The Tomb of Henry James Diferencia 1. Piero HELICZER.

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The Tomb of Henry James Diferencia 1.

No place (White Plains, NY), no publisher stated: no date. (1957). 8vo. Green card wrappers printed in black. Three sheets of buff colour paper, each centrally folded, stitched into black card affixed internally to wrappers. 12pp., incl. 1pp. illustration. One of only 24 numbered copies issued hors commerce. Near Fine.

Prints the first part of Heliczer's absurdist play: its cast features five characters - Henry James, Bitch Griever, Drummer, Isoud, and Café Keeper - the costumes of whom are described in the mise-en-scène. The play's second part appeared in Accent (Spring 1958), and the complete (?) four-part play was published by the Dead Language Press in 1971. This first part was privately printed "as a distraction" by Heliczer in White Plains, New York, "for personal use of its author", and does not bear the Dead Language (or any) imprint. It was included in the Dead Language catalogue for 1959 (item #49), though only a tiny number of copies were sold or, more likely, given away.

A small newspaper clipping found amongst Piero's correspondence advertises a staging of 'The Tomb of Henry James (tragedy)' in a French version by J. Matisoff at Salle Mouffetard on December 22, 1959. Heliczer met James Matisoff at Harvard, and it was through Matisoff's English girlfriend, Anita Morris, that he met his future wife, Kate. Salle Mouffetard, located at 76 rue Mouffetard, on the other side of Place de la Contrescarpe from rue Descartes, was a Maison pour tous, known as 'La Mouffe' (previously host to Lenin, Trotsky, Sartre and Beauvoir, among many), where Heliczer kept his printing press and for whom in return, Harold Chapman remembers, Heliczer printed posters and stationery.

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