Deluxe edition, limited to 176 copies, of which this is number 110. Edited by Elizabeth Arnold. Green quarter-cloth with brightly-colored paper boards, in original acetate jacket. About fine with only the scantest traces of shelfwear.
Insel is the product of one of modernism's greatest imaginations. Mina Loy was an incredibly colorful (she once compared the experience of reading Eliot's translation of Paul Valéry to "falling down a vegetarian's lavatory") maker; of poetry (believed by Pound to be one of the best poets of her age,) of art (her portrait of Man Ray hangs in the National Portrait Gallery) and of Lamps (she had a lighting business with Peggy Guggenheim.) Born in London, Loy was trained as an artist in Munich and London, then went to live in Paris and later Florence, where she was involved in the Futurist movement. After a time in Paris she came to New York, and in 1961 at the age of 79 presented a third draft of Insel to a well-known American publisher who turned it down. Elizabeth Arnold, editor of this volume, found the draft in the Bienecke Library at Yale, and it was finally published by Black Sparrow in 1991. Insel, if it can be classified at all, is something resembling a roman á clef of her social circle in Paris, where she was an agent of the Jean Lévy gallery in New York, responsible for the first gallery exhibition of surrealist art in the US. The title character is a representation of German Painter Richard Oelze, with whom the author had an intimate friendship.