Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Borden Mem Ed THE SHIP OF ISHTAR A. Merritt, Finlay Art

Borden Mem Ed THE SHIP OF ISHTAR A. Merritt, Finlay Art - eBay (item 310115558746 end time Jan-16-09 18:19:09 PST)

This 1949 Borden memorial edition hard cover of The Ship of Ishtar by A. Merritt comes with the original dust jacket. It was published six years after Merritt's death. The dust jacket back has a photo of the author with a tribute to him by Forrest J. Ackerman. The book has five wonderful Virgil Finlay illustrations.

From the front dust jacket flap:
A classic of fantasy that transports the reader back sixty centuries to mystery and romance beyond compare. The hero, John Kenton, received a queer block unearthed in the ruins of Ancient Babylon. It is inscribed with a record of Sargon of Akkad.

An unaccountable conviction possesses Kenton that the stone imprisons some hidden wonder. He strikes it--and as it disintegrates, a miniature craft of elfin enchantment burgeons forth. And as the motes from the cloud of dust envelop him he undergoes a metamorphosis; is projected onto The Ship, where he encounters Sharame--willow-lithe, flame-slender...goddess, temptress, woman.

The ensuing adventures in the long and long ago cast a thrall over the reader with their vivid action and unparalleled beauty. A novel limned in lapis lazuli, that will hold you ensorcelled with the word wizardry and evocative imagery of A. Merritt, the Lord of Fantasy.
About the author:
His reputation has not stood well over the years among speculative fiction fans and critics (with the singular exception of The Ship of Ishtar, a universally hailed classic of the fantasy genre), but at one time he was a major influence on H. P. Lovecraft, and highly esteemed by his friend and frequent collaborator Hannes Bok, by then a noted SF illustrator. Merritt's stories typically revolve around conventional pulp magazine themes: lost civilizations, hideous monsters, etc. His heroes are gallant Irishmen or Scandinavians, his villains treacherous Germans or Russians (depending on the politics of the time) and his heroines often virginal, mysterious and scantily clad. What sets Merritt apart from the typical pulp author, however, is his lush, florid prose style and his exhaustive, at times exhausting, penchant for adjective-laden detail. Merritt's fondness for micro-description nicely complements the pointillistic style of Bok's illustrations, and often serves to highlight and radicalize the inherent fetishistic tendencies of pulp sf.
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The book is in excellent condition with foxing on page edges and age-darkened end papers.

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