First edition, first printing [not published in America]. Inscribed presentation copy from William Burroughs to Alexander Trocchi. Publisher's original grey cloth with gilt titles to the spine, in the Ian Sommerville illustrated dustwrapper. An excellent near fine copy, the binding square and firm with light bumping at the spine tips. The contents are clean throughout. Complete with the lightly rubbed and nicked dustwrapper. Not price-clipped (25s net to the front flap). Housed in a bespoke quarter black morocco solander case. An important association copy.
Inscribed by the author in blue ink on the title page "For Alex Trocchi / good friend and / good showman / dead fingers talk / invisible insurrection / William Burroughs". Published and presumably inscribed shortly after their first encounter in 1962 on an airplane heading to the Edinburgh Writer's Conference. Burroughs recalls "I'd read Cain's Book, which was one of the early books about heroin addiction, and so we had a lot in common". The two became allies of sort at the conference which turned into an extraordinary stand-off between the old guard and the young turks. Trocchi's announcement that "of what is interesting in the last twenty years or so of Scottish writing, I myself have written it all" incensed poet Hugh MacDiarmid so much that he denounced both Trocchi and Burroughs as "vermin who should never have been invited", later describing Trocchi as "cosmopolitan scum, a writer of no literary consequence whatsoever". Therein a long term and close friendship was born.
Stock code: 14224