New York: Boo-Hooray Gallery, 2011. FIRST EDITION. Softcover. 4to. (large), original illustrated wrappers, 100 pp., profusely illustrated with color reproductions of Ed Wood paperback book material, each fully and meticulously described. Near Fine. Item #1352
First edition of the indispensible catalogue of the pioneering exhibition of Ed Wood's degenerate paperbacks, tantamount to a bibliography of the subject. This was the largest assembly of Ed Wood publications exhibited to date. Boo-Hooray Gallery curators Michael Daley & Johan Kugelberg tracked down approximately seventy of Wood's books and publications (some collectors claim that he wrote dozens more). Entrepreneurial book dealers often indulge in Ed Wood pseudonym speculation. A ten dollar paperback can thus become an antiquarian rarity, even with flimsy or non-existent evidence. The collection was subsequently sold to the Cornell University Rare Book Library where it forms part of the Human Sexuality archive. ¶ From the Boo-Hoo Gallery press release: "The antiquarian mystique surrounding Edward Davis Wood Jr.’s career as an author of pornographic pulp fiction is legend. He wrote under a variety of pseudonyms, books were published and re-published under different titles, and occasionally under different author names. Multiple authors would share the same pseudonym, and the companies that published the titles weren’t the kind of operations that kept any kind of records, nor paid royalties, nor really existed in the manner that most are to expect of book publishers. […] Ed Wood’s sleaze fiction is also as strange, idiosyncratic and out of step with his times and mores as his infamous movies. Wood would write porn inter-spliced with lengthy philosophical, sociological and psychological discourse, he’d write first person narratives of life as a transvestite in the buttoned up America of the 1950’s. He’d riff on psychosexual themes, and unleash his id, his ego and his superego in turn, sometimes in the same chapter. He’d write about sex and the human condition without veneer or filters, offering up the damaged and anguished voice of a desperately soul-searching drunk with a sense of self-worth that would stand in dichotomy to his self-pity. His descent into alcoholism and poverty was mirrored by the publishers that employed him. Towards the end of his life he wrote pornography with decreasing amounts of the strange flourishes of his eccentric personality. Must be seen to be fully appreciated. ¶ See: Rudolph Grey’s Nightmare of Ecstasy.