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Cabell Hoard

The Rabble Discuss Cabell: James Branch Cabell &c

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Edited: Sep 23, 2010, 7:10pm Top

I traveled to my old haunts in Port Townsend, Washington, this week, and there learned of a small Cabell hoard. It turns out that a woman whose late husband had written his doctoral thesis on Cabell was trying to get rid of what remained of his collection. I arrived, and found eight books that I did not have, and numerous more in better editions than I owned. So I offered her a generous sum for the eight books (the cream of the best of the rest, you might say), and she said I could have them at that price so long as I took ALL of them.

Not being a wheeler-dealer by nature, I paid her a little extra.

Now I have two boxes filled with Cabell books to go through. I will probably be selling many of the Kalki editions, perhaps giving a few away to the local library. But I'll be keeping these, definitely:

The Witch-Woman: A Trilogy About Her (w/original dustjacket & protective cover)
The Devil's Own Dear Son (w/original dustjacket & protective cover)
Something About Eve: A Comedy of Fig-Leaves (w/original dustjacket & protective cover, MacBride's KALKI)
Ladies and Gentlemen (w/original dustjacket & protective cover)
The Jewel Merchants
Quiet, Please (w/dustjacket)
Preface to the Past
Between Dawn and Sunrise
A Roundtable in PoictesmeJames Branch Cabell and Richmond-in-Virginia, by Edgar MacDonald (w/original dustjacket, protected)

Storisende editions:
The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck(#410)
Straws and Prayer Books (#410)
Townsend of Lichfield (#71)

I now have multiple copies of THE WAY OF ECBEN and THERE WERE TWO PIRATES and THESE RESTLESS HEADS and many others, including THE CORDS OF VANITY and HAMLET HAD AN UNCLE. When I enter these into LibraryThing, I'll begin to accept offers, I suppose!

I have a second edition of the MacDonald book, mentioned above.

Sep 22, 2010, 11:36pm Top

Wow, and congratulations. Fabulous you were able to find them, and that the widow found someone willing to take them off her hands.

I'll be curious to learn from which titles you decide to part ways.

Sep 23, 2010, 7:50am Top

... and far out!
I'm curious as to that Cords of Vanity -- a Kalki? I badly need to upgrade mine. and Domnei Kalki?

Sep 23, 2010, 3:02pm Top

No. This is the 1909 edition, with the typo on the cover, eliding the article "The."

I already have this edition, with a nicer cover. But my earlier-acquired edition had the frontispiece removed. I'm tempted to keep this new one and sell the older.

White lettering on red on the cover.

"The Cords of Vanity" is a failure, for the most part, but it does have one of the funniest chapters Cabell wrote, a great comeuppance for our "hero."

Edited: Sep 23, 2010, 5:46pm Top

Just discovered that the edition from this hoard of Hamlet Had an Uncle is signed by the author!

i will be selling my previous edition, which lacks a dustjacket and has slight discoloration on the cover. But is great inside. Probably VG.

I'll be keeping the signed-by-Cabell edition, unless someone wants to give me a lot of money in exchange for it.

Sep 23, 2010, 4:36pm Top

I rather like Cords of Vanity, though it is somewhat episodic. It's also one of the books Cabell revised most thoroughly, twice. I read the Storisende final version -- I suspect I would not like the 1909 ed as much. I have a 1909 1st state, but would be pleased to have a 2nd state-- not only did they restore/add "The" to the cover but they added a leaf stating "Prologue" before the prologue. And my Kalki Cords is beat, really needs upgrading. Oddly the Kalki Cords is much less common than either the 1909 Doubleday or the Storisende.

That signed Hamlet -- is that the trade edition, signed? or is it the 'signed limited' edition in (I think) black leatherish boards?

This whole hoard is very exciting!

Edited: Sep 23, 2010, 5:45pm Top

Trade edition signed.

I'm still going through this collection, adding them one by one into LibraryThing. Today's project. I now have every edition I could want of one of my favorite Cabell books, The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck, and will be donating an old copy to the local library, and selling another.

I have two copies of the biography, James Branch Cabell and Richmond-in-Virginia, and will be selling one.

My stack of books to get rid of will be quite high, by the end of the day, and my Cabell shelf space will double.

I have a Kalki Domnei in here somewhere.

Sep 23, 2010, 5:48pm Top

By the way, I won't read the bio until I finish As I Remember It, my previous edition of which I seem to have misplaced. The first half of As I Remember It is as charming a memoir as I have ever read.

Sep 23, 2010, 6:08pm Top

That signed trade Hamlet is pretty scarce. There are 5 or 10 of the Signed Limited on the net (in the $75 - $250 range), but nary a one of the trade ed signed. Is it inscribed to anyone?

I'm just starting As I Remember It now. Yes... touching. The MacDonald bio is good, in its own way. Not very 'literary-critical', rather 'Southern-context' instead.

I'm not Domnei-less, but the ed I'm looking for is a VG or better 1920 first revised Kalki. I have a nice jacket for it but my copy is G at best.

Here's a question for LT Cabellians...
I know LT is not a commercial bookselling site, and we're not to use it so. I do sell some stuff on Amazon (mostly CDs, but some books) and am planning to try out Biblio or ABE (I have a LOT of books after 30 years in the book biz, and I'm old enough now to know I won't get to most of them even if I live another 20-30 years and I'm 57 now); but... amongst ourselves I don't see why we cant list surplus Cabells to sell to each other... do you all? I would buy from wirkman. And I have probalby 15 or 20 surplus Cabell books, the result of upgrading my collection and having the 'poorer' one to sell. Any thoughts? are we in TOS-violation territory here? We're not talking big bucks...

Sep 23, 2010, 8:03pm Top

I am interested, and in fact recently purchased a Folio from an LTer who had a slightly damaged copy available. But I'm not very conversant with the TOS, and so I'll look at it now.

Edited: Sep 23, 2010, 8:14pm Top

So i reviewed the Terms of Use (funny they're called that, when Tim and everyone refers to them as TOS), and didn't see anything that directly refers to the situation we're discussing.

The closest is the prohibition of advertising, specifically mentioning authors advertising their own work:

LibraryThing is not an advertising medium. Egregious commercial solicitation is forbidden. No matter how great your novel, this does apply to authors.

So my reaction is that it's okay so long as this doesn't become a trading / exchange site, whatever the dollars or profits. My preference, though, is to be certain and suggest posting a private message on Tim's profile page. I'm happy to do that.

Sep 24, 2010, 10:23am Top

Just noticed this thread; congratulations on the score, wirkman!

Sep 24, 2010, 10:27am Top

In the (late lamented, 1968-1993) Cabell journal "Kalki" there was a regular feature called 'Jurgen's Pawnshop' where subscribers listed their wants and their willing-to-sell copies of Cabell and related stuff. (It looks to me like some listings were even from professional sellers who, in those pre-internet days, had a Cabell stash to sell.) We might start a thread here with that name.

I do a lot of Cabell- browsing on the various used sites and occasionally encounter something I consider to be a real bargain, but because I already have the item can't justify scooping it up myself. I had thought of posting links to them here (though theyll expire eventually of course) -- these could also perhaps go into Jurgen's Pawnshop...

>10 elenchus: A Folio! the 1623 First Folio or the 1632 Second Folio??

Sep 24, 2010, 12:59pm Top

>13 Crypto-Willobie:

Sorry to sow confusion: not a Shakespeare Folio (I assume you meant that?), but a Folio Society book. A 2010 publication, for Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines. I'm considering joining FS but this was my first purchase.

I love the idea of a thread named Jurgen's Pawnshop, and posting links to items we aren't selling ourselves shows it's about the books, not the dollars.

I'll post a private message on Tim's profile page asking for his blessing, then. Sounds like we're in general agreement here.

Sep 24, 2010, 1:38pm Top

LibraryThing sorely needs an "inter-library loan" function as well as "sell" and "trade" functions!

Sep 24, 2010, 2:42pm Top

>15 wirkman: Agreed. They do have BookMooch and like that.... which I haven't really looked into as I snobbishly (sorry!) assumed there wouldn't be anything I'd want that folks were just giving away... not sure how well it works though...

Speaking of 'Kalki' and this LT group...
I recently spoke to Bill Godshalk, one of the last surviving 'Kalki' staffers. Apparently 'Kalki' folded in 1993 largely because the main guy who was still keeping it going died; and Bill was doubtful about my call for it's re-animation or the creation of a Cabell website. There is a bit of Cabell stuff online from U of Va and at Va Commonwealth U, where Cabell's books etc are (though some of that online stuff seems to have disappeared recently); but the key academic Cabell scholars (Duke, MacDonald) seem to be retired or ivory-towered; and the Cabell Prize seems tohave been discontinued about 10 years ago; and this group is great but only goes so far...
.... Anyone familiar with the Friends of Arthur Machen website? I think Cabell (and his readership and reputation) could benefir from something like that. There have been several Machen Societies, in waves as membership ages and passes, but this one seems to be going strong, with an associated news/discussion group, friendly reissue publishers, etc. (They even mention Cabell sometimes, as he corresponded with and was influenced by Machen.)
So... the upshot of my rambling is... does any one think we could (or better yet know how we could) do something similar for JBC? I'd be willing to put a fair amount of 'work' into it but have no savvy at all about websites, & no significant funds to pitch in. I could perhaps try to rally Godshalk and/or the Va. academics and/or the Cabell estate for 'blessings'...
Ideally the site would combine the best aspects of both 'fan' and academic approaches... not unlike 'Kalki' in its heyday. Conceivably it could even be 'Kalki' reborn on-line... wonder if Godshalk knows where the archives and the rights to 'Kalki' material reside...

Sep 24, 2010, 4:28pm Top

I have AT LEAST 34 Cabell and Cabell-related books to sell. I have, at present, just about everything he wrote except the "St. Johns" book. I don't have a "Domnei" for sale, since i didn't have a Kalki of that, either; all I had was the Ballantine Adult Fantasy edition.

I have no extra Storisende editions. Indeed, I have just a handful of those volumes: The Cords of Vanity, The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck, Straws and Prayer-Books, and Townsend of Lichfield. At some point i'll try to collect the rest, and my collection should be as complete as I need it to be. So to speak. (NONE of this is "necessary," of course.)

The idea of a Cabell portal site, with a group blog, and much more, sounds great to me. What would the domain name be? Most of the obvious dot-com domain names (Kalki, Storisende, Antan) are taken....

Poictesme.com/info/net are all available....

Sep 24, 2010, 5:42pm Top

I probably dont know how properly to tell, but when I typed www.kalki.com in my browser's address line it didnt open anything. On the other hand when I typed in www.branchcabell.com I got what seems to be a Chinese language instruction site (!). If we could make a site we could come up with a name...
... but do you know where/how to host/erect one? can you see the way forward?
The FoAM Friends of Arthur Machen site is financed by people who pay yearly dues to belong to the society and then get a twice yearly slim hardback journal. I don't see us producing that kind of value-for-money, at least at first; nor getting lots of people to fork over $35 yearly to belong (as LTers makifat and I do for FoAM.
So what would be the first step? and what would it cost?

Sep 24, 2010, 6:39pm Top

I suggest making two sites, twin sites, one with one dot-suffix, the other with another. The first i'd offer to run using iWeb; the other I or someone else could run using Wordpress. I suggest the latter have a dot-net suffix.

I'd eat the costs for the first year, then we could decide how best to share costs.

Kalki.com is taken, and someone's trying to sell kalki.net. Admittedly, those would be the best URLs.

You can search for unclaimed URLs at godaddy.com and many other services.

Sep 24, 2010, 6:46pm Top

telltherabble.com and .net are available.

Not a bad URL set, eh?

Sep 25, 2010, 8:29am Top

>19 wirkman: I don't understand how or why that works. I assume the sites would have the same content? If something changes on one does it automatically change on the other or does someone have to change it? (told ya I was site-dev ig'nunt!)

Does the site name necessarily have to match the domain name? of course its simpler if it does but could we, say, call it Kalki Online and have the address be telltherabble.com?

I've seen evidence of other web-savvy Cabell folks around -- there's the guy with the Kalki tattoo; and the guy who recorded Deems Taylor's Jurgen suite on his midi or are they the same guy?. The names escape me now though I cd dig them up. Anyone had any contact with these guys? I guess I'm thinking there are a number of folk who dabble Cabell alone out there -- if we could cooperatively consolidate that energy...

Might we be able to keep this LT discussion group as our newsgroup/discussion list? We'd link it on the site. To join the discussion group someone would just have to join LT. They could start free, or catalog their Cabells -- it wd draw members to LT. The only drawback is notifications of new posts wouldn't appear in their email inboxes or is there an LT setting for that?.

Sep 25, 2010, 10:11am Top

> 19, 21 ah... I just wikipeded 'mirror sites' -- a phrase I've heard -- is it something like that?

Sep 25, 2010, 2:02pm Top

I was suggesting a blog-based site and another, more permanent, and thus suggested two technologies, which would be easier to maintain on two separate domains. The two could have a uniform look, especially at the banner.

Now, though, it strikes me that one of the sites could be a WIKI, run by all of us, and all new members.

And yes, of course, we could keep this for less formal or less public talk.

And link to this site.

Sep 25, 2010, 2:04pm Top

"but could we, say, call it Kalki Online and have the address be telltherabble.com?"


Calling it Kalki or Kalki Online is just fine. If the domain is "telltherabble" our tagline could be "tell the rabble it's Cabell"....

Sep 26, 2010, 2:16pm Top

>24 wirkman:

I like the idea of a wiki + permanent site with discussion here on LT.

Where would Jurgen's Pawnshop be hosted? Seems like it could work either as a dedicated thread here, or as listings on the permanent site. Advantage of LT is that many people could contribute, disadvantage that expired offers couldn't remove easily (except by deleting the post, which would leave all the ensuing replies and so create clutter on the thread). Advantage of hosting on the site is it's much cleaner, but probably requires the site admin to maintain it. Or is there a function of websites for this sort of contributor-based listing?

BTW Tim gave the go-ahead on hosting it here, if we wanted: posted a public message to my profile page, in response to a private message I left on his.

Sep 27, 2010, 1:34pm Top

Congratulations, Wirkman. I dream of one day coming across a stash of Cabell like that at a yard sale.


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