Arion Lyre

55. The Alienist by Machado de Assis, with drawings by Carroll Dunham.

The Alienist by Machado de Assis, translated by Alfred Mac Adam and with 12 drawings by Carroll Dunham, 1998.

Machado de Assis, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1839, is considered the greatest Latin American novelist of the nineteenth century and the precursor to Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, and Manuel Puig in the twentieth. Best known for two satiric novels: The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (1880) and Dom Casmurro (1899), Machado de Assis also wrote many shorter works. The novella, The Alienist, newly translated by Alfred Mac Adam, professor of Latin American literature at Barnard College and Columbia University and a respected translator of Latin American fiction, is a hilarious indictment of nineteenth-century science, in which an alienist—the nineteenth-century equivalent of a psychiatrist—attempts to discover a foolproof means to distinguish sanity from madness.

Alienist Drawing by Carroll Dunham


Format: The book is in a large oblong format, 10 by 14 inches, consisting of 80 pages, 56 pages for the text on cream paper and 24 pages for the 12 drawings on green paper. The paper is German mouldmade Bugra. The types are Gill Sans Medium for the text, and Gill Sans Bold for display, composed in Monotype, with Gill Sans Cameo Ruled for initials and display, handset. The type and photopolymer plates for the drawings were printed by letterpress. The binding is full green cloth with green paper labels for titling and two drawings, enclosed in a cloth and paper slipcase. Edition of 250, $450.00. Out of print.

Suite of Prints Edition: A suite of four prints by Carroll Dunham has been published in conjunction with The Alienist, entitled "The Alienist's House". These are larger images that relate to and expand upon those in the book. Whereas in the book the sanitorium is shown from the outside with transparent walls, just one of the prints takes this approach, while the other three are interior views of rooms in the insane asylum, occupied by inmates and the doctor. The linear quality differs from the book in that the extra prints have broad, bold strokes, and the prints are on white paper, rather than the green of the book, printed in black and two tones of grey. The paper is Italian mouldmade Tiepolo, from the Fabriano mill, 100% cotton fiber, 300 grams. These are relief prints from photopolymer plates. The image size for the exterior view is 11 by 15 inches; for the three interior views it is 10-1/4 by 13-1/4 inches. The paper size is 18-1/2 by 22 inches. The editioning was done by Arion Press on a Vandercook proof press. The prints are numbered and signed by the artist and are presented, with a title page that includes edition information, in a full green cloth portfolio with green paper labels. Edition of 30, $2,750.00. A copy of the book must be purchased with each suite, making the total price $3,200.00. Available.

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Edition Available: The book format is 10 by 14 inches, 80 pages, bound in full green cloth, in slipcase. With suite of four prints by Carroll Dunham entitled "The Alienist's House", in full green cloth portfolio. The suite of prints is limited to an edition of 30 and is signed and numbered. Price for book and suite of prints: $3,200.

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