Le 1er livre dédicacé par Stephen King
La toute première dédicace Stephen King est connue et a été reproduite plusieurs fois : il s’agit d’une lettre signée par Stephen King envoyée à un magazine pour demander la publication d’un de ses textes.
Le premier livre de Stephen King qu’il a dédicacé fut mis en vente, en 2012, sur le site Heritage : un exemplaire service presse de CARRIE qu’il avait dédicacé et offert à son colocataire d’université, Flip Thomson (qui avait parié à Stephen King qu’il ne pourrait pas écrire une histoire au sujet d’une femme : le résultat étant bien entendu CARRIE). Le livre a été vendu pour $11,500, avec une lettre d’invitation pour une soirée avec sa femme.
Plutôt qu’un long discours, voici des photos et la description de la vente aux enchères :
The First Book Stephen King Ever Signed, a Special Advance Proof of Carrie Inscribed and Signed to His Former College Roommate
Stephen King. Carrie. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1974.
Advance proof of the first edition, with « Special Edition Not for Sale » printed at the bottom of the back cover. With an amazing inscription signed by King to his former college roommate, Phil « Flip » Thompson, reading, « For Flip and Karen – two of the best / there are – and I mean that – by / the way, this is the first book I’ve / signed in my life – it’s kind of fun. / All the best, no matter what. / Stephen King / February 4, 1974″on the front free endpaper.
Flip Thompson was also the person who challenged King that he couldn’t write a story about a woman, the result of that challenge being the present work. Octavo. 199 pages.
Publisher’s white wrappers with black titles on the front and back only (no spine titles). Moderate wear, soiling and light staining to covers. Spine a bit cocked. Creasing to front corners of the wrappers. Rubbing to the joints, with a short split at the bottom of the front joint. The front free endpaper, on which the inscription appears, was re-attached many years ago to the front cover with light yellow perforated masking tape. Overall, a very good copy of a uniquely inscribed rarity, and the cornerstone of any serious Stephen King collection.
Accompanying the book is a lengthy Autograph Note Signed by King to Flip Thompson, inviting Thompson and his second wife, Sharon on a booze cruise. The note is written in King’s hand, and reads: « Dear Flip and Sharon, / You are cordially / invited to join us for / an evening of drinking, / carousing, and general / carrying on aboard The / Sango River Queen, July / 29th. We leave the / Naples dock at 8:00PM. / Beer, booze, and some / sort of grub will be / provided. Please come, / should be a good time – / Steve & Tabby / RSVP -. »
Also laid in is a letter of provenance from bookseller David John Turner of Carlson & Turner Antiquarian Books of Portland, Maine. Turner writes that this « copy of Carrie was an advance copy given to Flip Thompson and his wife by Mr. King. Mr. Thompson was King’s roommate at the University of Maine at Orono. This information was supplied to me by Sharon Hansen, Thompson’s second wife, from whom I purchased the book. » The note is dated July 20, 1987.
« When UMO classmate Flip Thompson criticized King for writing macho stories and saying that he couldn’t write a novel about a woman, King wrote Carrie…and won the bet » (George Beahm, Stephen King from A to Z, page 225).
« One day in the summer of 1972, one of Steve’s friends, Flip Thompson, stopped by the Kings’ trailer in Hermon for a visit. He read some of the stories Steve was writing and some of the published ones from the men’s magazines and started to chew him out. In the early seventies, women’s liberation was in full swing, and any enlightened man who expected to win over the modern woman was supposed to be sensitive to women’s issues…Flip accused Steve of not having any feminine sensibility at all, and Steve replied that he could write with that in mind if he wanted to, but that’s not what Cavalier and the other magazines buying his stories were looking for…He bet Steve ten bucks that he couldn’t write a story from a woman’s point of view, and they shook on it. Steve had been kicking around an idea that he thought might work for Cavalier, about an outcast girl with supernatural powers who strikes back at the kids who have teased her most of her life…He set the first scene in a girls’ locker room. He wrote the first few pages about a high school girl who started menstruating while she was in the shower and started screaming because she thought she was bleeding to death » (Lisa Rogak, Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King, page 65).
« [O]ne of my college friends [Flip Thompson], who was still in college and could therefore still afford literary scruples, came to me and said, ‘Why are you writing all of this macho crap?’ I explained that they were for macho magazines and the stories didn’t sell too well to Cosmopolitan. ‘You don’t have any feminine sensibility at all,’ he said. I told him I could if I wanted to, but he didn’t think so…I had said I could do it, so I sat down and started writing a short story, and that short story was Carrie » (Stephen King in an interview with Charles L. Grant in Bare Bones: Conversations on Terror with Stephen King, edited by Tim Underwood and Chuck Miller, pages 85-86).