“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rare Books in The Ninth Gate

As a Satanist and an Antiquarian Bookdealer, it probably goes without saying that when the film The Ninth Gate came out, just about everyone who knew me insisted that I needed to see it. When it came out on video I received at least five copies as gifts from different people. It is definitely one of my favorite films, and I have yet to read The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, which I hear goes into even more detail about antiquarian books, the main story of The Ninth Gate being only one sub-plot of The Club Dumas.

The most common question people asked me was regarding the first scene with Johnny Depp as Corso, where he is appraising the library and purchases the four volume Don Quixote for $4,000. The question is always "Are there really books worth that much?" usually followed by "Is that a real edition of Don Quixote?"

The answer to both questions is yes. There are books worth far more than that, including the specific edition of Cervantes depicted.

The 4-volume Joaquín Ibarra edition of El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha; Nueva edición corregida por la Real Academia Española was published in Madrid in 1780. There is currently a set for sale online for $ 39320.

This is the detailed description: Madrid, Joaquín Ibarra, 1780. En folio. 4 volúmenes. -I: Frontispicio, portada, xiv-(2) pp., retrato, ccxxiv-199 pp., 6 láminas. -II: Frontispicio, portada, (1) h., 418 pp., 9 láminas. -III: Frontispicio, portada, xiv-306 pp., 7 láminas. -IV: Frontispicio, portada, (1) h., 346 pp., 9 láminas, 1 mapa plegado. Preciosa encuadernación de la época en piel, rueda dorada en los planos, lomera cuajada de adornos dorados en las calles, rueda dorada en los nervios y dos tejuelos en marroquén burdeos con letrería también dorada, rueda dorada en los cantos, cabeza y cortes dorados. Magnífico ejemplar de la primera gran edición del Quijote, superior en belleza artística a todas las que hasta entonces se habían realizado en España y en el extranjero. Ejemplar lujosamente encuadernado en la época, limpio, de papel blanco y de amplios márgenes.Contiene en total 4 frontispicios grabados, 31 láminas grabadas a toda página, 14 letras capitulares historiadas, 46 cabeceras y adornos, y un gran mapa plegado. Para ilustrar la obra, se buscó que las imágenes fueran fiel reflejo del momento histórico en el que se desarrolla la narración y en la calidad artística tanto en el dibujo como en el grabado. Las láminas están dibujadas y grabadas por A. Carnicero, J. del Castillo, J. Brunete, B. Barranco, P. Aral, J. de la Cruz, F. Montaner y otros importantes artistas. El retrato de Cervantes es copia del que regaló el Conde de Aguila a la Real Academia, y el mapa es obra del inteligente Tomás López. Para el texto, donde se puso especial atención, sirvió de modelo el de la edición que por entonces se tenía por primera, esto es, la segunda de Cuesta de 1605, cotejándola con otras (especialmente la del propio Cuesta de 1608) y modificando algún pasaje. "La Vida de Cervantes" y el "Análisis del Quijote" son de Vicente de los Ríos, trabajos documentados y que dejan muy atrás todo lo que hasta entonces se había publicado sobre el mismo tema. El papel se fabricó en Cataluña, y se fundieron tipos nuevos. Como se ha visto, también se modificó el título, y se subdividió la obra en dos partes, creyendo en todo interpretar el ideal de Cervantes. Se tiraron 1.600 ejemplares que costaron 60.000 pesetas y se pusieron a la venta al precio de 320 reales.Naturalmente, tanto por el valor intrínseco de la obra como por el tipográfico, esta edición es codiciada por los amantes de los bellos libros; por eso figura en las mejores Bibliotecas públicas y particulares.Ejemplar extraordinario vestido con su elegante encuadernación de época, de papel muy blanco y limpio, con grandes márgenes; las láminas bien impresas, nítidas. Muy ligera mancha en el margen inferior del las últimas hojas del primer volumen, por lo demás perfecto.Referencias: Suñé 60; Palau 52024; Salvá 1564; Rico 79; Rius 53; PMM, Fine Printing, 123; Uplike, Printing Types II, f.73; Suma ArtisXXXI, p. 603-604 The celebrated illustrated edition printed by Ibarra, published by the Academy under royal patronage, excelling in beauty of type, printing, design, paper quality and illustrations to any other edition. Contemporary calf.

It is worth noting that Ibarra is not the first edition.
Publishing history from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Quixote#Publication

In July of 1604 Cervantes sold the rights of El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de
la Mancha (known as Don Quixote, Part I) to the publisher-bookseller Francisco
de Robles for an unknown sum. License to publish was granted in September, the
printing was finished in December, and the book came out in January 1605.
novel was an immediate success. Most of the 400 copies of the first edition were
sent to the
New World, with the publisher hoping to make a better price in the Americas.
Although most of them disappeared in a shipwreck near
La Havana,
approximately 70 copies reached
Lima, from where they were sent to Cuzco in the heart of the defunct Inca Empire .
There is some evidence of its contents having been known before
publication to, among others,
Lope de Vega. There is also
a tradition that Cervantes reread some portions of his work to a select audience
at the court of the Duke of
Bejar, which may have helped in
making the book known. Don Quixote, Part One remained in Cervantes' hands for
some time before he could find a willing publisher. The
at Juan de la Cuesta's press in Madrid are now known to have been responsible
for errors in the text, many of which were attributed to the author.
No sooner was it in the hands of the public than preparations were made to issue
derivative ("pirated") editions. "Don Quixote" had been growing in favour, and
its author's name was now known beyond the
Pyrenees. By August 1605 there
were two Madrid editions, two published in Lisbon, and one in
Valencia. A second
edition with additional copyrights for
Aragon and Portugal, which
publisher Francisco de Robles secured. Sale of these publishing rights deprived
Cervantes of further financial profit on Part One. In 1607, an edition was
printed in
Brussels. Robles, the Madrid
publisher, found it necessary to meet demand with a third edition, a seventh
publication in all, in 1608. Popularity of the book in Italy was such that a
Milan bookseller issued an Italian edition in 1610. Yet another Brussels edition
was called for in 1611.
In 1613, Cervantes published Novelas Ejemplares,
dedicated to the
Maecenas of the day, the Conde de Lemos. Eight and
a half years after Part One had appeared, we get the first hint of a forthcoming
Segunda Parte (Part Two). "You shall see shortly," Cervantes says, "the further
exploits of Don Quixote and humours of Sancho Panza." Don Quixote, Part Two,
published by the same press as its predecessor, appeared late in 1615, and
quickly reprinted in Brussels and Valencia (1616) and Lisbon (1617). Part two
capitalizes on the potential of the first while developing and diversifying the
material without sacrificing familiarity. Many people agree that it is richer
and more profound. Parts One and Two were published as one edition in Barcelona
in 1617.
Some theories exist that question whether Cervantes alone wrote Don
Quixote. Carlos Fuentes raises an intriguing possibility that, "Cervantes leaves
open the pages of a book where the reader knows himself to be written and it is
said that he dies on the same date, though not on the same day, as William
Shakespeare. It is further stated that perhaps both were the same man."
The other book mentioned in the scene is Hypnerotomachia Poliphili by Francesco Colonna, published in 1499, better known to Jungian enthusiasts as The Dream of Poliphilo in the English translation from the Princeton University Press Bollingen Series.

I'll try to re-edit this blog with the bibliographical details and auction record prices of the original edition, which is an invaluable piece of incunabula.



Mustache Muscles said...



Price Realized
£313,250 (Set Currency)

£220,000 - £260,000
($333,960 - $394,680)
Sale Information

SALE 7911 —
7 July 2010
London, King Street

JDS said...

Thank You. I dropped the ball on following up with this post. I hope to read and write a review of the book before too long, as well as comment on the sources for the faux plates.

Mustache Muscles said...

You're welcome. I'm a frustrated script writer/author (non-published, of course) and "The Ninth Gate" works so well on every level for me.

I interpret Emanuelle Seigner ("the girl") as being cast in a daimonic light where the antagonists appear to be demonic.

All in all, Roman Polanski did an outstanding job with regard to the treatment of the subject matter, and the casting was flawless; there are no weak characters.