Joe Gould’s Secret by Joseph Mitchell | First Edition


Joe Gould’s Secret by Joseph Mitchell | First Edition. Hardcover, Very Good Condition, protected in a Brodart. 1965 Viking, New York.

Joe Gould’s Secret is a 1965 book by Joseph Mitchell, based upon his two New Yorker profiles, “Professor Sea Gull” and “Joe Gould’s Secret”. Mitchell’s work details the true story of the eponymous Joe Gould, a writer who lived in Greenwich Village in the first half of the 20th century.

Gould was an eccentric, bridging the gap between bohemianism and the Beat Generation, though he was an outspoken critic of both. This criticism alienated him from the social circles of poets, authors, and artists of his time, and instead, he focused on documenting the history of what he called the “shirt-sleeved multitude.”

Mitchell’s stories on Gould were adapted for the screen and directed by film auteur Stanley Tucci. The film was released in 2000 as an independent movie.

The film met with critical success but remains relatively little known. Several years after its release, it was praised as “a beautifully realized visual re-creation of exactly the time and place – Greenwich Village in the mid-1940s – when the Hippos story [by Burroughs and Kerouac] takes place, and thus the reader might do well to screen the movie to help in reimagining these settings, so distant now in time.”

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