Nosferatu: History, Criticism, and Interpretation
Last recorded sale
Last sold price
5.a Bradel red leather binding in cloth traycase: 22 - $1000
5.b.i Cloth two-tone binding in cloth slipcase with deluxe limitation page signed by Herzog: 22 or fewer – unknown price (red roman numerals)
5.b.ii Cloth two-tone binding in cloth slipcase: 300/400/500 limitation – $250 (unnumbered)
Published as Centipede Press; Halloween 2005
Original price: $1000/unknown/$250
This is the fifth book in the bibliography, though as the limitation notes it is actually the fourth Centipede Press book, with Stigmata published under the Cocytus Press imprint (the only Cocytus Press book). This book is important because it established very early that the interests of Centipede Press are not just literary, but historical. This book is about the movie Nosferatu, an unauthorized adaptiation of Dracula and the first(?) “German expressionist horror film”, released in 1922, directed by F. W. Murnau and starring Max Shreck. It’s a defining film in the horror film canon, and much has been written about it.
This book is the predecessor of the “Studies In Horror Film” books, which have been continuously, if intermittently, released since (the latest was The Howling, around Halloween of this year). These books engage with horror films from the past 100 years in a very serious way, collecting critical essays about the films along with reminiscences from actors (when possible), and lots of commentary from people involved with, adjacent to, or seriously interested in the film at hand. These books are solidly academic! They are well sourced, highly informational, and are serious reflections on some of the key films of the horror genre.
This book sets a high bar for the series, both in terms of its production quality and content.
The slipcase is not super exciting, as was typical at the time. But here are some closer shots of the book itself. The cloth binding is luxurious – it’s not silk, for it’s much too thick, but it’s hearty and tactilely pleasant
The spine is typical of the more minimalist style of a number of Centipede Press books
The endpapers are both printed and textured – a rare combination in Centipede Press titles and also more generally
The title page is covered with a red translucent overlay
The colophon states that it was released on Halloween 2005, and the wording at the bottom suggests that Jerad was not able to get in touch with all of the potential rights holders for the various essays
This book, and all of the following books in this series, does a great job of pulling from the available stills of the films to present some striking images!
From the description: "This book features the largest selection of stills from the original film, printed as duotones, ever published in one volume."
The non-deluxe version of this book isn't signed or numbered. The printed limitation is 500, though this book is scarcer than that would suggest. The newsletter says it's 400 copies, and the webpage for it listed 300 copies. Because the individual copies aren't numbered, it's hard to tell.
The limitation page also has some more information about the text used. The typefaces in Centipede Press books are generally carefully chosen and sometimes, as in this case, you get to read why:
“The book was composed in Pontifex, designed by Friedrich Poppl (1923-1982). More popular in Europe than the United States, Pontifex is an exceptional specimen of Mannerist type design, with robust angles and a superb set of numerals."
The old newsletters (thanks again to Lurker, member of thedarktower forum, for these) indicate that there was a deluxe edition of this book available, and show what may have been a mock-up with a black leather spine, red front boards, and an inset close-up of the vampire.
Bibliography by Timothy Booksker adapted from thedarktower forum
Synopsis from the Centipede Press website
Essays include virtually all of the great scholars of the horror film, including Lotte H. Eisner, Siegfried Kracuaer, Lane Roth, David J. Skal, Robin Wood, and many more, discussing every possible critical angle on Nosferatu.
The signed copies were signed by David J. Skal, Gregory Waller, Thomas Elsaesser, Andrew Williams, Lane Roth, Judith Mayne, Robin Wood, Ira Konigsberg, Nina Auerbach, Lloyd Michaels, and Werner Herzog.