Rather provide an exhaustive list of wants, I want to be specific about the titles I am looking for, many of them are readily available, just very expensive, and will likely have to wait until I can afford to buy them, in the mean time they will remain highly priced and unsold on all the major book sites, that is unless of course a trade is possible.
However before I get to the not rare just expensive stuff, lets explore the really rare stuff.
The first item on my list is one of the variant titles that Girodias produced to avoid detection by the Brigade Mondaine , the French Thought Police, who in cooperation with the British Government sought to eliminate the import of “filth” from the continent, this form of censorship has a long history, but more of that later.
My first target title is therefore “Melting” by Tim Harrack, a disguised variant of the title “Dissolving” the bibliographic description of which reads thus:-
5.59.2 MELTING [DISSOLVING] Tim Harrack, 1958 [Within a green border of type ornament:] TIM HARRACK |MELTING | THE TRAVELLER’S COMPANION | SERIES | published by | THE OLYMPIA PRESS | [breaking the border:] 7, rue Saint-Severin, Paris Collation: 192 pp. 59.1 – 59.128. 17.6 x 11.1 cm., all edges trimmed. Printed on white wove paper. Contents: pp. [1,2] blank. p.  MELTING. p.  [rule] | All right reserved by The Olympia Press Paris France. p.  title, as above, reverse blank. pp. 7- text. p.  blank. p.  PRINTED IN FRANCE | [rule] | Printed March 1958 by S.I.P., Montreuil, France | Dépôt légal : 1er trimestre 1958. pp. [190-192] blank. Binding: Olive-green wrappers, printed in black, and trimmed flush with body of the book. [Front cover; within a frame of two borders, the outer consisting of fine linked chain of type device in black, and the inner a thin band of white edged in black:] TIM HARRACK | MELTING | no 59 | THE | TRAVELLERS COMPANION | SERIES. [Spine; within a white, black-edged panel, the series no. in horizontal digits at bottom and title lettered vertically up spine:] 59 [-] MELTING [Back cover, at bottom right-hand corner:] Francs : 1.200. Notes: Although presumably re-issued with a title change to confuse the authorities, the running head still reads DISSOLVING throughout. The text of page 7 and the first half of page 8 has been re-written, after which it remains identical to the edition published as Dissolving.(1)
I thank my long term pen-pal and friend (though we have never met face to face) Patrick Kearney for permission to use excerpts from his book:- (1) The Paris Olympia Press published by The Liverpool University Press, 2007, where the above description can be located on Page: 187.
Despite Pat’s description, this was and in reality still is the only Olympia Press title I have never seen, so imagine my delight, when just a week ago, following some very skilled detective work I discovered a copy in Berlin. I quickly made all of the necessary arrangements to buy the book, and even sent the following to him:-
Well PatSometimes I amaze myself, no sooner do I admit to never having seen a copy of the Melting variant of Dissolving, than I track one down on a really obscure German antiques web site, admittedly I do not have it in hand yet, but it is paid for and order confirmed. Amazing so happy I just had to share the moment.
I just tried to take your book from my storage room. I was shocked, it was the victim of a mouse attack!
I’m sorry, they destroyed it. And not only this…
By the way, I don’t use paypal.
I apologize for the circumstances.
Best regards from Berlin………………Stephan
I’m glad I wasn’t able to reply to your email and congratulate you on
finally digging up a copy of “Melting” — in light of your subsequent
email. How tragic. Really. I picked up a Bibliotheque des curieux title
once that had clearly been nibbled on by rodents, but at least it was
readable. “Melting” was demolished. But at least there’s evidence
(from the spine which is still intact) that it exists!