Re: RARA-AVIS: Harry Whittington/Gryphon Books

From: David Wilson (
Date: 20 Dec 2009

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    No no no. Just the one that had to be rewritten for it's Corinth publication, LIKE MINK, LIKE MURDER. This was the one that was printed, initially, in France in 1957, as T'AS DES VISONS!, part of the Serie Noire series. I had a dream of finding an English manuscript for the book but after looking through Harry's papers, in Florida and at the University of Wyoming, no manuscript existed. Harry probably actually did burn those pages when he gave up on writing in the mind-sixties. Then, through Lynn Munroe and some of his resources, we found that T'AS DES VISONS! translated out as Passion Hangover, from Corinth. This established authorship but then I also found a copy of Passion Hangover among Harry's affects. Passion Hangover was not publishable by Stark House, nor was it the book that Harry had originally written. It would have been a disservice, really, to present it today as his work. I referred to the French version, for edits, but mostly the
     seams and changes seemed obvious enough that I simply went with Harry's pace and language, and it seemed relatively clear where the earlier revisions had intruded. At this date I don't know how much of the original book was changed by Harry and how much may have been changed by other hands. It's also hard to judge the novel, to say how it stands up against Harry's best work. I believe that it was written during a period when Whittington was writing many of his best novels, and I thought it should be brought to light in the closest possible form to Harry's original intent.

    Some of Harry's stories during this Corinth period of the "Unknowns" have been characterized as porn but I don't think the category fits. It was simply the market that existed for him at that time. I prefer the review of the woman who would be Harry's daughter in law today, "sexy books". There are certainly some good ones among the bunch, along with others of lesser merit. I think that he's an important enough writer that it amazes me that this gap in his career, the period of the "Unknowns" has not been explicated until now.

    There are certainly plenty of mysteries and odd turns of career that remain in many writing careers, however.

    David Laurence Wilson

    ________________________________ From: Jeff Vorzimmer <> To: Sent: Sun, December 20, 2009 9:43:59 AM Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Harry Whittington/Gryphon Books

       Speaking of Harry Whittington, David, I'm almost done with the second book in the volume of three you edited. Did you make extensive edits to all three of the books in the Stark House volume?


    > I've got to cheer the choice of SATAN'S WIDOW. Until the Gryphon reprint it was only printed once, in it's original digest sized form, and it is hard to find.. It's a fine title suggestive of who knows what? A sinister woman? This was one of twelve short novels that Whittington sold in 1951. It's nice to see the Gryphon books getting some attention. They deserve it, especially for the printing of the William Campbell Gault novel, MAN ALONE.
    > David Laurence Wilson



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