New into the Collection: MERLIN No. 7 [Vol.2, number 4, Spring/Summer 1955]

A welcome addition of a hard to find item. Bibliographical description courtesy of Patrick Kearney, The Paris Olympia Press, Liverpool University Press 2007. MERLIN Pages 75-78, including the item description (2.7.1)

The first issue of Merlin—initially subtitled A collection of Contemporary Writings was published in the Spring of 1952. It was edited by Alexander Trocchi, and published by his American girl friend Alice Jane Lougee. Five further issues under this editor/publisher combination would follow. The seventh and final issue was published by the Olympia Press, described in detail below. In view of the important connection between Merlin, its contributors and editorial personnel, and the Olympia Press, a brief summary of the non-Olympia issues is given. The names of contributors or the titles of works-in-progress are limited to those with known Olympia Press affiliations.

No. 1 [Vol. 1, number 1, Spring 1952.] Printed by Impr. Mazarine. Contributions by Christopher Logue, Alfred Chester and Alexander Trocchi.

No. 2 [Vol. 1, number 2, Autumn, 1952.] Printed by Impr. de la S.A.I.B.E.L, Fontenay-aux-Roses (Seine). Contributions by Patrick Bowles (credited here as P. W. Bowles), Christopher Logue and Richard Seaver.

No. 3 [Vol. 1, number 3, Winter 1952-53.] Printed by Arrault et Cie, Tours. This issue is additionally described as a Revue Trimestrielle and Richard Seaver is credited as Advisory Editor and Director. Contributions by Samuel Beckett [extract from Watt], Austryn Wainhouse [extract from Hedyphagetica.] and Richard Seaver.

No. 4 [Vol. 2, number 1, Spring-Summer, 1953.] Printed by Arrault et Cie, Tours. As with the three preceding issues, the editorial offices of Merlin are based at Librairie Mistral, 37 rue de la Bûcherie, Paris 5. In this issue, the subtitle A collection of Contemporary Writings is abandoned, but the description Revue Trimestrielle remains. Seaver maintains his post of Advisory Editor and Director, and the design and typography of the issue is credited to Walter G. Coleman. Whether he is any relation to John Coleman, author of The Enormous Bed (5.1.1) and The Itch (5.22.1) I am unable to say. Contributions by Jean Genet [extract from Journal du voleur], Christopher Logue [verse extracted from Wand and Quadrant], Henry Miller [extract, provided by the Olympia Press, from the proofs of Plexus. This is the first reference to a connection to the Olympia Press in Merlin.]

No. 5 [Vol. 2, number 2, Autumn 1953.] This issue was printed in Spain, and no printer is given.Seaver’s role in the proceedings become Assistant Editor & Editor. John Coleman is credited as Business Manager. The editorial address becomes 42, rue de Seine, Paris 6, which was the English Bookshop. The first advertisements for Collection Merlin and the Olympia Press appear in this issue. For Collection Merlin the titles listed are Beckett’s Watt and Logue’s Wand and Quandrant, with Hedyphagetica by Wainhouse and Molloy by Beckett To be published. The Olympia Press offers Justine by the marquis de Sade and Plexus by Henry Miller. Despite the editorial address for Merlin being on the rue de Seine, the address given for both Collection Merlin and the Olympia Press is 13, rue Jacob, Paris 6. Contributions by Logue, Beckett [extract from Molloy], Brassaï [i.e. Jules Halasz; four photographs, with a note by Seaver] and Wainhouse.

No. 6 [Vol. 2, number 3, Summer/Autumn 1954.] Printed by Impr. Richard, 24, rue Stéphenson, Paris 18. Seaver, Wainhouse, Bowles and W. Baird Bryant are listed as Associates, and John Stevenson is credited as Business Manager. The editorial address remains with the English Bookshop on rue de Seine. A full-page advertisement for Collection Merlin offers Beckettřs Watt, Logue’s Wand and Quadrant, Jean Genet’s The Thief‘s Journal and Wainhouse’s Hedyphagetica. Beckett’s Molloy is announced for Autumn publication. There is a half-page advertisement for the Olympia Press that offers no specific titles, but Books in English of lasting value. This is the last issue of Merlin to be published by Alice Jane Lougee. Contributions by Beckett [The End, translated by Seaver in collaboration with Beckett], Trocchi and Patrick Bowles.

2.7.1 MERLIN No. 7 [Vol.2, number 4, Spring/Summer 1955]

Merlin 7 Olympia 1955

[On the left, at head of page in l.c. and large type:] merlin | [at left, below title and in small type:] revue trimestrielle | founded by Alice Jane Lougee | EDITORS [on the right, one name below the other:] Alexander Trocchi | Austryn Wainhouse | [on the left:] COMMITTEE [on the right, one name below the other:] PatrickBowles | W. Baird Bryant | Corneille | Robert Creeley | Ben Johnson | Richard Seaver | Shinkichi Tajiri | [on the left:] EDITORIAL ADDRESS [on the right:] The English Bookshop | 42, Rue de Seine, Paris-6e | [on the left:] PUBLISHER [on the right:] The Olympia Press | 8, Rue de Nesle, Paris-6e | [in centre of page:] contents | [in two columns, each line separated after the page number by a continuous vertical rule:] Michel de M‘Uzan 233 THREE TALES | Pablo Neruda 242 TWENTY LOVE POEMS | Austryn Wainhouse 259 SOME BASIC PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN | ENGINEERING AND REFLEXIONS UPON | AN EROTIC BOOK | Jaap Mooy [no page numbers] FOUR ILLUMINATIONS | Cleveland Moffett 274 PHEIDIPPIDES | Alain Clément 281 FRANCE AS SEEN BY THE GERMANS | Lennart Olson [no page numbers] FOUR PHOTOGRAPHS | Alister Kershaw 298 ALDINGTON’S CRITICS | Christopher Logue 301 GRAHAM’S NIGHTFISHING | Richard Gibson 303 CURZIO MALAPARTE : | THE VISION OF DEFEAT | [below Contents, and centered on columns above:] line drawings by WILLIAM PARKER| spring 1955 summer | [at foot of page, left:] MERLIN IS PRINTED IN FRANCE [at foot of page, right:] vol. 2 no. [in large type] 4

Collation: 80 pp. No signatures, but [1-5]8, with the numeration of the pages following on from previous issues of the periodical. Two double leaves on coated photographic paper (comprising photographs by Jaap Mooy and Lennart Olson) are inserted between pp. 260,261 & 276,277 and between pp. 292,293 & following p. 308. 24 x 15.4 cm., all edges trimmed. Printed on white wove paper.





Contents: p. [229], untitled note signed The Editors. p. [230], two half-page advertisements, the upper for two novels published by Plon and the lower for the Paris Review. p. [231], title, as above. p. [232], three advertisements, one across the top of the page for James Broughton’s An Almanac for Amorists, and the other two, side-by-side below, for, on the right, Sartre’s revue mensuelle Les Temps modernes and, on the left, for The English Bookshop. pp. 233-241,


Three Tales by Michel de M’Uzan, translated by Philip Oxman. pp. 242-258, Twenty Love Poems by Pablo Neruda, translated by Patrick Bowles and Christopher Logue. pp. 259-273, Some Basic Principles Of Human Engineering And Reflexions Upon An Erotic Book by Austryn Wainhouse. pp. 274-280, Pheidippides by Cleveland Moffett. pp. 281-298, France as Seen by the Germans by Alain Clément. Clément’s piece is referred to at the head of p. 281 as Chronicles. pp. 298-308 are printed in two columns and a smaller typeface, and comprise three pieces described as Notes: Aldington‘s Critics by Alister Kershaw (pp. 298-301).  Graham‘s Nightfishing by Christopher Logue (pp. 301-303).  Curzio Malaparte: The Vision of Defeat by Richard Gibson (pp. 303-308). Drawings by William Parker appear on pp. 234, 243, 249, 258, 273, 274, & 280. Advertisements appear on pp. 299 (Les Editions de Minuit), 301 (Obelisk Press), 303 (Hedyphagetica, by Austryn Wainhouse), 304


(Christopher Logues The Weekdream Sonnets, published by Jack Straw), 30(Collection Merlin/Olympia Press, and Samuel Beckett’s Molloy specifically) and 308 (Merlin).


Binding: Printed card wrappers, with orange front and spine, spilling over to a 1-inch band on back. Remainder of back wrapper is white. Front cover: [centred at head in white l.c. large type:] merlin | [centred below title in smaller l.c. type:] the paris quarterly | [at foot, slightly to the left, and in orange within a thin white panel:] 75 c [space] 3/- [space] 250fr. [At foot and to the right, in orange within a larger and oblong white panel:] no [large] 4 | [small] vol 2.


Spine: [at top of spine, reading down in widely-spaced white l.c.:] merlin. [At foot of spine, reading down in orange type within white panel:] 4/2. Back cover: [at foot and to the right of white section:] SOCIETE D’IMPRESSIONS PUBLICITAIRES | 75, Rue Alexis Pesnon  MONTREUIL | Tel. : AVR. 12-53.


The inside front wrapper carries an advertisement for Merlin comprising lists of contributions promised for later issues and available back issues. The inside back wrapper carries two half-page advertisements, the uppermost for The Western Review, a literary quarterly published by the University of Iowa, and the lower for Lascaux, ou la Naissance de l‘art, an art book with text by Georges Bataille published by Albert Skira.

Any Questions please leave a comment.

Leave a Reply