JOHN RODKER'S OVID PRESS: A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY.
(Ovid Press). Cloud, Gerald W.
- New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2010.
- 7 x 10 inches
- hardcover, dust jacket
- 152 pages
- ISBN 9781584562863 / Order Nr. 104083
- Price: $55.00 other currencies
This book is primarily a bibliographical study of all the known works printed and published by John Rodker (1894-1955) at the Ovid Press, London, 1919-1922, and the associated projects connected to his second imprint, the Casanova Society. The Ovid Press's output was not prolific - 17 known items were produced - but the nature of the works and the context in which they were created reveals a great deal about both Rodker and several central figures of modernist literature and art, including T.S. Eliot, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, and Edward Wadsworth.
The book's introduction includes a biographical account of Rodker's life, focusing especially on his early life and his printing activities at the Ovid Press, which he operated with some participation from his then wife, the British novelist Mary Butts (1890-1937). Relying heavily on correspondence and other archival sources, such as Rodker's personal and professional papers and his diary, the introduction documents the production of many of the Ovid Press titles and Rodker's interaction with his authors.
The descriptive bibliography, which follows the introductory matter, includes full collations, detailed, copy-specific notes on each item, institutional locations for Ovid Press publications, and attempts to reconcile the discrepancies between Rodker's colophon statements and the books he actually printed-based on careful analysis of extant copies of Ovid Press titles. The book accounts for a number of unrecorded bibliographical details in these works and clarifies Rodker's role in the production of Ezra Pound's "Bel Esprit" and the errata sheets for Joyce's Ulysses (Egoist Press/John Rodker, 1922).
Gerald W. Cloud is Curator for Literature in Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library and Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia where he teaches Bibliography and the History of the Book. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Delaware (2005) and has served as a lab instructor for "Introduction to the Principles of Bibliographical Description" at Rare Book School, University of Virginia since 2004.