Death in the Afternoon

First Edition, First Issue
In a Bold Cubist Binding Designed After Juan Gris

[CUBIST INLAID BINDING]. HEMINGWAY, Ernest. Death in the Afternoon. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932. First edition. Octavo (9 1/16 x 6 1/4 inches; 230 x 160 mm.). 517 pp. Color frontispiece by Juan Gris, and eighty-one full page black and white photographs.

In a magnificent later binding, designed (alas unsigned) in the synthetic Cubism style of Juan Gris, of full brown morocco with the design across both boards, inlaid with multi-colored morocco geometric forms in red, green, blue, black, orange, white and yellow. Gilt stamped symbols within the forms, and a blue curlicue of smoke rises from an inlaid lit cigarette. "Plaza De Toro" is stamped in gilt and broken up with part on the front board, part on the rear. Gilt lettered spine. All edges mirror-gilt with rainbow sprinkles in geometric forms. Handmade orange and gold endleaves.

Ernest Hemingway became a bullfighting aficionado after seeing the Pamplona fiesta in the 1920s, which he wrote about in The Sun Also Rises. In Death in the Afternoon, Hemingway explores the metaphysics of bullfighting—the ritualized, almost religious practice—that he considered analogous to the writer's search for meaning and the essence of life. In bullfighting, he found the elemental nature of life and death. In his writings on Spain, he was influenced by the Spanish master Pío Baroja. When Hemingway won the Nobel Prize, he traveled to see Baroja, then on his death bed, specifically to tell him he thought Baroja deserved the prize more than he. Baroja agreed and something of the usual Hemingway tiff with another writer ensued despite his original good intentions. Death in the Afternoon contains a deeper contemplation of the nature and fear and courage.

José Victoriano (Carmelo Carlos) González-Pérez (1887-1927), better known as Juan Gris, was a Spanish painter and sculptor who lived and worked in France for most of his life. His works, which are closely connected to the emergence of an innovative artistic genre - Cubism - are among the movement's most distinctive. His 1915 still life, Livre, pipe et verres, broke a record for his work when it sold for $20.8 million but it was shattered in 2010 when Gris' Violon et guitare sold for $28.6 million at Christie's.

Hanneman, A10a. Item #02000

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