The Soft Machine signed association copy by William Burroughs 1st / 1st 1961

The Soft Machine signed association copy by William Burroughs 1st / 1st 1961


First edition and first print published by The Olympia Press in 1961. This is a near fine copy with its original dust wrapper. The wrapper has minor wear to the spine ends and to the edges. The spine is also mildy sunned. It is not price clipped displaying the correct price of 15 francs. The book is very nice with no creases to the spine. Only a previous owners name to the front free end paper. Overall a near fine copy.


This copy has been signed by both the wrapper artist Brion Gysin and the author William Burroughs. The artist has signed on the back panel in red pen and the author on the title page. Both have dedicated to Michael Henshaw. 


Recommended by word of mouth on the grounds that he liked good writing and drank a lot, Michael Henshaw, was a famously unorthodox London accountant who specialised in "difficult cases involving creative people". He waged a one-man crusade against what he saw as the unfair treatment of artists and writers by tax inspectors. He insisted that the arts made a substantial contribution to the economy and, as far he was concerned, for a poet to go on a walking tour of the Lake District was just as valid a business expense as a visit to a factory by a businessman - a concept the Inland Revenue had trouble accepting. But many artists and writers were delighted to discover someone who appreciated what they were doing and was prepared to take on their financial problems, and his reputation quickly spread. Both the jacket artist and the author William Burroughs were clients of Henshaw's, the latter also friend and drinking comrade. 


The title The Soft Machine is a name for the human body, and the main theme of the book concerns how control mechanisms invade the body.The book is written in a style close to that of Naked Lunch, employing third-person singular indirect recall, though now using the cut-up method. It is the first part of the Nova Trilogy. A scarce association copy signed by the author and jacket artist.