GOD HEAD. New York: The Viking Press, 1925. Octavo, pp. [1-10] 11-221 [222-224: blank] [note: last leaf is a blank], original decorated navy blue cloth, front panel stamped in blind, spine panel stamped in yellow. First edition. "Paulus Kempf, a labor agitator on the run from the law, is nursed back to health by a remote community of Finns on the shores of Lake Superior in upper Michigan. A former surgeon, poet, sculptor, and intellectual, Kempf is deeply attracted to the Finns’ kindness, generosity, and idyllic lifestyle, all of which he views as a stark contrast to the harsh realities of modernity. Fascinated by the tales he is told from the KALEVELA, an epic ancient Finnish myth cycle, Kempf’s cynicism and his innate sense of his own superiority, soon lead him to take advantage of the Finns’ lack of education and superstitious nature, convincing them that he is an incarnation of one of their mythic immortals. Committing crimes such as rape and murder with impunity, Kempf begins shaping a rock outcropping on a nearby cliff that overlooks the Finns’ community into a giant scowling face that overlooks the Finn’s community as symbol of his power. Published to widespread critical acclaim in 1925 and reviewed in such highbrow mainstream periodicals as THE NATION and THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT, GOD HEAD is sui generis, a remarkable mixture of hardboiled crime, proletariat novel, and weird fiction that reminds us how literature was not always as narrowly defined a category as it unfortunately is today. Unlike most forgotten novels or lost classics that are better off forgotten or lost, GOD HEAD is well worth seeking out." - Boyd White. Bleiler (1948), p.79. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy Volume II, p. 31. Smith, American Fiction, 1901-1925 C-494. Bookplate of Kenneth J. Krueger affixed to the front free endpaper. Cloth rubbed at spine ends and corner tips, a very good copy. (#161477).
No statement of printing.