N.p. N.p., Circa 1968. Archive of manuscript material for Rudolph Wurlitzer's 1968 debut novel "Nog," including a complete first draft of the novel, showing significant differences from the published version and with an unpublished final chapter, and over 300 loose manuscript pages, both with extensive holograph annotations throughout. As complete and detailed an archive regarding a writer's creative process as we can imagine.
From the collection of Rudolph Wurlitzer, with provenance.
A landmark of postmodern American fiction and a bona fide cult classic, whose plot is best summed up by the rear panel copy of Two Dollar Radio's 2009 reprint edition as "the tale of a man adrift through the American West, armed with nothing more than his own three pencil-thin memories and an octopus in a bathysphere." On publication, "Nog" drew favorable comparisons to the work of Thomas Pynchon and Samuel Beckett, with Pynchon himself stating it was "more than a beautiful and heavy trip, it's also very important in an evolutionary way, showing us the direction we could be moving in," and Jack Newfield stating in his revew for the "Village Voice" that the novel's impact on literature is "what Dylan is to lyrics." After reading the novel, director Monte Hellman would tap Wurlitzer to write the screenplay for "Two-Lane Blacktop," leading to a second career which saw him pen scripts for Sam Peckinpah, Alex Cox, Robert Frank, and Bernardo Bertolucci.
Included in the archive is a first draft of the novel with significant differences in both text and structure from the published version, and extensive revisions, deletions, and corrections to the text by Wurlitzer. Most importantly, the manuscript contains an unpublished final chapter, mirroring the first chapter in structure and providing a completely different ending than the published novel, which concludes with the penultimate chapter of this manuscript draft. 177 pages, rectos only, with both typescript and xerographically duplicated pages, with holograph ink and pencil, copied, and typed annotations throughout. Also included in the manuscript in a xerographically duplicated copy of Wurlitzer's story "Octopus," as it appeared in the Summer 1966 issue of the "Paris Review."
In addition to the heavily revised manuscript, the archive contains approximately 320 loose manuscript pages, containing rewrites and edits to content of the novel, including multiple versions of the same pages or passages, primarily a mix of typescript and xerographically duplicated pages, with extensive holograph, copied, and typed annotations throughout, and with occasional handwritten pages of text or notes also present.
Also included is an additional typescript draft of the first three chapters of the novel, appearing to closely resemble the published version, as well as the 2009 reprint edition of the novel.
Manuscript and archive material generally Near Fine.