Notes on this edition: Julian Barnes. Staring at the Sun | Dust Jacket Slide Alfred A. Knopf, 1987.
This ephemeral slide depicts the dust jacket art work for the Alfred A. Knopf edition of Julian Barnes’s novel Starting at the Sun. Julian Barnes sent the slide to Rolland Comstock, noted book collector who specialized in contemporary authors. Barnes has inscribed the paper enclosing the slide and included a note dated 10 May 1996 to Comstock that reads:
Turning out my study I came across
this Knopf transparency for the SAS cover.
I bet you haven’t got it. I shall be dismayed
if you have. This is to assuage the guilt
I still feel at only being able to sign 48%
of your suitcase.
Hope one of your children is getting
interested in books.
Notes on this item: England, England Promotional Puzzle. Jonathan Cape, 1998.
Jonathan Cape created this puzzle to promote Julian Barnes’s novel England, England. The four puzzle pieces feature dust jacket art on one side and promotional text on the reverse. The number of puzzles produced is currently unknown.
Barnes mailed the puzzle to Rolland Comstock, a well-known book collector who specialized in contemporary British authors, including Barnes, Martin Amis, Jim Crace, and others. Comstock was known to travel great distances to attend author readings and would regularly arrive with a suitcase full of books to be signed. The note enclosed with the promotional puzzle is dated 19 July 1999, and states:
I remember promising you this a couple of months ago. Hope you can solve it! Nice seeing you in D.C.
Notes on this item: Julian Barnes. “The Salinger Affair.” London Review of Books, vol. 10, no. 19, 27 October 1988: 3-5.
Julian Barnes reviews In Search of J. D. Salinger by Ian Hamilton. Barnes’s review caused problems in his relationship with Hamilton, but the two later maintained their friendship. This copy is signed by Julian Barnes and was purchased from the Estate of Rolland Comstock.
Notes on this item: Julian Barnes. “The Spying Game.” The Sunday Times, 6 July 1997: 1-2.
Julian Barnes reviews The File: A Personal History by Timothy Garton Ash. This copy is signed by Julian Barnes and was purchased from the Estate of Rolland Comstock.
Notes on this edition: Julian Barnes. “Fair Treatment for the Belgian Sex Maniac.” Literary Review, April 1992: 4-6.
Julian Barnes writes about Georges Simenon in a review of The Man Who Wasn’t Maigret: A Portrait of Georges Simenon by Patrick Marnham. The essay was later published as “The Pouncer” in Something to Declare.
This copy of the journal is signed by Julian Barnes and was purchased from the Estate of Rolland Comstock.
Notes on this edition: “One of a Kind” by Julian Barnes. The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories. Edited with an introduction by Malcolm Bradbury. London: Penguin, 1988.
Julian Barnes’s short story “One of a Kind” is published on pages 400-406. In this example, Barnes has signed his entry. Formerly from the library of book collector Rolland Comstock.
Notes on this edition: Highlights from the Collection of Rolland L. Comstock. Dickerson, MD: Quill & Brush, [undated].
Noted bibliophile Rolland L. Comstock frequently traveled to author signings while building his extensive collection of modern first editions. Comstock was an avid collector of Julian Barnes material, and Barnes has at times referenced Comstock in his non-fiction writing. Comstock died on July 3, 2007, and Quill & Brush were commissioned to sell the majority of his collection. The catalog presented here consists of highlights from the Comstock collection, including several pages of entries (with asking prices) related to Julian Barnes. Also included in the catalog were several reproductions of inscriptions from Barnes to Comstock.