Janus Press’s first notable book – Franz Kafka’s Country Doctor
(Kafka, Franz/Janus Press) Ein Landarzt/A Country Doctor. By Franz Kafka. With an English translation by Willa and Edwin Muir. Illustrated with twelve relief etchings by Claire Van Vliet. Printed at the Philadelphia College of Art. 1962. 32p. 12.25” x 8.75”. Printed in black on Rives Cuve Velin. Cream linen dropback box with title on spine; lined with handpainted paper to match the binding. An edition of 250 copies numbered and signed by the artist. Fine. With a handwritten inscription by Van Vliet to a previous owner on the Colophon page. A separate handwritten note to the previous owner signed by ‘Claire’.
This book was unsatisfactorily bound by a commercial binder, William Marley Co. in Philadelphia in 1962. Claire Van Vliet, Nancy Southworth and Stephanie Westnedge disbound, de-acidified, sized, and repaired 20 copies, of which 10 were for sale. The new binding was sewn through alum tawed pigskin spine with wooden boards that have the snow storm of the story scratched and painted on them. The first notable book from the Janus Press.