A Farewell to Arms
By John R. Hastings
Everett, Washington: John R. Hastings, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.
5.25 x 8.25 x 1.25"; 4 pages. Altered book. All pages after the original title page have been glued to form one block. 1 x 2" shadow box with armless doll at bottom right of block. Poem by Hastings printed on page with shadow box opening. Colophon tipped on back pastedown of original book, a reprint of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. With original dust jacket.
John Hastings, colophon: "My sister and her husband are in the process of cleaning out their family home in preparation to sell it. One day she came across one of her old ceramic dolls. Unfortunately, its arms had long since disappeared. The next time we visited, she handed me the doll and said, with a devilish grin, 'Here, I bet you can't use this in one of your artist books.' As it turned out, she was partly right because the doll was too large to fit into the altered book I had in mind. However, after observing the doll sitting on my desk for several weeks, I was struck with the thought that my book idea might still work if I could locate a smaller, armless doll. And I did. So, once again I need to thank my sister for being my muse.
"By the way, once I had written the poem for this book, I placed the doll and the poem in a nice wooden box and returned them to my sister. She seemed pleased, and now the old doll will be moving to the new house after all."