Monday, October 4, 2010

Sic transit gloria mundi

I just heard that Berlin Alexanderplatz is out of print! Sheesh. It's always sad when great lit vanishes from bookstore shelves like that. I mean, I know these things are cyclical, and it's only a matter of time before some other publisher realizes no one's putting out an edition, and they lovingly design a handsome new edition of this "lost classic". But still. It's always a bummer.

Of the writers I really adore, there are at least two I can think of off the top of my head that have been almost entirely unavailable for a decade (at least): American pulpster Fredric Brown and Austrian metaphysical mathematician Leo Perutz. I've had a copy of Perutz's The Swedish Cavalier I've been meaning to give away to a friend for years. But I'm petrified that once I give it away I'll never find another copy. It really is a treasure in every sense of the word.

So what are your lost treasures? What is everyone missing out on?


mordicai said...

Cobralingus, by Jeff Noon.

Alicia said...

Bester goes in and out of print, which is nonsense. Also, Kingsley Amis is weirdly unavailable here beyond Lucky Jim.

Unknown said...

You want to know something? Last I heard all of Amis was out of print in the UK as well, outside Lucky Jim. Craaaaazy.