil can lay reasonable claim to be the first 'out' gay work of mainstream literature, and the beginning of the Gay Lit genre.

Keywords: Charles Henri FORD Parker TYLER"

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