Work of Art

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Author: Lewis, Sinclair [Harry] (1885-1951)

Year: 1934

Publisher: Doubleday, Doran & Co

Place: New York


[i-viii+452+[453-56] pages. Octavo (8 1/8" x 5 3/4") issued in medium blue cloth with gilt on spine with concentric impressed rectangle enclosing a gilt laurel branch on cover. 50,000 copies of the first edition in dust jacket issued. (Pastore: 13) First edition.

This is the "hotel novel" as it has become to be called, and it shows that odd dichotomy of Lewis that is the decisional measuring stick separating those who love Lewis and those who don't. Here is the story of an artist set against the story of a hotel clerk and here is Lewis equating art and hotel management. Most critics feel that this is not Lewis at his best because of this equation, that in setting out to talk about art, he ends up knee-deep in the hotel business. Of course, this misses the point. Lewis was the master of finding "art" in the commonplace and there is hardly a novel of his that does not touch on this issued. This second Doubleday book firmly established the format that they would follow that was initiated by Ann Vickers. The binding is nicely produced with the Nobel emblem impressed into the cover. The jacket, designed by Edward Fiene, a well known and respected commercial artist, is the first pictorial jacket since Main Street and Doubleday commented on several occasions that this cover was responsible for a "good proportion of sales." The jacket spine readily darkens with sunlight exposure. (Pastore: 309)


Offset darkening to front end paper and paste down, spine head and back head hinges rubbed through. Dust jacket extremities restored by Octavaye Studios. A very good copy in a near fine dust jacket.

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