THE HAND OF THE ENEMY - Rare Fine Copy of The First Hardcover Edition/First Printing - ONLY COPY ONLINE

Polotan, Kerima

Published by Manila, Philippines: Regal Books/Erewhon Bookshop Distributors, 1962
Used / Hardcover / Quantity Available: 1
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Title: THE HAND OF THE ENEMY - Rare Fine Copy of ...

Publisher: Manila, Philippines: Regal Books/Erewhon Bookshop Distributors, 1962

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: no

Edition: 1st Edition.

Description:

1st Printing. 120 pages. Published in 1962. The author's debut novel. One of the greatest novels of the 20th century. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. There is no ISBN. The First Edition is now rare. Presents Kerima Polotan's "The Hand of The Enemy". Her first and only novel, and her greatest achievement. From a culture that is derivative at best and imitative at worst, how is Polotan's masterpiece possible? Well, it is important to keep in mind that at the time of its publication, the Philippines was one of the most prosperous nations in Asia, a vibrant (if fragile) democracy that enjoyed unprecedented economic growth, American financial largesse to its former colony and World War II ally, and a culture (however elitist) that supported Philippine writing in English. The external factors that help make a masterpiece possible cannot be overestimated precisely because the latter comes into being to challenge a modernizing nation's intrinsic soul. Once compared to Sartre (wrongly) and Heinrich Boll (rightly), Polotan is an original: Going against the Philippine Romantic grain, she wrote un-sentimentally, scathingly, and pitilessly. About love, the impossible demands it makes on human beings, and its fundamental incompatibility not just with personal ambition but with the harsh realities of life. For Polotan's memorably depicted protagonist (and probably for the writer herself), love is the sole reason for being. It's what we're here for. Its enemy, whose hand prevails in the end, is life itself. By all means, one should seize whatever saving grace life has to offer, be it the glory of literature, the pleasures of art, the consolation of religious faith, and most tangible of all, worldly success. Life is essentially a trade-off, and one must never ever have any illusions about the trade-offs one makes. Polotan saves her most withering words (in passages of great descriptive power) for those who think they can have it all. The bleakness of Polotan's vision is only somewhat relieved by the generosity of her soul. She cares about her characters, mourning rather than condemning their failings. Whereas almost everyone else writes in the "Creole" style (the flowery Philippine language infused with Spanish Baroque), her lean and elegant prose makes Polotan the greatest stylist in English the Philippines has ever produced. Polotan's tough-minded yet generous writing exposes the mediocrity of contemporary writing for what it is: Sterile prose, undergraduate philosophizing, Marvel Comics fantasy-narratives. "A man follows something more urgent than himself" (Kerima Polotan). Kerima Polotan died on August 19, 2011. She will not be replaced. An absolute "must-have" title for Kerima Polotan collectors. This title is a great book. As far as we know, this is the only copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and despite its imperfection (closed and open tears on DJ; slight fading on DJ spine) is still in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A rare copy thus. The greatest Philippine writer in English of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER KERIMA POLOTAN TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). Bookseller Inventory # 16756

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Store Description: ModernRare.com is exclusively an online bookstore. Our physical address is 124 N. California Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60612, U.S.A. The main contact person is Salvador L. Cortes. He can be reached at 312-376-5000 during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Chicago/Midwestern Standard Time. Email is usually the best way to reach us: info@modernrare.com We will respond to your email query within 24 hours. We are exclusively an online bookstore because we believe this is the best way to satisfy our customers' expectations. Unlike an open bookstore, where books are routinely handled and may deteriorate, we guarantee the condition of our books as described. We specialize in modern firsts, photography, the arts, and erotica. You will also find a fine selection of signed copies, Limited Editions, and memorabilia because our ultimate goal is to deepen the pleasure of collecting books. We carry titles that we ourselves like and believe in -- books that we think will excite, enchant, and endure. Please note: Payment needs to be made directly through ABEBooks. If you wish to make any other payment arrangement, please get in touch with us before placing your order. Thank you and happy collecting!