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Books by John Wain

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  • WendellWag@aol.com
    In discussions with Wayne Hammond and David Bratman at Mythcon, I discovered that we d all been to the sale of Rolland Comstock s books at Second Story Books
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 31, 2008
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      In discussions with Wayne Hammond and David Bratman at Mythcon, I discovered
      that we'd all been to the sale of Rolland Comstock's books at Second Story
      Books in Rockville, Maryland. Rolland Comstock was a book collector who died
      a year ago whose estate included about 50,000 books, a large proportion of
      which were first editions and/or signed by the authors.

      Another collector bought some of the best of his books and then Second Story
      Books bought the rest. They've been selling them off over the past three
      months or so, dropping the prices slowly. There wasn't a lot of
      Inklings-related books, but I bought eight books by John Wain (a minor Inkling whose stuff
      is hard to find), some of which are signed. The books I found are Sprightly
      Running, The Living World of Shakespeare: A Playgoer’s Guide, Nuncle and
      Other Stories, Essays on Literature and Ideas, Born in Captivity, The Life
      Guard, A Winter in the Hills, and Wild Track. I also found three biographies
      of Dorothy L. Sayers.


      Wayne told me David had wondered why he could only find one book by Wain in
      the Comstock collection. I told him that I'm the reason, since I got there
      first. David asked me to post this to the list.
      Wendell Wagner



      **************It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel
      deal here.
      (http://information.travel.aol.com/deals?ncid=aoltrv00050000000047)


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David Bratman
      Thanks for the list, Wendell. I m relieved that those are all books that I already have. (I don t care about whether they re signed.) So let me tell you
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 31, 2008
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        Thanks for the list, Wendell. I'm relieved that those are all books that I already have. (I don't care about whether they're signed.) So let me tell you what you have:

        _Sprightly Running_ is the one book by Wain that's about the Inklings. Most of the quotes from Wain that you'll find in books about the Inklings come from Chapter 5 of this book. (Chapter 3 also starts out discussing his relationship with Lewis, but gets sidetracked into his apprenticeship with E.H.W. Meyerstein, a fascinatingly colorful character; then he gets back to the Inklings and other literary material, including his thoughts about F.R. Leavis, in chapter 5.)

        _The Living World of Shakespeare_ and _Essays on Literature and Ideas_ are also both nonfiction. The most interesting essay in the latter is "Answer To A Letter From Joe", a brief explanation of why Wain really hated being labeled as one of the Angry Young Men.

        _Born in Captivity_ (also called _Hurry on Down_) was Wain's first novel, and his best known; it's a comic picaresque whose hero is trying out various unlikely jobs to see what suits him. He stays with a friend who's an avant-garde novelist, so there's a silly parody of 50s avant-garde writing. _A Winter in the Hills_ is, I think, Wain's best novel: the hero is a linguist who's spending the offseason in the North Wales resort country to learn Welsh, and gets caught up in a small guerrilla war over control of the local bus lines. Unlike _Born in Captivity_ it's written in a serious, earnest style, so it only slowly dawns on you how funny a book it is.

        _Nuncle_ and _The Life Guard_ are both short story collections. The title story of _Nuncle_ is a romp about two authors who are impersonating each other - well, it's complicated; you'll have to read it. The most memorable stories are "Master Richard" in _Nuncle_ and "I Love You, Ricky" in _The Life Guard_, one about children and the other about teenagers, both in different ways absolutely harrowing.

        And _Wildtrack_ is a long poem in a sub-T.S. Eliot style.

        -----Original Message-----
        >From: WendellWag@...
        >Sent: Aug 31, 2008 12:54 PM
        >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [mythsoc] Books by John Wain
        >
        >In discussions with Wayne Hammond and David Bratman at Mythcon, I discovered
        >that we'd all been to the sale of Rolland Comstock's books at Second Story
        >Books in Rockville, Maryland. Rolland Comstock was a book collector who died
        >a year ago whose estate included about 50,000 books, a large proportion of
        >which were first editions and/or signed by the authors.
        >
        >Another collector bought some of the best of his books and then Second Story
        >Books bought the rest. They've been selling them off over the past three
        >months or so, dropping the prices slowly. There wasn't a lot of
        >Inklings-related books, but I bought eight books by John Wain (a minor Inkling whose stuff
        >is hard to find), some of which are signed. The books I found are Sprightly
        >Running, The Living World of Shakespeare: A Playgoer’s Guide, Nuncle and
        >Other Stories, Essays on Literature and Ideas, Born in Captivity, The Life
        >Guard, A Winter in the Hills, and Wild Track. I also found three biographies
        >of Dorothy L. Sayers.
        >
        >
        >Wayne told me David had wondered why he could only find one book by Wain in
        >the Comstock collection. I told him that I'm the reason, since I got there
        >first. David asked me to post this to the list.
        >Wendell Wagner
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