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Old 10-07-2019, 03:10 PM
Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
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Book Collectors, want to brag about associational items?

By now, everyone here except for a few newbies known that Exapno Mapcase is a Marx Brothers reference, the way that Harpo Marx read his name as printed in Cyrillic on a Russian poster.

I've also mentioned in several threads that I collect Marx Brothers stuff. I have a fairly complete collection of every book about or by the Marxes. (Why only fairly? Some stuff doesn't have enough print content to bother with, nor do I try to get books in other languages. One exception: an Iranian script of A Day at the Races in Farsi, with some cool publicity photos.)

Every true book collector knows that you don't stop just because a collection is "complete." There's always something else out there that looks too good to pass up. Like The Kalmar-Ruby Songbook.

Burt Kalmar and Harry Rudy were a songwriting team. They wrote the score for the Broadway version of Animal Crackers, including a little ditty known as "Hooray for Captain Spaulding." They wrote the score and the script for Horse Feathers. They wrote the story for Duck Soup. Pretty much everything you think is funny about the Marxes was written by two teams: George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind and Burt Kalmar and Harry Ruby. (With about 20 others who assisted, credited or uncredited.)

A songbook by them, which includes three songs from Animal Crackers, is a nice associational volume. Groucho contributed some text, "The Truth About Captain Spaulding," so even nicer. So did Marx writer James Kevin McGuinness, and humor and/or Broadway greats Robert Benchley, Ben Hecht, Moss Hart, Marc Connelly, Irving Berlin, Nunnally Johnson, and Franklin P. Adams, altogether a must for any humor collection.

Here's the topper. The bookplate reads "From the Library of Harpo & Susan Marx." Wow.

Not in terrific shape. Not inscribed. No dust jacket. But who cares? I bought it for the bookplate.

I know we've got a bunch of collectors here. Want to share your best associational finds?
Old 10-07-2019, 04:17 PM
Darren Garrison's Avatar
Darren Garrison is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 11,931
(I think this is the sort of thing you're looking for--the OP isn't entirely clear to me.)

A few years back, I kept an eye out for a cheap copy of a certain non-fiction meteoritics book (the normal price of around $20 or $30 wasn't astronomical (ha ha) but I was in no hurry.) I eventually saw a copy on Amazon for seven bucks and bought it. It turned out to have a page full of writing on one of the blank front pages, whic annoyed me until I noticed that it was by the author--an emotional note to an aunt who had apparently mostly raised him, wanting to show her what he had been doing with his career. (Don't know if she died and her stuff was sold off or if she really sold such a sentimental item on Amazon for chump-change.)

Last edited by Darren Garrison; 10-07-2019 at 04:18 PM.
Old 10-08-2019, 02:29 PM
furryman's Avatar
furryman is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Collinwood, Collinsport
Posts: 3,999
Not quite as neat but still amazing is a book that I have that's a collection of lyrics from various Gilbert and Sullivan musicals. It was printed back when they were still popular.


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