London: Thames & Hudson, 1953. First edition. 8vo, 350 pp, bound in blue cloth stamped in gilt. Illustrated with photographs, printed by photogravure, by the author and reproductions of vever drawings within the text. With a foreward by Joseph Campbell, and published under his editorship in the Myth and Man series.
The first edition of the filmmaker's first full length book, a study of Voodoo in Haiti which grew out of several visits, including a 9 month stay on a Guggenheim grant which she undertook in 1947 shortly after divorcing her second husband. Deren's interest in Haiti link directly to her interest in the importance of ritual and depersonalization she expressed in her first book, An Anagram of Ideas on Film, and were certainly informed in her capacity as Katherine Dunham's personal secretary. Deren edited Dunham's master thesis work on Haitian dance. In Haiti Deren not only recorded ceremonies, but also participated them, and found a mirror which would influence her subsequent films.
This first edition is essential and superior to later editions in that it prints Deren's exceptional photographs of ceremonies by photogravure. The photographs suffer in later reprints.
Near fine, with a short nick to cloth at crown and some light rubbing to extremities, in a very good jacket unclipped dust jacket which is toned, chipped shallowly at upper margins, and creased with a small abrasure at the spine. Item #24925