Cards of Identity

Dennis, Nigel

Published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1955
Used Condition: Near Fine in Near Fine DJ Hardcover
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About this Item

First printing of the UK edition of Dennis's second, and most famous, novel which he adapted to an equally outstanding play. vi, 370pp. Bright red cloth, gilt spine lettering and design, cream endpapers. Dust jacket price 15s. SIGNED BY DENNIS to half-title page. The book appears in tight, unread condition with the usual endpaper binding darkening offset to gutters, and traces of foxing to rear pastedown endpaper; dust jacket is very crisp, bright and fully intact with only some slight age-toning [more pronounced to spine], small - almost imperceptible - closed tear to rear panel at hinge and two small age-toning spots to front panel. A seminal 20th century work of fiction. ".one of the funniest most penetrating novels since the early Aldous Huxley.[one] of modern fiction's sharpest comments on the human condition." - Time. " Nigel Dennis has.a place as one of the best English novelists of his generation." - Bernard Bergonzi. " Dennis, Nigel (Forbes) (1912-89), British novelist and dramatist, born in Bletchingley, Surrey, educated in Rhodesia, Austria, and Germany. He was an outstanding journalist and became co-editor of 'Encounter'. Much of his first novel, 'Boys and Girls Come out To Play' (1949) [US: 'A Sea Change'], is set in America where he had worked as a journalist from 1931 to 1949. 'Cards of Identity' (1955), which Dennis adapted for the stage in 1956, is widely regarded as his finest work; an extravagantly inventive satire on the shallowness of human identity in modern civilization, the novel culminates, in The Prince of Antioch', a sustained parody of Shakespeare. 'A House in Order' (1960), set chiefly in a greenhouse from which the narrator observes a third world war, forms a tautly concentrated fable on the nature of human purpose. His other works as a dramatist include 'The Making of Moo' (1957) and 'August for the People' (1961). His love of the Mediterranean is expressed in 'An Essay on Malta' (1972) and in 'Exotics' (1970), a volume of poems set mainly in that region." - Oxford Companion to 20th Cent. Lit. in English. " Although Nigel Dennis has published only three novels, their quality is high enough to give him a place as one of the best English novelists of his generation. 'Cards of Identity'.established his reputation and remains one of the most brilliant works of post-war English fiction.'A House in Order' is remarkable for the way in which it works as a novel, even while being an evident moral fable. ["A Sea Change'] leaves no doubt.of the quality of Dennis' writing.[and] shows a satirical inclination, and a tendency to allegory or fables. " - Bernard Bergonzi. "'Cards of Identity' is a scathing satire of psychology, identity theory, and class prejudice. The plot centers on an annual meeting of the Identity Club, a group of psychologists who come together to present "case histories" promoting their chosen theory of identity. These case studies (three of which are presented in the novel) are not scientific treatises, but fictional representations of character in line with the author's biases. In fact, members of the Club aren't allowed to interact with actual patients when creating their stories. Surrounding this meeting is the equally bizarre story of the local townspeople, who are brainwashed and transformed into servants for the convention, and who end the book with a show-stopping, Shakespearian play." " All but forgotten today, 'Cards of Identity' met with wide praise upon its publication. W.H. Auden.declared, "I have read no novel published during the last fifteen years with greater pleasure and admiration."" - Jessica Winter, Village Voice. Bookseller Inventory # 014788

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Cards of Identity

Publisher: Weidenfeld and Nicolson

Publication Date: 1955

Binding: Hardcover

Illustrator: Dust Jacket Design By Lucien Freud

Book Condition: Near Fine in Near Fine DJ

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition

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Since 1989 we have been providing the Dallas/Fort Worth area with quality used books, from paperback reading copies to collectable first editions. In March 1999 we moved our inventory to an office/warehouse, and closed our open shop to concentrate on our Internet business.

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