Item #313360 GO BACK AT ONCE. Robert AICKMAN.


Leyburn, North Yorkshire: Tartarus Press, 2020. First Edition (& 1st printing). Hardcover. Octavo. Bound in red linson boards, spine and front panel titled in gold, black endpapers, head-and tail-bands, red satin bookmark. 362 pp. The First Edition, limited to 500 copies. Dust jacket Illustration by Stephen J. Clark. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket, price corner intact. Fine in Dust Jacket. Item #313360

¶ Go Back at Once, completed by Robert Aickman in August 1975, is a previously unpublished novel set in the 1920s telling the story of two young English women, Cressida Hazeborough and her friend Vivien. The story really begins when Cressida asks, ‘ “Vivien, who is Virgilio Vittore?” ’ The girls learn that Vittore has personally annexed the state of Trino and is now governing it ‘according to the laws of music’. Vittore is based on the Italian poet and author Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863-1938), who similarly annexed Fiume (now Rijeka, Croatia) in 1920.

Go Back at Once is, in many ways, a very personal fantasy for Aickman. It reflects his agreement with Shelley that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of mankind, and Nietzsche’s belief that ‘art alone could hold the key to human life in the future’. In Virgilio Vittore Aickman offers us an example of how he thought an enlightened country should be run. Trino is chaotic, but it is always colourful, surprising and artistic. A fascinating and very readable glimpse into the mind of an always intriguing writer.

Price (USD): $65.00