Kenneth Anger: Hollywood Babylon. Text by Kenneth Anger with numerous film stills and publicity photos. J.J. Pauver-Editeur, Paris, 1959. 248 pp. Octavo (small size). First edition (not published in the US until 1965). Stiff wrappers in photo-illustrated dust jacket. Text in French. |
The true first edition of this underground classic by legendary avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Hollywood Babylon was first published in French in 1959 and a U.S. version finally appeared in 1965, followed a decade later with a sequel, Hollywood Babylon II. Virtually free of sourcing, it has nonetheless become "cult classic" due to it's wise-ass tone, salacious details, and decadent disrespect, the latter typified by graphic photos of Jayne Mansfield's fatal car wreck and Lewis Stone's body lying in a driveway following his fatal heart attack.
"In many ways, Hollywood Babylon is the literary equivalent of methadone; helping myself and others deal with our scandal addiction through manageable, legal (ish) doses, concerning mostly long since dead stars from the Hollywood silent era through to the 1950s (as far as early 70s if you have the second addiction). Written, along with it's sequel, by underground experimental film maker Keith Anger, it's not without its own controversies; banned for a period after initial publication, some of its claims have been rightly dismissed as everything from exaggeration and urban mythology to outright lying, but it's a testament to its impact that many of these stories are are assumed as fact and ingrained on the cultural conscience."--from the blog, Lips Together & Blow.
Fine- in slightly age-darkened wraps; Near Fine dj with a few tiny edge tears (less than 1/4").