Inscribed first printing of the still-shocking story of captivity and resistance.
Fine in near-fine jacket.
"He's a collector. That's the great dead thing in him."
Fowles's first published novel, a brutal work whose end is promised in its beginning, and which keeps every promise it makes. Full of allusions to THE TEMPEST – the Collector takes the false name Ferdinand; his captive records him as Caliban – and with a certain thematic resemblance, THE COLLECTOR explores in a modern setting the violent enactments of class and gender hierarchies present in that play. Written in two first-person narratives: one by a young man who comes to believe that his personal disappointments entitle him absolutely to ownership of a human being; and the other by the woman he kidnaps, whose tireless efforts to escape and maintain dignity are no use to her, who fights with every ounce of ingenuity she possesses, and loses.
THE COLLECTOR is a novel in some ways wiser than its writer, and certainly wiser than its contemporary critics, for whom sympathy for a misogynist still passed as daringly provocative, and to whom psychological proximity to a killer was a thrill of sorts. But the intimacy of the dual narration sets a trap for the unwary, for those primed to love an anti-hero: sympathy for the Collector himself is a temptation set out for the reader desperate for an escape, ready to flee from horror, into the cozier space of the winning side. The victim's perspective was, and is, simply too much for some critics to bear; her situation too hard to keep company with, though the novel's greatest treasures are found there. THE COLLECTOR's real genius lies in Fowles's own cold and fearless gaze: in life, he seems to say, the good and the brave do exist; dignity and courage, wit and nerve, even innocence, these are all real; and hope, of all the virtues, is the one that dies hardest and last.
London: Jonathan Cape, (1963). 7.5'' x 5''. Original rust-orange cloth. In original unclipped (18s.) dust jacket. 283 pages. Inscribed by Fowles on title page: "Don Klein / John Fowles, Lyme Regis". Minor edgewear to boards. Jacket rear panel faintly foxed; toned along edges.
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