London: Methuen & Co., Ltd., [1920]. First Edition (& 1st printing). Octavo, original red cloth lettered and ruled in gilt on spine, lettered and ruled in blind on front panel. 308 pp, plus 8 page publisher's catalogue bound in at rear. First Edition, first binding, first issue, with the catalogue undated (the second issue also has an 8-page catalogue at the rear but the catalogue is dated 1124 (November, 1924). There are also later bindings titled in black on the spine (See Locke, Spectrum of Fantasy Vol 1, 1980), and in blind (See Currey). 1250 copies printed, of which this is one of 500 or 600 in the first binding. The author's masterpiece, long considered not only a classic novel of early science fiction but also a classic of twentieth century literature. Contemporary ink name & small John M. Watkins booklabel on front free endpaper. Hairline crack to inner front hinge, mild spotting to page edges; cloth moderately soiled, corners lightly knocked. A sound, very good copy of the rare first issue. Item #312873

¶ A Voyage to Arcturus has been described as the most important underground novel of the 20th century. The secret of Lindsay's apparent strangeness as a novelist lies in his metaphysical assumptions: like the gnostics he seems to have viewed the "real" world as an illusion, which must be rejected in order to perceive genuine truth. Although published into almost complete disregard and obscrurity, Lindsay is now seen as being perhaps the major Scottish fantasist of the 20th century, the missing link between George Macdonald and more modern writers such as Alasdair Gray who also use surrealism and magic realism in their work. "A classic allegorical romance in which the landscapes and inhabitants of the planet Tormance provide an externalization of the moral and metaphysical questions that preoccupied the author. Its incarnate theological system influenced Lewis's OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET (1938), and it also bears some similarity to George Macdonald's LILITH (1895), although it is very much a work sui generis." - Anatomy of Wonder (1995) 2-72. "Powerful, stark as the wild dream landscape of Arcturus it so beautifully describes, it makes a tremendous impression on the mind" - Evening News. ."The book is not allegory but vision. Lindsay's imagery, often drawn from music, is burning and impressive. He uses words violently and cares nothing for grace.... But what emerges after sympathetic reading is... a sense of the remarkable profundity and coherence of the vision. The message is uncompromising in its purity, The achievement of the book exactly balances the ambition of its intention. This, surely, is rare." - London Times.

Price: $950.00

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