The Dead Boy and the Comets
New York: Farrar, Straus and Young, 1953. Very Good / Good. Item #9659
New York: Farrar, Straus and Young, 1953. First U.S. Edition. Octavo (21x14x3cm); 241pp. Unclipped abstract dustjacket with author photo on back. Ivory cloth binding with black and magenta pictorial stamping on spine and front panel.
The jacket art is by Leo Manso, one of the founders of the Book Jacket Designers Guild. We surmise—partly based on mere jacket proximity, but more on Manso's longstanding imagery—that he was also responsible for the front cloth panel of the volume, an Italian street arcade with a mysterious clock and an isolated boy, à la de Chirico.
Jacket tanned and chipped at edges with losses at crown and foot of jacket spine. Volume shows much slighter tanning at panel edges, corners, and spine. Joints and hinges solid. Textblock unmarred and unmarked, seemingly unread.
Goffredo Parise, journalist, essayist, screenwriter, and poet, published "Il ragazzo morto e le comete" in 1951, when, at 22, he was a bright young talent. His surrealisticizing—though not actually surreal—novel depicts the post-war Italian scene through the fragmentary impressions of the protagonist’s 15-year-old mind.