[Tokyo: Printed for the author by Toppan Printing Company, 1949].
First edition, unnumbered copy. Illustrated with three reproductions of original Chinese pictures, and with six plates drawn by the author after ancient Chinese models. , iv, xxiii, 237 pp. 1 vols. 8vo. Pictorial boards from a polychrome woodcut by the author. Foot of spine faintly rubbed, front board a tiny bit faded. Very good copy lacking the plain paper dust jacket Evers, A bibliography of Dr. R. H. van Gulik, p. 49. Item #249096
Attractive copy of van Gulik's pioneering translation of Chinese detective fiction, begun during his wartime exile in the mountains and privately printed in Tokyo. Dee Goong An, published in an edition of 1200 numbered copies signed by the author, was the starting point for his successful series of novels featuring Judge Dee. The present copy is not signed, but is in better than average condition.
"Without scholarly work, I could not have continued my diplomatic career, where one deals exclusively with matters of temporary significance; scholarly research offers a welcome refuge, for there everything one does has permanent value, even one's mistakes, for these will enable other workers to do better. However, if one takes scholarly work seriously, one has to be a slave of the facts, and strictly control one's imagination. While writing fiction, on the other hand, one is the undisputed master of the facts, and one may give the reins to one's imagination. Therefore the writing of fiction has become an indispensable third facet of my work, a relaxation that keeps my interest in diplomatic and scholarly activities alive" (quoted in Evers, p. 57).
Price: $2,000.00 Free International Delivery