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Questions for the Resident LEC and HP Experts - continued 12/03/15

George Macy devotees

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1BuzzBuzzard
Dec 3, 2015, 1:18pm Top

I am not a biologist but to me ostriches and albatrosses are related. Considering the mariner's misfortune how appropriate it is to have this LEC bound in full russet ostrich hide? For those members on here who have it did it bring any bad luck or the only suffering was related to their pockets?

2astropi
Dec 3, 2015, 1:28pm Top

Yes, they are related. Then again, something that people seem to forget is that all life is related. In terms of DNA, we "share" roughly 98% of the same genetic material as pigs. Yet, for better or worse many people don't worry about having pigskin on books.

3BuzzBuzzard
Jan 14, 2016, 5:12pm Top

I find the illustrations for I Promessi Sposi appropriate and in the same spirit as the text. Has anyone seen any reference why only small fraction (less than one third) of the original illustrations were reproduces? Such a pity...

4Django6924
Jan 14, 2016, 11:22pm Top

>3 BuzzBuzzard:

No explicit reference, but reading between the lines in the ML, I would bet it's because Mardersteig felt the quality of the original wood engravings could not be duplicated with the reproduction techniques available then, and he commissioned Bruno Bramante to re-engrave Francesco Gonin's originals--Gonin himself did not engrave all the illustrations in the original; he did drawings and hired "eight wood engravers to do the work." Obviously, to re-engrave the over fifty used in the LEC was expensive as is--especially for using someone with Bramante's skills, so I suspect the LEC told Mardersteig "this is what we can afford to spend; do as many as you can excellently do for that amount."

Again, this is my conjecture, but I suspect it is close to the reason why not all illustrations were used.

5BuzzBuzzard
Jan 15, 2016, 6:49pm Top

>4 Django6924: This ought to be the case indeed. By reading the monthly letter I got the impression that all of the original illustrations were reproduced from that spotless copy in the library at Rome... I think this was a little dishonest. That's all.

6featherwate
Jan 16, 2016, 5:33pm Top

Gonin produced two versions of a stupendous frontispiece:


It would have been nice to have had one of them reproduced in the LEC...

7BuzzBuzzard
Feb 3, 2016, 2:05am Top

Just finished reading Hugo's Toilers of The Sea and can't help but think it a perfect mixture between The Betrothed and Robinson Crusoe - historical romance with strong elements of adventure. Fascinating story and a solid presentation from the LEC. I too just read some very positive comments about the resent FS LE of the same title. I have only seen it on my screen but it leaves me cold. Even the illustrations, which is the FS big selling point, are not nicer than Marangoni's in my opinion. What I like about Marangoni's illustrations is that they are crude and to some extent naive. They do not constrain my imagination. If you think them successful seek out the monthly letter because it has illustrations that were not included in the book.

8HuxleyTheCat
Feb 3, 2016, 11:08am Top

>7 BuzzBuzzard: "I have only seen it on my screen but it leaves me cold." Therein lies a lesson.

I have both editions, they are both wonderful and are very different reading experiences. The LEC is probably the one I would part with last out of all the LECs in my collection, while Hugo's artwork is magnificent in an important production which sets it off very well. I wouldn't be without either.

9Django6924
Feb 3, 2016, 11:25am Top

>8 HuxleyTheCat: Which would you part with first?

10HuxleyTheCat
Feb 3, 2016, 11:36am Top

>9 Django6924: It is not my intention to ever part with either and it is such a wonderful piece of writing that I can happily devote shelf-space to both.

11Django6924
Feb 3, 2016, 12:10pm Top

I mean which LEC would you part with first?

12HuxleyTheCat
Edited: Feb 3, 2016, 1:33pm Top

>11 Django6924: Hm, probably the two I am least attached to are The Lyrical Poems of Francois Villon and the 1929 Gulliver's Travels.

ETA - Followed by the various volumes of poetry (1940s vintage), Two Mediaeval Tales (which has few redeeming qualities) and The Chronicle of the Cid (nothing particularly wrong with the book, it's just a bad association).

13kdweber
Feb 3, 2016, 3:34pm Top

>12 HuxleyTheCat: Which Villon (1933 or 1979)? If the meh '79 edition, do you have the accompanying Eichenberg print? Certainly agree with the Two Medieval Tales. I'd toss in (out?) The Battle of Waterloo: A Romantic Narrative.

I took the LEC Toilers of The Sea off of my wish list after I picked up the FS LE. It's such a well done edition and Hugo's illustrations are wonderful but maybe I should reconsider.

14HuxleyTheCat
Feb 3, 2016, 3:45pm Top

>13 kdweber: It's the meh '79 (I also have the not-so-meh '33) and yes, I do have the Eichenberg print, which I would certainly keep.

15featherwate
Feb 3, 2016, 5:22pm Top

>14 HuxleyTheCat:
"I do have the Eichenberg print, which I would certainly keep."
That's cruel - but understandable.

16Django6924
Edited: Feb 10, 2016, 6:47pm Top

The 1979 Villon is still in my library because of the French text. That and the paper are its only real virtues if you also have the 1933 version. I gather not many care for Simon's illustrations in the older edition, but I have grown to like them.

Never got The Battle of Waterloo in the first place because it seemed dispensable. Two Medieval Tales is notorious and the front are rear boards are detached from my copy, but I keep it as a reminder that even the experts fall flat on their face at times.

Added: One LEC which I wouldn't willingly part with, but would shed no tears if did, is probably more controversial: The Kasidah. Despite Valenti Angelo, despite the sumptuous production, this one just doesn't do it for me. Despite his vast learning, I find Burton a less-than-graceful stylist.

17BuzzBuzzard
Edited: Feb 10, 2016, 5:47pm Top

>12 HuxleyTheCat: Interesting that you mentioned 1929 Gulliver's Travels. A fleeting remark in ML #29, regarding the difficulty in making Tom Jones into one volume, just caught my attention - we turned the question, for solution, over to George Macy, who is one of the directors of this Club and has himself had some success in the past with the designing of books: ..., and that edition of Gulliver's Travels, which Mr. Macy no longer admires, but which made a great hit with the members of the Club when it was issued in 1929. To my knowledge this is the only negative remark from the Club on GT and I wonder what the issue was.

18BuzzBuzzard
Mar 4, 2016, 1:53am Top

Isn't it amazing that the 1936 Green Mansions is the very first Heritage Club book from regular subscription? I have not really seen a copy with the pictorial binding in poor condition. Can't think of any LEC from the same period that has lasted that well. I say wonderful binding choice!

19Django6924
Mar 4, 2016, 9:53am Top

>18 BuzzBuzzard:

The pictorial binding was quite a daring step as well as being very durable. The idea of a pictorial binding was certainly something Macy never used very often; in fact I can't think of another purely pictorial binding until the Hardy novels, though there were examples of pictorial covers on the boards only.

20BuzzBuzzard
Edited: Mar 4, 2016, 12:39pm Top

>19 Django6924: The Life of Rembrandt, which also happens to be a HP exclusive.

21featherwate
Mar 5, 2016, 6:28am Top

>20 BuzzBuzzard: I'm pretty sure all four of the novels-about-great-artists have an all-round pictorial binding.

22Django6924
Mar 5, 2016, 10:37am Top

>30 >31

You're both right, of course. Didn't think about those, perhaps because the bindings are mostly darker as opposed to Green Mansions' tropical riot.

23BuzzBuzzard
Mar 10, 2016, 12:23am Top

It is widely known (I think) that both Gulliver's Travels and Green Mansions were not planned as the first books for the LEC and the HC. Who will guess which are the two other titles that both clubs published eventually? The prize for the winner is a very good first printing (1940) of Gulliver's Travels for the Heritage Press.

24mazadan
Mar 15, 2016, 12:23pm Top

I now have two HP editions of Paradise Lost, both claiming to be 1940 editions and both quite different.

The first is 1cm taller and has lovely cream laid paper and is printed letterpress but the Blake illustrations are reproduced poorly with that blurring effect.

The second has much whiter paper and is not printed letterpress. The illustrations are not blurred and are more colourful but in a phoney way.

Only the second has red endpapers and only the first mentions New York on the title page.

I assume the second is a later printing but it only mentions the 1940 date.

25mazadan
Mar 17, 2016, 3:01pm Top

Does anyone have either edition?

26aaronpepperdine
Mar 17, 2016, 3:23pm Top

I have neither, but if you are confident that the first one you mention was printed letterpress, than that would almost certainly be the earlier printing.

27BuzzBuzzard
Mar 19, 2016, 6:13pm Top

>24 mazadan: I have not seen a HP book with a clearly stated printing date. All have a copyright date, which is different.

How is The Last Days of Pompeii compared to Quo Vadis? I really enjoyed Sienkiewicz but the reviews of Lord Lytton are somewhat devided. I remember Leccol saying it boring. In any case the LEC looks handsome.

28mazadan
Edited: Apr 1, 2016, 3:14pm Top

I have just finished volume one of the three volume Gibbon in the Heritage Press edition. Mine is the later edition with the crumbling columns on the spines. While overall it is an excellently designed book I was disappointed that a few dozen pages have noticeably fainter print than usual throughout the book.

Is this typical for the later edition?

Is the earlier edition better made in respect of paper and the consistency of the print?

Also, is the HP Plutarch very similar to the HP Gibbon in construction and design (aside from the illustrations)? It looks similar in the few pics I have found.

29mazadan
Apr 2, 2016, 10:35pm Top

Are you guys enjoying your naps?

30BuzzBuzzard
Edited: Apr 2, 2016, 10:49pm Top

The problem is that very few people on here are interested in Heritage Press books. And when they are it would be the early editions printed under G. Macy, which are better than the latter reprints. I think this is the consensus. Someone should be able to answer your last question though.

31mazadan
Edited: Apr 3, 2016, 11:58am Top

Fair enough.

I did make a note of about two dozen Heritage Press books I want to get having read the relevant threads here. Macy died in 1956 but for some reason I made a note that the later Gibbon edition (1960s & still New York) was preferred here. I will be annoyed if I got that wrong. Part of the problem is that several of the early Heritage Press editions have poor, or possibly randomly unreliable, colour reproduction (the blurring effect I have mentioned - Paradise Lost, Tristan) and I imagine that there were technical improvements over the decades. One thing I am trying to establish is if I am sometimes unluckily buying an individual flawed copy, in which case I would buy the same edition again.

I buy HP-LEC about half and half. Considering the content of a book, the text, in addition to the design I think that the Paradise Lost Heritage Press book is more important and interesting to discuss than - to take some examples among many - the LEC Vanity Fair, Simplicissimus or the modernization of the Canterbury Tales, beautiful books with texts of doubtful interest. I don't get excited about the elegant and luxurious design of book the matter of which I am indifferent to; that just seems wasted opportunity.

32NYCFaddict
Apr 3, 2016, 7:41pm Top

But the technical improvements need follow through, and I feel like the later Heritage printings in Connecticut were done with an eye on price rather than quality.

33Django6924
Apr 4, 2016, 6:22pm Top

>29 mazadan: "Are you guys enjoying your naps?

Believe it or not, some of us have lives outside LibraryThing, with issues involving work, family and health that do not always make it possible to immediately answer queries posted here. BuzzBuzzard's comment about very few here being interested in the HP is, I believe and hope, not the case, as when I started this thread, I did not call it the "LEC Devotees" and specifically stated as its goal to honor the Works of George Macy, which most definitely includes the HP. Certainly most of us here are polite enough to respond to questions when there is an answer, and when we have the opportunity. If that is not acceptable, I just can't say how sorry I am.

I have not ever seen the typography of the 1st HP printing other than pictures so I can't make a comparative judgement on the qualities. My own 2nd printing does have pages with a denser inking than others, which is not uncommon even in letterpress books (see the recent discussion on another thread about the recent Folio Society LE of Rupert Brooke's poetry). It never bothered me sufficiently to supplant it with an LEC edition until 2 years ago (thanks aaronepperdine!) and even now I use it for my reading copy when I want to check something and prefer not to have sheepskin crumbles on my clothes.

The HP Plutarch is in two volumes rather than the 8 LEC volumes, does not include all the parallel lives (a good thing, IMHO), has the Dwiggins ornamentations (no illustrations in the LEC) reproduced in B&W rather than color, and includes portraits of the noble Greeks and Romans originally done for the Nonesuch Press as frontispieces to each Life. I find the HP a pleasure to read and a huge bargain.

34mazadan
Edited: Apr 5, 2016, 3:34pm Top

>33 Django6924:

I am reassured that the occasional lightening of the inking is not unique to my copy. In fact it is barely noticeable in daylight, but can be observed in low light (halogen yellow). I should point out to anyone who does not have this HP edition that the illustrations themselves are flawless throughout and of a higher quality than those I compared them with in a Taschen book.

These two huge maps are the best I have found to accompany the reading of Gibbon. The letters are just readable if printed on A3 sheets. A2 or A1 would be better. They just need to be sharpened using Preview on a Mac, or any photo editing software.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/60/GIBBON(1862)_p1.459_MAP_OF_THE_THE_WESTERN_PART_OF_ROMAN_EMPIRE.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ef/GIBBON(1862)_p1.457_MAP_OF_THE_EASTERN_PART_OF_THE_ROMAN_EMPIRE.jpg

35Django6924
Apr 5, 2016, 4:05pm Top

I'd be very interested to see these, but the links don't open for me.

36rmarathe
Apr 5, 2016, 6:17pm Top

>35 Django6924: Did you try to copy-paste the entire line as path and then open (as opposed to just clicking the hyperlink)? This works for me.

37aaronpepperdine
Apr 5, 2016, 6:42pm Top

>35 Django6924:, 36

Ahh, that works!

38mazadan
Apr 5, 2016, 6:58pm Top

In case some people don't have access to an image sharpening tool here are my copies:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxGA_BYDlr7JSUtrTlVkWVdRM1U/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxGA_BYDlr7JT05vejdjX1NqeU0/view?usp=sharing

It is a good idea to put a red dot over the existing black dot for those major towns or cities being referred to as you are reading. Just the important places. I also mark provinces with a thin green line underneath, again as they are mentioned. Finally I have gone over the major rivers - Rhine, Danube, Euphrates, Tigris, Nile - with a blue fountain pen. Even that small amount of colour makes navigation easier.

39BuzzBuzzard
Apr 6, 2016, 7:49pm Top

Has anyone supplied their six volume Complete Andersen with a new slipcase? I am about to but wonder about the color. Likely something in the blue range. I don't like the design of the original case either. Perhaps this allows volumes to be taken out of the case easily, but does not offer complete protection.

40mazadan
Edited: Apr 7, 2016, 12:27pm Top

>35 Django6924:

Were you able to access the sharpened maps?

They are huge, you can zoom pretty far in.

41mazadan
Edited: Apr 10, 2016, 5:48pm Top

I have received the Heritage Press The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, the 1962 edition, this time it actually says 'copyright renewed 1962'. Anyway the condition is flawless or Fine and Im pleased because the seller said it was a library copy but there are no library stamps that I can find. $40 + $60 postage.

Does anyone have a scan of the sandglass? it is not in the folder.

The question I have is given the sheer volume of material are there preferred or select stories to read first rather than reading from page one? My instinct is to make a note of those stories which appear in abridged versions of the collection for a first read.

42BuzzBuzzard
Apr 10, 2016, 6:51pm Top

>41 mazadan: They also published The Arabian Nights Entertainment, which contains the better known stories. Perhaps that is a good selection to start with.

43featherwate
Apr 10, 2016, 11:35pm Top

>41 mazadan:
According to Michael C. Bussacco, the first Heritage Press edition of the Thousand Nights was issued in 1945, under the 1934 LEC copyright; the Sandglass number was 9H. Your ©1934 LEC/©1962 GMC set is the second (and seemingly last) edition, and was issued in 1966 as a special publication, the accompanying Sandglasses being numbers 30-R-1 through 30-R-3.

As so often with HP books, the copyright date is an unreliable guide to the book's publication date. In this case, the 1934 copyright, which the Limited Editions Club had been granted in respect of Emile Van Vliet's edited notes and index and Valenti Angelo's decorations and illustrations, had to be renewed in 1962 to prevent their contributions passing into the public domain. This was because the 1934 copyright had been granted under the terms of section 23 of the 1909 Copyright Act, which meant that it would lapse after twenty-eight years unless its proprietor applied for it to be renewed and extended for a further twenty-eight years. The application was made by George Macy Companies Inc. as the “proprietor of copyright in a work made for hire”.

44mazadan
Apr 11, 2016, 1:19pm Top

>42 BuzzBuzzard:

Good idea. I will see if I can find the contents list.

>43 featherwate:

Thanks, that is an eye-opener. I know now not to pay any attention to the HP copyright date.

45mazadan
Edited: Apr 12, 2016, 5:49pm Top

I would really love to see a scan of the sandglass for the Heritage Press The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night if anyone has it.

--EDIT--:
The excellent georgemacyimagery blog had one:

https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/heritage-press-the-arabian-nights-entertainments-the-book-of-the-thousand-nights-and-a-night-1962/

46mazadan
Apr 14, 2016, 3:29pm Top

Ive been thinking if I just wanted to read a select few stories from the Thousand Nights and One Night then why didn't I buy a selection instead. The truth is I want to read the whole thing from the start and I hope that Burton's notes in some sense build on his prevous notes. I don't expect to read all four thousand pages but I hope there is a sense in which reading from the beginning pays off.

Burton's short introduction is really well written and captivating. Has anyone read his lengthy terminal essay? Should it be read in parallel with the stories?

47Django6924
Edited: Apr 15, 2016, 3:39pm Top

>46 mazadan:

I find Burton's prose a chore to read. I have read the Terminal Essay and think that nothing is to be gained from reading it in parallel; likewise, I'd prefer just to read the stories and not his overly-elaborate and usually digressive notes--but that's me.

48mazadan
Apr 15, 2016, 4:10pm Top

>47 Django6924:

I enjoy the notes as my Doughty and TE Lawrence arabia books are always nearby and I want to learn about the culture. Burton does not have Morris's skill in writing archaic prose; Morris's Icelandic saga translations are the best but he was a genuinely talented writer of fiction and poet. I put some/much of the awkwardness down to the literalness of Burton's intent, and that the awkwardness (to us in the west) is in the original. 'thou' and 'O my brother' and so on doesn't bother me in the slightest.

49Constantinopolitan
Apr 15, 2016, 5:38pm Top

>46 mazadan: >47 Django6924: Robert Irwin has written and commented extensively on The Arabian Nights; he loathes Burton's translation. I was at a talk he gave a few years ago and his disdain for Burton's language was quite remarkable.
I'm a great admirer of Burton the explorer, linguist, swordsman and translator. I've a full set of the first edition and helped transliterate it for inclusion online in Project Gutenberg's library.
You've set yourself quite a task to attempt all 20 volumes (if you manage the Supplementary Nights as well).
Burton's charm as a translator is more evident in Il Pentamerone, the classic collection of Neapolitan tales. Here his learning and humour is better appreciated.
If you're ever in London a visit to the small Mortlake church of St. Mary Magdalen's is a chance to see Burton's final resting place. In the churchyard is his mausoleum, in the shape of an Arab tent. You can climb a ladder at the rear and see his and his wife Isabel's coffins.

50mazadan
Edited: Apr 15, 2016, 8:38pm Top

>49 Constantinopolitan:

--I've a full set of the first edition and helped transliterate it for inclusion online in Project Gutenberg's library.

Good stuff.

--I'm a great admirer of Burton the explorer, linguist, swordsman and translator.

I own his Book of the Sword and I have the Folio Society Source of the Nile : the Lake Regions of Central Africa in the post. Recommend related books on African exploration if you can. I have Mundy but are Speke and Stanley worth reading in their own words?

-- Robert Irwin has written and commented extensively on The Arabian Nights; he loathes Burton's translation. I was at a talk he gave a few years ago and his disdain for Burton's language was quite remarkable.

I can't tell if he persuaded you against Burton's Nights Tales.

from Wikipedia, Robert Irwin is quoted:

Burton shared Payne's enthusiasm for archaic and forgotten words. The style Burton achieved can be described as a sort of composite mock-Gothic, combining elements from Middle English, the Authorized Version of the Bible and Jacobean drama. Most modern readers will also find Burton's Victorian vulgarisms jarring, for example 'Joe Miller|regular Joe Millers’, ‘Charlie Charleys’, and 'red cent'. Burton's translation of the Nights can certainly be recommended to anyone wishing to increase their word-power: ‘chevisance’, ‘fortalice’, ‘kemperly’, ‘car cark’, ‘foison’, ‘soothfast’, ‘perlection’, ‘wittol’, ‘parergon’, ‘brewis’, ‘bles’, ‘fadaise’, ‘coelebs’, ‘vivisepulture’, and so on. ‘Whilome’ and ‘anent’ are standard in Burton's vocabulary. The range of vocabulary is wider and stranger than Payne's, lurching between the erudite and the plain earthy, so that Harun al-Rashid and Sinbad walk and talk in a linguistic Never Never Land.11


Yes and Doughty too and what miscreant would complain about Doughty's prose, though Burton is not as skilfull. I come across the same resistance to prose archaism as a suitable style for the Icelandic Sagas and ER Eddison's Worm Ouroboros and other works describing distant alien environments. It is no different to what Burgess felt he needed to do in A Clockwork Orange or Beckett in his prose works. Those readers who can't appreciate what these writers and translators are trying to do have a tin ear.

51JustinTChan
Edited: Apr 15, 2016, 11:15pm Top

>46 mazadan:
>47 Django6924:
>49 Constantinopolitan:

Fair to say, but Burton's allure isn't his style. He's the only translator whose personal
myth nearly out-dazzles the translation. With slight understatement, his life story could easily have been Night 1002.

I quote from Jorge Luis Borges's essay 'Translators of The Thousand and One Nights.'

The horse, the desert, the night know me.
Guest and sword, paper and pen.

52mazadan
Apr 25, 2016, 5:10pm Top

A question about humour in Kafka.
=====================

I first read Kafka's works when I was eighteen and it was one of those rare disturbing literary, which is to say thinking, experiences. I remember menace and dread and I am certain I never laughed once. Since then I have learned that Kafka, among other things, laughed out loud reading his stories to friends. Now when I read Kafka I find something funny on every couple of pages. Horror in film or story intends we react a certain way, whether we do or not; I rarely if ever experience horror. Absurdity allows great freedom of interpretation. Maybe instead I should say Kafka allows great freedom of interpretation. At times I feel dread and at times I laugh.

In this discussion of the problems in translating Kafka, the author Will Self is utterly disbelieving that there is humour in Kafka and he is apparently alone in that view. But he reminded me of my youthful humourless reaction to Kafka.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEoChoEDtZc

So the simple question is does Kafka make you laugh?

53EclecticIndulgence
Apr 25, 2016, 6:44pm Top

>52 mazadan:

Laugh and also bang my head against a wall. You have to laugh to escape brain damage.

54Django6924
Apr 26, 2016, 8:10am Top

>52 mazadan:

Gallows humor, to be sure....

55NYCFaddict
Apr 26, 2016, 11:01pm Top

David Foster Wallace wrote an excellent essay on this very topic. The essay was collected in Consider the Lobster.

56aaronpepperdine
Apr 27, 2016, 10:33am Top

>55 NYCFaddict:

Speaking of DFW, any fine edition of his work would be an immediate buy for me.

57busywine
Apr 27, 2016, 12:31pm Top

>56 aaronpepperdine:, Ascensius Press, a few years back, produced a beautiful edition of Consider the Lobster. Give Scott Vale a call and see if he has any left.

58BuzzBuzzard
Apr 29, 2016, 4:37pm Top

One LEC that does not get much talk is the 1934 Erewhon - designed by Elmer Adler and printed at the Pynson Printers. Illustrations were provided by the very famous Rockwell Kent, whose signed books fetch high prices. The binding is square (seemingly a favored design at Pynson's) and of pure and heavy silk printed in eight varying shades of blue - a technically complicated task. I must confess I don't know much about the story but this could be rectified soon with my copy on its way. Where do you stand on the 1934 Erewhon? Macy thought that this Kent-Adler printing of Erewhon is almost as good as their collaboration for the 1928 Random House Candide, which sounds like a high praise.

59kdweber
Apr 29, 2016, 5:55pm Top

>58 BuzzBuzzard: Well the shrink to fit plastic slipcase was clearly a mistake. Actually, I applaud Macy's use of new and exciting materials even though it ended badly in this case. I'm a big fan of Rockwell Kent so it probably comes as no surprise that I really like this edition.

60BuzzBuzzard
Edited: Apr 29, 2016, 6:08pm Top

>59 kdweber: Plastic slipcase for Erewhon? I have never seen either a reference or a picture of this.

61kdweber
Apr 29, 2016, 6:50pm Top

>60 BuzzBuzzard: Just got back from traveling, mind all screwed up. Was thinking of Looking Backward for some reason.

62Django6924
Apr 29, 2016, 7:01pm Top

>58 BuzzBuzzard:

I have always been a fan of Butler's prose, and so I enjoyed the work even though it is an example of a genre (speculative fiction) for which I have no particular fondness. I prefer The Way of All Flesh because it is rooted in the realities of the author's life and not, as is the case with other utopian literature such as Looking Backward, destined to become dated.

I like Kent's line drawings for the work, but his fully-rendered illustrations I find unpersuasive. Then again, I am not an avid fan of the artist.

63BuzzBuzzard
May 3, 2016, 7:58pm Top

Some slipcases have this additional plate inside to support the text block. So far I have seen two - The Black Tulip (plate pictured) & Last Days of Pompeii. Both books have deckle edges so I wonder if they should be housed in the case upside down.

64UK_History_Fan
May 3, 2016, 11:29pm Top

Neither of my copies of these titles came with the pictured text block supports. I didn't even know they existed! Are you sure they are original to the LEC rather than added after market by one of the original collectors?

65BuzzBuzzard
May 4, 2016, 1:01am Top

I cannot be sure if these are original. In the case of the Tulip it does not make much sense but Pompeii is relatively heavy so I think it helps. One other LEC that would have benefited from this is Life and Voyages of Columbus.

66Django6924
May 4, 2016, 1:11pm Top

>64 UK_History_Fan: >65 BuzzBuzzard:

Someone must have added these supports as neither of mine had this feature--nor any of my LEC books.

I wonder how helpful such a feature would be: the very heavy Mardersteig volumes I own: Pompeii, Quo Vadis, and Toilers of the Sea, are all in Fine condition and very sturdy even after being read at least twice (except for Quo Vadis which I purchased unwrapped in the original shipping box and has only been read once). However, my copy of Suetonius' Lives of the Twelve Caesars, which may not have ever been read by anyone--it still has the pristine plain paper dust jacket-- is completely detached from the rear board and is about 70% detached from the front board. This Mardersteig volume is no heavier than the Bulwer-Lytton or Sienkiewicz novel, so it just may have been one of those QC failures that occur even with the best of printers. I believe a well-bound book will hold together no matter how heavy the text block, and my 80-year old Webster's Second International Unabridged Dictionary is my Exhibit A.

Still, I liked the general practice in the first 20 years of the LEC to split longish books up into multiple, smaller volumes. The Mardersteig books above are pretty much desk or library table items. I probably would have never made it through Anthony Adverse if it hadn't been split into 3 octavos--a convenient size for recumbent reading.

67aaronpepperdine
May 4, 2016, 2:06pm Top

>66 Django6924:

Though it might be chance, I have observed a higher failure rate of the hinges in the Mardersteig volumes than in other LECs.

68Django6924
May 4, 2016, 6:18pm Top

Aaron, I believe your observation has a good deal of validity. Do you suppose it might be due to the practice of custom-binding for quality fine press works in Europe? I have had similar issues with works printed in Europe, including some LECs from binders other than Mardersteig.

Oddly, I have never had a detached binding on a Heritage Press book. The ones bound by Russell-Rutter in particular are extremely durable. Whenever I run across an HP in a public library, although the binding may be so worn you can't read the title on the spine, the binding is always sturdy. I suspect the companies which specialized in binding school textbooks perfected the most durable techniques.

69NYCFaddict
May 5, 2016, 10:41am Top

Speaking of Toilers of the Sea, I'm looking to part with my LEC because I'm returning my focus to the Folio Society (sadly, I've had too much bad luck as a budding LEC collector, and the very high rate of returns to sellers has consumed too much of my time and has left me dispirited). The hinges are perfect and the book itself is Else Fine, the only issue being almost completely even sunning to the spine (the slipcase is Good). If you're in the US (where I'm based) or UK (where my family lives, and where I'm visiting later this month), send me a private message if interested (I've traded with several FS Devotees). It is no doubt a superb production, but my handful of LECs look like strays amid my Folios, and I will probably part with the others to finance a "blue" Shakespeare LE. Postage could be domestic in either case, which should be of interest to UK-based LEC collectors in particular.

70Django6924
May 5, 2016, 11:33am Top

>69 NYCFaddict:

I have probably as many FS volumes as LECs in my library, and while I am a very big fan of Folio--whose publishing range is unsurpassed--I seldom think that their productions offer that tactile and visual pleasure characteristic of letterpress printing on all-rag paper. These days, however, when there seems to be no standards for how books are advertised online, it can be very dispiriting, indeed, to receive a book in a condition that is not what was advertised.

71HuxleyTheCat
May 5, 2016, 11:46am Top

>70 Django6924: I think you'd be very pleasantly surprised by the new Folio LE, The Door in the Wall, Robert, as the production standards are superb all-round and the paper is particularly pleasing.

72featherwate
May 5, 2016, 12:47pm Top

73BuzzBuzzard
May 5, 2016, 1:36pm Top

>69 NYCFaddict: >70 Django6924: Lately my experience has been the opposite. I have been very happy with my LEC purchases.

74kdweber
May 5, 2016, 2:09pm Top

>69 NYCFaddict: I hope you have the FS Toilers of the Sea LE, a great production. Which Shakespeare history play are you looking at? I've succumbed to 22 of the FS LEs, by far and away my favorite editions; though, only four "blues". I have many sets of Shakespeare but I prefer the FS LEs (while my poor LEC copies weep, stacked in the corner).

>70 Django6924: I'm afraid my folio collection (344 books) will soon surpass my LEC collection (350 books).

>71 HuxleyTheCat: Broke down and ordered The Door in the Wall yesterday.

75HuxleyTheCat
May 5, 2016, 2:13pm Top

>74 kdweber: I very much doubt you will have any regrets, Ken.

76NYCFaddict
May 5, 2016, 4:39pm Top

It is not just misleading descriptions -- I always message sellers to confirm condition, having had a number of bad experiences that have cost me postage. It is that some sellers don't declare faults even after being messaged -- or say things like "Only to be expected with a book this old ...". But date of printing is irrelevant on the grading scale! Sorry to rant, but I expect we have all experienced this exasperation.

I couldn't afford the FS LE Toilers. The "blue" Bard I have my eye on (secondary market price only) is Henry V - then I will have to call time on the Bard LE acquisition.

77astronauteric
Jun 1, 2016, 4:25pm Top

I just got the 1952 Tom Jones, and am wondering who printed it. The ML and announcement card both say the printing was shared between The Stratford Press and The Aldus Printers, but both the book's colophon and the Bibliography state it was printed at the LEC's Printing Office. Does anyone know which is correct?

I've noticed, not infrequently, discrepancies like this (usually minor) between information presented in MLs, announcement cards, the Bibliography, a book's title page/colophon, etc. Often it's just a small difference in the number of pages or the page dimensions, but sometimes there's a contradiction on a bigger issue, like who printed a book. I'm wondering, more generally: what is considered the most authoritative source of information among these when a discrepancy arises?

78Django6924
Jun 1, 2016, 4:42pm Top

>77 astronauteric:

I'd go with the colophon--the Quarto-Millenary and Adler's Great and Good Books both support the LEC's own printing office. It would also seem highly unlikely that a printer would credit another house in the colophon.

The Announcement Card and the ML sometimes have mistakes such as this, probably because they were printed in advance of the book's production.

79featherwate
Jun 1, 2016, 10:22pm Top

>77 astronauteric:
>78 Django6924:
Further support for the colophon: there is no record in the Harry Ransom Center of any Tom Jones correspondence between Macy and The Stratford Press or The Aldus Printers.

80Django6924
Jun 1, 2016, 10:37pm Top

>77 astronauteric: " I'm wondering, more generally: what is considered the most authoritative source of information among these when a discrepancy arises?"

I was a little rushed in my earlier post; I should have answered the most authoritative source I know about these matters is Jack (featherwate)!

81astronauteric
Jun 1, 2016, 11:52pm Top

Well then, I accept the preponderance of evidence pointing to the LEC's printing office. That makes sense that the colophon is more likely to be right.

82WildcatJF
Jun 2, 2016, 8:09pm Top

If I've learned anything about George Macy and his book clubs, it's that his best laid plans oftentimes failed to bear fruit. I imagine that there was indeed some sort of design in place with those presses, but in the end the LEC printed the book themselves.

83Django6924
Jun 2, 2016, 9:03pm Top

>82 WildcatJF:

Jerry, that's true, but if you were to read up on the history of other Fine Press printers, you'd find a similar story of grand designs which fell through for one reason or another. (It sort of reminds me of the movie business.)

84SteveJohnson
Jun 2, 2016, 9:13pm Top

This may be a little hard to find, but an entire volume of the annual reports of the Royal Geographic Society is Speke's account of his trip with Burton in search of the source of the Nile. My volumes are boxed up at present (we're moving) but it was somewhere around 1860. Speke and Burton disagreed vehemently on what they had found, but Speke's account of the trip has lots of details. The trip was epic, beyond anything fiction could conjure, with Burton at one point injured by a spear through his jaw, Speke escaping captivity by knocking down his captor with his bound fists, Speke deaf because a beetle had crawled into his ear, both men regularly carried on litters due to illness... and yet they kept going.
As would be expected, Speke's prose downplays the hardships.

85Django6924
Jun 2, 2016, 10:04pm Top

>84 SteveJohnson:

Somewhere I have a Dover reprint of Speke's Journal. I think it is still available for anyone interested in why Africa was known for some time as "the white man's grave."

86featherwate
Jun 2, 2016, 11:39pm Top

>82 WildcatJF:
This plan certainly didn't run to schedule, Jerry! Pleased with Cleland's pictures for Jonathan Wild Macy offered to pay him a monthly retainer so that he could devote himself to illustrating whatever book he wanted. Cleland chose Tom Jones - and then took three years to come up with the goods. This was largely due to his deciding to produce fully finished paintings rather than outline drawings which were then coloured in by hand.
Macy decided to entrust the reproduction of these paintings to a famous French lithographer - who then also took nearly three years to complete the job (he had agreed to do it in one year). But the prints he finally produced were so inferior to his original samples, the LEC could not use them and had to put the work out to another French company, which completed the project with remarkable speed and efficiency, so that Tom Jones finally appeared only seven years after it had been commissioned. Cleland's illustrations had cost the LEC dear - as, ironically, (tho' for different reasons) had his illustrations for Jonathan Wild.
That's the story in the Monthly Letter, and the dates of the relevant correspondence in the Harry Ransom Center broadly bear it out.
And while all this was going on, Macy, poor man, was having a similarly nightmare time trying to sort out the movie-frame illustrations that were to be the USP of The Life of King Henry the Fifth, his tribute to Laurence Olivier's patriotic wartime film. It took five years, several thousand wasted dollars and the dogged persistence of Fritz Kredel to produce a handsome, but flawed, LEC.
Reverting to Tom Jones, I assume the original decision to use two presses had been to speed up publication by allowing its two volumes to be printed simultaneously; the eventual move to in-house printing being justified on the grounds of its being cheaper and easier to control.

87featherwate
Jun 3, 2016, 12:12am Top

>85 Django6924:
Robert, did you ever see BBC/Time-Life miniseries The Search for the Nile? It was much-acclaimed in its day (45 years ago. Good grief..). I certainly remember it as outstanding (as was The Voyage of Charles Darwin, which came out a few years later).

One of the pleasures of Search for the Nile was its inclusion of the extraordinary Samuel and Florence Baker, the Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning of African exploration.

Speke was a tragic figure.

88mazadan
Jun 4, 2016, 7:55pm Top

How many pages does the Limited Editions Club WB Yeats selection of poems have? I am seeing two numbers quoted -- 136 and 192?

89NYCFaddict
Jun 4, 2016, 8:48pm Top

I will check for you. I am looking to part with my copy now that I have the Folio Poets volume -- please private message me if interested.

90Django6924
Jun 4, 2016, 11:04pm Top

>87 featherwate:

No, Jack, but I will look to see if it's on DVD. I did see the feature film "Mountains of the Moon" which depicted the Speke/Burton expedition and their subsequent rivalry, but am ill-prepared to assess how factual it may have been.

91mazadan
Jun 5, 2016, 9:10pm Top

>89 NYCFaddict: High shipping costs across the atlantic means neither of us would get a good deal I think. Any luck on the number of pages?

92Django6924
Jun 6, 2016, 10:23am Top

>91 mazadan:

The last numbered page in my copy of Yeats is 135 followed by a blank page, the colophon, then 5 more blank pages (unnumbered).

93mazadan
Jun 6, 2016, 12:23pm Top

94mazadan
Edited: Jun 9, 2016, 7:32pm Top

>92 Django6924:

I have just looked at the LEC letter (online) for the 1970 Yeats Poems and on the 5th page it says "192 pages" ?!

95Django6924
Jun 9, 2016, 8:12pm Top

>94 mazadan: "The last numbered page in my copy of Yeats is 135 followed by a blank page, the colophon, then 5 more blank pages (unnumbered)"

As Mark Twain remarked when asked about his reported death, the statement in the ML seems to be an exaggeration:


96mazadan
Jun 9, 2016, 9:11pm Top

Thanks, I suspect any seller quoting '192 pages' is taking LEC information from the letters rather than examining his books.

Also, since you don't suggest there may be an alternate edition I infer that the LECs are much more stable in their editions than the HPs.

97Django6924
Jun 9, 2016, 9:20pm Top

>96 mazadan: "LECs are much more stable in their editions than the HPs"

Whenever a title exists in multiple LEC editions, it is because it is an entirely different printing with different illustrations.

98mazadan
Jun 21, 2016, 5:03pm Top

My admiration for Ovid's Metamorphoses grows and grows. I think he is best read in several translations because he appears impossible to capture in any single attempt. I have Golding, Melville and Hughes.

What I really want though is an edition of George Sandys' translation which is repeatedly declared to be the most brilliant and influential. Does anyone know of an edition I can get for say less than $100?

99Django6924
Jun 21, 2016, 8:48pm Top

If you don't mind an electronic version, there is one on Amazon with modernized spelling for $6:

https://www.amazon.com/Ovids-Metamorphoses-George-Translation-Spelling-ebook/dp/B00LSZ6BNG

In a course in 17th Century English Literature, I read excerpts from Sandys' translation. I barely remember my impressions of his work, except that I had read Horace Gregory's modern translation before, and felt Gregory was poetic and readable, while Sandy's use of rhyming couplets sometimes forced belabored phrasing (although I don't read Latin well enough to know if this is also characteristic of the original). These same constrictions keep me from unreservedly admiring Pope's translation of Homer, which I quite like on its own merits, but I feel Pope missed a key element in the original--the headlong impetuosity of Homer's alexandrines (and I don't read Greek either).

100featherwate
Jun 22, 2016, 12:05am Top

An earlier version of the modernized kindle translation is available foc online in the Metamorphoses section of the University of Virginia: The Ovid Collection at the Electronic Text Center, as are a range of other translations into several languages, together with original Latin texts; illustrations; notes and commentaries, the Garth paraphrase, facsimiles of the original Sandys texts, and b&w video of the Beatles playing the rude mechanicals presenting 'Pyramus & Thisbe' in a Midsummer Night's Dream...

101mazadan
Edited: Jun 22, 2016, 8:51pm Top

Thanks for the links. I have been reading these scans here, and would dearly love a copy of this book:

https://archive.org/stream/ovidsmetamorphos00ovid_0#page/232/mode/2up

==

With respect to Pope's Iliad, I am coming round to the notion that I no longer expect to have a single favourite translation of any of the classical poetry. At the least I need two, one which is faithful to the original language and what was said (this need not be a line by line crib as in Loeb library), and a second from a genuine poet whose talent is expression in English.

So: Lattimore & Pope (Iliad); Sinclair & Binyon (Dante); Melville & Hughes (Ovid)

I have found that while Melville (Oxford 1986 Hardback) might seem plain when read in small doses, his is an excellent means to sweep through the entire fifteen books at pace, cleanly absorbing the stories with very many delightful passages along the way.

Hughes' version is pure potent poetry in its own right:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFNOk4uav5U&list=PLGOUbKB8fDSQb2ZK0dKGWdK4YvuWPCaBo

I personally find some passages in Golding very beautiful but most of his version dull and a chore to read, not like Spenser whose poetry is beautiful and challenging but rewarding. Golding is just often dull.

102featherwate
Jun 23, 2016, 11:05am Top

>101 mazadan:
"I have been reading these scans here, and would dearly love a copy of this book:"
Yes, it's wonderful, isn't it? At least the archive.org flip-page version gives you some sense what it must be like to read an original copy. But not the weight and smell of it!
I've come round to enjoying Hughes' translation after initial doubts; but not his reading of it, which I find like listening to a shipping forecast: admirably enunciated but achingly slow. And, no, it's nothing to do with his accent!
Do you have the LEC (or HP) edition of the Faerie Queene? Very well set out on the page, making for a comfortable read, and the illustrations/decorations are impressive.

103mazadan
Jun 23, 2016, 10:25pm Top

==At least the archive.org flip-page version

Yes, I didn't notice the page edge spread on the sides before with a little number hovering above. Very useful.

==nothing to do with his accent!

I love the yorkshire accent, and that baritone. His enunciation is poetic license in the realm of sound. 'When I use this word it is different to when you use it.'

==Do you have the LEC (or HP) edition of the Faerie Queene?

I have the HP version which is excellent. I am thinking of getting the Hamilton Routledge edition, not to pore over the notes but to have a reference when I am baffled. I find I read far less when I refer to notes while reading than when I try to remember things to look up after reading difficult poetry.

https://www.amazon.com/Spenser-Faerie-Queene-2nd-Edmund/dp/1405832819/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1466734975&sr=1-2&keywords=spenser+queen

104BuzzBuzzard
Jun 29, 2016, 6:37pm Top

Is everyone unreservedly enthusiastic about Grant Wood's illustrations for Main Street?

105UK_History_Fan
Jun 29, 2016, 7:22pm Top

I'm only moderately enthusiastic but I appreciate his importance in 20th century art.

106Django6924
Jun 29, 2016, 8:27pm Top

>104 BuzzBuzzard:

My favorite of all LEC illustrations. No one else ever, IMO, depicted the characters in the book so perfectly.

107mazadan
Jul 2, 2016, 3:01pm Top

Can anyone comment on the difference in quality between these two HP editions (1968) of Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year:

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=defoe&bi=0+h&bx=off&amp...

108Django6924
Jul 2, 2016, 3:21pm Top

>107 mazadan:

I've had both: the first HP version, with a rough-spun woven binding and the date 1665 in red on the front board is superior in printing and illustration reproduction.

109mazadan
Jul 2, 2016, 3:38pm Top

Good stuff, thanks.

110kdweber
Jul 2, 2016, 5:09pm Top

>108 Django6924: Has there ever been a case where the later HP wasn't inferior to the first issue?

111Django6924
Jul 2, 2016, 7:13pm Top

>110 kdweber:

Yes. Jack, (featherwate) prefers the 2nd printing of Robinson Crusoe for the superior typography and paper, and I have to agree with him, though the bas-relief cover on the binding of the first HP is one of my all-time favorites, so I gave the later edition away.

The 2nd printing of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is also superior to the first printing--better paper and an inspired re-use of Hornung's crumbling columns spine treatment (and the use of the Piranesi illustrations on the front and rear boards.

There are others, though I can't remember them now, but you are right--they are the exceptions that prove the rule.

112mazadan
Edited: Jul 5, 2016, 9:43pm Top

Both editions, HP and LEC, of Chris Marlowe's four plays look good in photos. Taking into account shipping I can get the HP for $30 or the LEC for $70. Any advice?

Also, I have never liked my Folio Society Wind in the Willows, I just think it is an ungainly cumbersome book. Are there any nice old well illustrated editions which might be had for a fair price?

113gmacaree
Jul 6, 2016, 9:59am Top

>112 mazadan: You can probably get the LEC cheaper than $70 if you wait a little and poke around. I think I paid less than $40 for mine, including shipping.

114WildcatJF
Jul 6, 2016, 10:02am Top

112) That Heritage is overpriced. I got my complete HP for $10 or so, and I imagine you could find one closer to that range if you looked around a little more. I prefer the HP binding over the LEC, but I haven't seen the interiors of the LEC face-to-book to make a proper comparison otherwise.

As for the LEC, that's also a little high; I'd follow gmacaree's advice.

115Django6924
Jul 6, 2016, 10:23am Top

>112 mazadan:

I agree with both >113 gmacaree: and >114 WildcatJF:. A Fine copy of the HP Marlowe can usually be found for under $20 and I do like the design of the binding of the HP better. I can't see much difference between the printing and illustration reproduction, but the Curtis laid paper of the LEC has that pleasant texture, almost like a nap, that I like very much.

116mazadan
Jul 6, 2016, 2:34pm Top

113-114-115

Your prices are spot on but I have to include shipping when deciding the relative worths. Shipping for me is usually $25-30, my recent LEC Froissart was $58 for shipping alone.

"Curtis laid paper of the LEC"

I do like laid paper but sounds like the HP is high enough quality in this case.

117WildcatJF
Jul 6, 2016, 4:50pm Top

116 - Ah, okay. Just wanted to make sure you weren't getting duped. :)

Have you looked at my Marlowe HP post? https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/heritage-press-four-plays-by-christopher-marlowe-1966/

118mazadan
Jul 6, 2016, 6:39pm Top

>117 WildcatJF:

Yep, I usually check out your site before a HP purchase.

119EwanB
Jul 7, 2016, 10:18pm Top

>112 mazadan:

I have just been looking at my copy of the LEC version. You can feel the ink sitting on the paper in the engravings. There is an immediacy and presence in any original intaglio print that cannot be reproduced, so I would strongly recommend going for the LEC, especially when you consider the relatively large fixed shipping cost.

120gmacaree
Jul 7, 2016, 10:23pm Top

I can't compare the LEC with the Heritage version, not owning the latter, but I too found great tactile joy in my Marlowe. I also prefer the binding to that of the Heritage, but apparently my taste on that front is in the minority.

121mazadan
Jul 8, 2016, 11:21pm Top

119-120

There is no doubt I would prefer the LEC and I too like the binding, but the HP sounds very good and I have a list of books to be acquired that is trying my patience.

122kpfeifle
Edited: Jul 10, 2016, 11:51am Top

Hello, I just purchased a nice copy of A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (LEC). For the life of me I can't tell if this was printed letterpress. Does anybody have a definitive answer?

123aaronpepperdine
Edited: Jul 10, 2016, 1:16pm Top

My copy doesn't have the letter, so I can't say defenitively, but as far as I know virtually all LECs were letterpress (though not all hand-set), and I have no reason to think that this one is an exception. It was also printed at the Stinehour Press, an established printing shop, which increases my confidence that it was printed from type.

I can see why you would ask, however - the type has made almost no impression on the paper. If I didn't know about the LEC, I probably wouldn't be confident of letterpress printing simply by looking at the book. Django knows a lot more about this than I do, but some printers prefer that the type just "kiss" the paper, and leave nothing but the ink. Some Arion Press books are like this.

124Django6924
Jul 10, 2016, 3:11pm Top

>122 kpfeifle:

Aaron is correct in saying "virtually all LECs were letterpress," however there are some exceptions in the post-Macy period, and this may be one of those. The first time the ML announced that one of their editions was printed offset was 1979's The Lyrical Poems of François Villon. Now according to my LEC bibliography, that edition was printed by "Meridian Gravure Company. Luneberg, Steinhour Press."

In the thread here on Gawain and the Green Knight, I mentioned in response to the question of whether that book was printed offset:

Meriden Gravure, in addition to being the masters of collotype printing in the US, also had a letterpress department, whose first director was Paul Johnston. Meriden also frequently collaborated with the Stinehour Press which specialized in letterpress printing--and the 2 companies would merge in 1977.

But, according to the information in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, "by the mid-twentieth century, the company was also using offset printing presses, for which it pioneered the use of the fine screened 300-line halftone process for art reproduction and scholarly facsimiles. Both reproduction methods were in use through 1967, when the collotype presses were retired."


Now I do not have a copy of the Thoreau, but, if my LEC bibliography is to be trusted, it was also "printed by Meridian Gravure Company; designed by Robert L. Dotard. Luneberg, Steinhour Press."

I realize this is not really an answer, but I concur again with Aaron that many letterpress experts prefer to use a "kiss" impression which doesn't bite into the paper and leave a tactile impression; this prevents the possibility of the impression distorting the type on the obverse page and helps prolong the life of the metal type. S it is quite possible that it is letterpress, but without "a trip to either the Harry Ransom Center George Macy collection papers or the Yale University Meriden Gravure archives," as I mentioned in the Gawain thread, it's a puzzler (unless someone with the ML for the Thoreau has a definitive answer).

125busywine
Edited: Jul 11, 2016, 9:49am Top

The ML's Number Eleven summary says set in "Monotype Bell type throughout: 11 point, with three points of leading, for the text...The text was composed and the volume printed at the Stinehour Press..." BTW, the pencil drawings were done via lithographic plates.

126kpfeifle
Jul 11, 2016, 1:32am Top

Many thanks for the learned answers. It's kind of interesting to do the research. I also recently purchased the Three Tales of the Sea by Conrad, it's a later date book, I don't remember the exact date, but this one is very obviously a letterpress edition.

127mazadan
Jul 15, 2016, 10:52pm Top

Does anyone know of a nice edition, in the roughly sub $70 range (arbitrary), of Darwin's Origin of Species.

Among many videos this is an encouraging one, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Richard Dawkins,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TlOSyJjCjc&t=0s

128mazadan
Jul 15, 2016, 11:07pm Top

Also, given that Jeeves is such a fan, is there a nice edition of Spinoza, a philosopher I know nothing about.

And I will post again a request for a nice cheap edition of Wind In the Willows given I don't like the standard Folio Society edition.

129NYCFaddict
Jul 15, 2016, 11:35pm Top

There is an earlier FS edition that you might prefer.

130BuzzBuzzard
Edited: Jul 16, 2016, 12:25am Top

I realize you were asking for a nice cheap edition but I am bringing up to your attention a very nice cheap edition instead. Have you looked at the Heritage Press WITW?











131BuzzBuzzard
Jul 26, 2016, 7:47pm Top

It seems to me that The Idiot is one of the less common Dostoevsky LECs on the secondary market and I wonder why. It was printed by the Marchbanks Press but finding any meaningful information about this press online is virtually impossible. I will have to wait a week or so before my copy arrives so I can examine it and read the monthly letter. This must have been one of the last LECs that George Macy worked on.

132featherwate
Edited: Jul 27, 2016, 7:12am Top

>131 BuzzBuzzard:
Hal Marchbanks, founder of the eponymous press, died on 12 April 1934. The New York Times obituary describes his career:

What may well have been Macy's first collaboration with Marchbanks pre-dates the LEC. It was a Macy-Masius/Vanguard Press limited edition of Wilde's Ballad of Reading Gaol, published in 1928. It sounds interesting: "Decorative title page illustration and twenty-five full page mezzotints by Lynd Ward. Historiated headpieces for each chapter and side pieces bordering the text throughout."
The Press's first LEC commission was for Two Mediaeval Tales (1929). This was followed by Slovenly Peter (1935), Man without a Country (1936, Back to Methuselah (1939), Andersen's Fairy Tales (early 1940s), Ivanhoe (1940), Song of Songs (HP, 1942), Life of Jonathan Wild (1943), Child's Garden of Verses (1944), Madame Bovary (1950), Singular Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1952), A Woman's Life (1952), Cyrano de Bergerac (1954), The Warden (1955), The Idiot (1956), The Wall (1957), Bridge (1981). The list may not be exhaustive! (NB A title in bold indicates its Monthly Letter is already available on Google Drive)
In 1942, the Marchbanks Press absorbed the Harbor Press, from whom the LEC had commissioned at least three books: Typee, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Undine.
Joseph Blumenthal, whose Spiral Press had an impressive client base including Random House, MOMA, Franklin Roosevelt and the LEC, learned his craft while an apprentice at the Marchbanks Press.
Possible sources of further information:

Sample Marchbanks Press adverts:

133aaronpepperdine
Jul 27, 2016, 11:09am Top

>130 BuzzBuzzard:

At first glance, I read the top line on your picture of page 5 as "across the corpses" and thought I must have really misremembered how dark the story is.

134busywine
Jul 27, 2016, 12:26pm Top

>132 featherwate:, great stuff, thanks for posting this!

135BuzzBuzzard
Edited: Jul 27, 2016, 4:08pm Top

>132 featherwate: Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question! Marchbanks Ballad of Reading Gaol is an interesting production. I have posted some pictures here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/207413. According to the obituary Hal Marchbanks was known for the use of artistic type faces and this is exactly how I felt about the type in Reading Gaol. Pretty but neither readable nor crisp. So the 1935 Song of Songs was printed by the Harbor Press and the 1942 edition was done at the Marchbanks. I wonder how they compare. What I know for sure is that the copy with the Japanese rice paper is the must have copy. Of course things are quite complicated with HP SoS and I believe that at least one of the later red leather reprints were printed on rice paper as well as the very first edition. I have Back to Methuselah and I do like it though it is not as sumptuous as some other LECs from the same period. The story is amusing as well as the booklet that describes the collaboration between G.B.S and John Farleigh. Harbor Press printed some of my favorite LECs Golden Ass and Typee. Also The Ballad of Reading Gaol and in 1960 Ben-Hur. The HP books printed by the Harbor Press include The Life of Rembrandt van Rijn (1939), Beowulf (1939), South Wind (1939), Vanity Fair (1940), and Paradise Lost (1940). For those interested in John Fass, master printer at the Harbor Press, I recommend http://www.hammercreek.org/.

>133 aaronpepperdine: That would be a totally different spin of the story...

136BuzzBuzzard
Aug 9, 2016, 7:56pm Top

One notable difference between the LEC and HP Elegy Written In a Country Church-Yard is typography. The LEC is restrained typographically with the idea not to compete with the engravings, while the designer for the HP chose an ornate type precisely aimed at blending with the engravings. Which approach do you find more successful?

Unjustly the HP is missing one of the silver stars on its front board. The star that is closest to the spine on the LEC. Curiously the start was restored on the later Norwalk reprint, alas perhaps the least desirable of them all...

137Django6924
Aug 9, 2016, 11:53pm Top

>136 BuzzBuzzard:

I have, and am quite content with the HP version. Ms. Parker's wood engravings are reproduced from electroplates made from the original wood blocks (with "some minor repairs"), and do not seem to be lacking in fineness of detail or density of black. The hand-set Goudy type seems to harmonize quite well with the engravings, but even more importantly, with the text of the poem.

I have only seen a copy of the LEC version of Gray's "Elegy" once, but I have never felt the necessity of replacing my HP edition. If the HP were issued today, in the exact format and with the same production, it would command several hundred dollars (even without the signature of the superb artist).

138BuzzBuzzard
Aug 10, 2016, 6:32pm Top

In a different thread on a different subject Pellias made a sharp comment - Now, let`s see who will win in August and have the best acquisition after their own standard, who will turn out to be most happy of them all.

Without doubt the $10 HP edition of The Elegy is a great value for the money but this is not to say that it equals its big brother LEC.

139BuzzBuzzard
Sep 8, 2016, 1:09pm Top

I thought I have seen a lot but a single Heritage Press volume of the complete Andersen stories is a firsts. The book is almost 3" thick and about 1200 pages.

140elladan0891
Sep 26, 2016, 4:57pm Top

Are there any truly Fine copies of One Hundred Years of Solitude in existence? I just recently started looking for it, but every single copy I encounter has a faded spine. Considering the relatively young age of the book, it seems like a bad dye extremely sensitive to UV was used for this book... Do I have a chance to find a copy with pristine spine, or shall I abandon all hope?

141Django6924
Sep 26, 2016, 5:12pm Top

>140 elladan0891:

The spine of my copy, acquired about 15 years ago from the estate of a local subscriber, has barely perceptible fading on the leather of the spine when compared to that on the edges of the boards. I always keep my LEC's shelved with the spines facing in, and since I had read a paperback copy a year before getting the LEC and only glanced at the contacts until I read your post, the fading must have occurred during the ownership of the original subscriber. Again, without a direct comparison to the leather on the boards, I wouldn't have considered it faded.

142BuzzBuzzard
Sep 27, 2016, 1:43pm Top

>141 Django6924: Do you have by any chance the monthly letter?

143kdweber
Edited: Sep 27, 2016, 2:10pm Top

>140 elladan0891: The spine on my copy appears to be the same shade as the 1/4 leather on the boards. I think fine copies are out there.

>142 BuzzBuzzard: I've got a copy of the Monthly Letter. I'll try to scan it today.

Update:
Posted in our Google drive LEC Update directory.

144BuzzBuzzard
Sep 27, 2016, 2:00pm Top

>143 kdweber: Thanks! How do you rate this LEC? I absolutely love Marquez. The only reason I have not picked up this one yet is the water colors.

145kdweber
Sep 27, 2016, 2:18pm Top

>143 kdweber: I like this edition. Really a must for any Marquez fan. The eight color oils are nicely reproduced and work well with magical realism. There are also some b/w drawings I could pass on. I'm not a big fan of the extra litho.

146elladan0891
Sep 27, 2016, 3:50pm Top

>143 kdweber:
Do you store yours spine facing in?

Thanks all. I'll keep looking. And when I get one, I guess I'll have to make an exception and store it spine in.

147kdweber
Sep 27, 2016, 6:59pm Top

>146 elladan0891: Yes, I store all my LECs spine facing in unless they are wrapped in a chemise.

148BuzzBuzzard
Sep 28, 2016, 1:54pm Top

>143 kdweber: Thanks for the monthly letter.

149howpim
Edited: Nov 4, 2016, 12:19am Top

I don't like the paper used for the HP Plato's Republic and the HP Brothers Karamazov. It has a reflective property which means I have to be conscious of the direction of the light source when reading.

What kind of paper is this?

Does the LEC of Brothers Karamazov (1949) have very good quality paper?

150Django6924
Nov 4, 2016, 12:04pm Top

>149 howpim: "What kind of paper is this?"

Without knowing which editions you have, it is a little hard to say. When the first HP Republic (1944) was issued, the Sandglass did not say what the paper was, except to say it "wasn't as fine as what we could get before the war" but that it was "much-much better" than what was usually available. My HP Republic is from the Norwalk Connecticut period, and although I lost the Sandglass during the half-century since I got it, it is obviously alpha-cellulose--pretty much standard for all post-New York HP editions--and thus is very smooth and consequently more reflective than most rag papers.

My HP Brothers Karamazov (1947) is printed on paper made by the Chillicothe Mills. Now Chillicothe had several paper mills, the largest of these being that owned by Mead, which produced predominantly alpha-cellulose paper for the packaging industry, but other mills in the town also produced rag paper. As near as I can tell without cutting a sample and deconstructing it with water, my copy does seem to be printed on alpha-cellulose paper. The Sandglass calls it "thin, crisp and deeply-toned for opacity." Thin papers normally use pigments, or fillers such as China clay or calcium carbonate to add opacity, and either of these methods can produce the smoothness and reflectivity to which you refer.

I have never owned the later LEC Brothers Karamazov, so perhaps someone who does can comment on the paper.

151BuzzBuzzard
Nov 4, 2016, 12:07pm Top

>149 howpim:

The paper was especially made, for use in this book, by the Curtis Paper Company, an excellent mill in Delaware. It has a creamy-white color, a soft and smooth surface-texture, a very "tight-formation" in the construction of the paper in which your eye can delight if you hold a sheet to the light, and it is constructed half of rags and half of an expensive material called "alpha pulp".

In other words it is an excellent paper and does not have the glare effect you described in the HP edition.

152Django6924
Nov 4, 2016, 12:32pm Top

>151 BuzzBuzzard:

Thanks, Vasil. One of the advantages in printing a long book such as BK in multiple volumes rather than a single one is the ability to use a thicker paper which can prevent show-through without resorting to fillers or tinting.

One of the many factors which confront the designer of a book is what kind of paper to use, and it isn't just a case of price, though that must obviously be a consideration if you want to stay in business. Opacity is one issue, as noted in this thread. Another is texture. While I personally am most attracted to papers that have a slightly rough texture (known as "tooth"), these aren't always suitable for the kind and size of font and method of printing ("toothy" papers are usually not suitable for lithographic printing) and for some types of illustration methods (woodcuts are best suited for rough-textured papers as they can be deeply impressed).

153howpim
Nov 4, 2016, 5:21pm Top

>150 Django6924:

My copy is the HP Republic (1944). This might be a rare example where the later Norwalk Connecticut is the better choice.

>151 BuzzBuzzard:

Thanks. I thought someone here quoted Macy saying he was unhappy with the paper used for the 1949 LEC BK but that clears it up.

>152 Django6924:
"Opacity is one issue"

Certainly, and the HP KB is opaque despite the thinness of the paper. I still think it is a very good book but I personally dislike reflectivity.

I spent about $90 on three new volumes of the LotR 50th anniv. edition and when I came around to reading it, despite the general excellent quality of the edition, the paper was so transparent that when a volume was open for reading I could accurately read some sentences on the reverse side. Needless to say these books will remain unread.

154BuzzBuzzard
Nov 4, 2016, 5:31pm Top

>153 howpim:

RE: Brothers Karamazov (1933)

The paper upon which this type is printed was made completely out of rags, especially for this book by Tileston and Hollingswoth of Boston. The paper is soft and limp to the touch: it has a natural color; it has a rough surface. It does not look like an all-rag paper: but it is. If you like papers that look like a million dollars, you will be disappointed in this paper. But it is, like the type, unobtrusive and that is why Mr. Updike had it made that way. We don't like it much.

155howpim
Nov 28, 2016, 5:42pm Top

The next trio of authors I want to get are all ancient Greek, Plutarch, Aeschylus and Sophocles. I am wondering primarily if the HP editions of the works of these authors are of high quality, and secondarily if I should stretch to get the LEC equivalent to benefit from some excellence or other of production.

I do know already that the HP Plutarch is really good by reputation and I am happy with the translation. I welcome any comment on the translations of the other two writers.

156howpim
Dec 29, 2016, 8:53pm Top

I am interested in Cpt. Cook's Explorations. Are there fans of this LEC? And is there any reason, more than usual for an LEC, to seek out a fine copy?

157rmarathe
Dec 29, 2016, 9:40pm Top

>155 howpim: To your earlier question, I have the HP Oresteia and LEC Prometheus Bound/Unbound and Antigone. There was an earlier thread on this forum (I can try to find it again if need be) that recommended the HP Oresteia over the LEC one, because the binding of the HP version is a striking reproduction of one of Ayrton's illustrations. The LEC binding is bound in 1/4 red leather and brown cloth with a gold "O" on the cloth.

I am quite happy with the other two LEC versions. The LEC Prometheus carries the dual nature through in its binding (top half white, lower half blue, separated with some golden decorations), whereas the HP version does not.

I am not sure if there was ever a Heritage edition of Antigone -- a quick ebay search yields nothing.

>156 howpim: I do not have Cook's explorations, but I've seen it come by on ebay every now and then, and the spine seems prone to discoloration and other issues. On the other hand, the binding is quite interesting -- according to one ebay ad (perhaps somebody can correct me if this is incorrect, but I assume it comes from the monthly letter): It is bound in 1/4 kangaroo leather with decorations burnt into the leather over cloth boards made in Tongo.

159howpim
Jan 4, 6:06pm Top

>157 rmarathe:
>158 WildcatJF:

Thanks guys. I really want this book but am patient enough to get it for a good price.

160howpim
Jan 21, 3:00pm Top

What is the technical name for the relatively huge initial letter at the beginning of some chapters of a book ?

What is the name, if different, for a highly decorated initial letter which may incorporate a tiny illustration or design ?

161Django6924
Jan 21, 4:53pm Top

>160 howpim:
"What is the technical name for the relatively huge initial letter at the beginning of some chapters of a book ?"

A "historiated initial" if it contains a tiny illustration or design (properly referred to as an "inhabited initial"). If it is simply an enlarged letter it is called an "initial" or "dropcap."

162howpim
Jan 22, 11:20pm Top

163howpim
Feb 6, 10:07am Top

A question about two HP editions I own which are excellent but I like the books so much I am wondering how substantial is the gain in quality of the LEC editions:

Nibelungenlied
The Essays of Francis Bacon

164Django6924
Feb 7, 9:32pm Top

>163 howpim:

I see no tremendous superiority of the LEC Bacon over the HP edition. I have both, and feel that the extra money I spent acquiring the LEC could have been better used trying to find a Fine copy of All Men are Brothers, which I still lust after-- though in reality the HP edition which I have is beautiful and makes a better reading copy than the relatively fragile LEC.

The Nibelungenlied is definitely an LEC I am happy to have acquired. It is a monumental work of world literature and the LEC is appropriately monumental. It is the last book planned by Jan Van Krimpen and bears his masterful touch in the typographic layout. The paper is outstanding, and I would have given it pride of place over the HP edition for no other reason than the outstanding reproduction of Edy Legrand's illustrations, hand-colored by the Walter Fischer Studios, which seem to leap off the page.

165ultrarightist
Feb 8, 9:13am Top

>164 Django6924: Very much agreed, re: Nibelungenlied. I would also add the wonderful blind tooling on the cover.

166Django6924
Feb 8, 11:41am Top

>165 ultrarightist: "the wonderful blind tooling on the cover."

Indeed! This was not often done, but it is a touch I greatly admire.

167featherwate
Feb 8, 7:09pm Top

Certainly a striking book all round - I prefer the illustrations to anything else I've seen from Legrand. I'm not so sure about the translation. It's over a century old and sounds arriéré. Are there any successful recent/contemporary versions? Do any of them attempt a verse translation, or is the nature of the original German verse-form such as not to be easily replicated in English?

168Django6924
Feb 9, 10:27am Top

>167 featherwate:

Jack, Burton Raffel, a prolific translator who also translated Beowulf, Don Quixote and The Canterbury Tales (!), did a recent verse translation, which I haven't read (and probably won't). When, as a graduate student, I read the work in my medieval literature class, the translation used was Armour's. I can vouch for its textual fidelity based on comparing some passages in the original German. The German is plain and simple with very little figurative language--pretty much straightforward reportage. The conjugations in the original are followed in the English ("thee hadst" and "thou art" undsoweiter), but the question remains whether literary works written in such highly-inflected languages are best served by resorting to what has become archaic for the modern reader in English.

Interestingly, the verse form of the original consists of rhymed couplets, with each line composed of two hemistichs, which sounds almost exactly like William Leonard's oft-maligned translation of Beowulf (used by the HP and LEC)--lthough the the stressed syllables in the German work are not alliterative. To get an accurate indication of what it sounds like, just think of:

Sing a song of sixpence, pocketful of rye;
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.

169Jan7Smith
Edited: Feb 10, 3:43pm Top

I am thinking of buying Anna Karenina Lec and would appreciate some expert guidance on which edition is more desirable.

170BuzzBuzzard
Feb 10, 4:01pm Top

>169 Jan7Smith: I think the consensus is that the later edition is more desirable.

171howpim
Edited: Feb 10, 5:41pm Top

>164 Django6924:
The HP Bacon is surprisingly heavy for its size. I do like it even with the rather thin margins - the corresponding font size is impressive.

I highly recommend to you The Volsunga Saga (William Morris - Scott library - letterpress - cheap). It is considered the more poetic and powerful telling of the story (Goethe, Wagner, WP Ker et al.)

==

On page 19 on Nibelungenlied where Hagen tells some background story about Siegfried there are a couple of lines I find very unclear:

Siegfried has happened upon the Nibelung men who have uncovered some treasure and are feeling generous.

"He strove vainly to end the task, whereat they were wroth. And when he could not bear it through, the kings with their men fell upon him."

What task?
'bear it through'?

Essentially why did they fall on him?

172kdweber
Feb 10, 5:47pm Top

>170 BuzzBuzzard: I concur as does the market since the 1951 edition sells for a considerably higher price than the 1933 edition.

173elladan0891
Feb 10, 6:11pm Top

>171 howpim:
The task was to divide enormous treasure between the Nibelungs. Before Siegfried started, Shilbung and Nibelung gave him the sword of the Nibelungs as a reward for the task. However, they were not happy with Siegfried's performance and started a brawl; Siegfried used his newly aquired sword to dispatch its previous owners.
Moral of the story: don't prepay for services )

P.S. What a horrible, horrible translation! Nibelungenlied was actually written in nice rhyming verse, and here we get ugly, faux pseudo-archaic pretentious prose. Shudder.

174howpim
Edited: Feb 10, 6:32pm Top

>173 elladan0891:
==However, they were not happy with Siegfried's performance and started a brawl

That doesn't accord with "He strove vainly to end the task, whereat they were wroth. And when he could not bear it through, the kings with their men fell upon him."

Are you looking at the old german?

==P.S. What a horrible, horrible translation! Nibelungenlied was actually written in nice rhyming verse, and here we get ugly, faux pseudo-archaic pretentious prose. Shudder.

I approve of archaic prose in translation if it is undertaken by a poet or a brilliant writer, consider William Morris, Dasent and ER Eddison's translations of the Icelandic Sagas. But I agree that the sections I quoted are poorly translated.

175elladan0891
Edited: Feb 10, 7:23pm Top

>174 howpim:
Why do you think it doesn't accord? Which part do you find contradicting? I think it makes perfect sense. Let's see. So what happens before this sentence? The Nibelungs are trying to divide treasure between themselves. There is A LOT of stuff - more than a hundred wagons worth of precious stones alone, and even more of gold. So they ask Siegfried, who happened to stumble upon the scene, for help. He wasn't excited about the prospect, but they really begged him, so Siegfried, being a nice chap, couldn't say no. They even give him the Sword of the Nibelungs as a reward. Are we still on the same page? Let me know if I need to clarify anything.

Then Siegfried starts dividing the hoard. "He strove vainly to end the task" - so Siegfried really tried dividing the treasure, but something is not quite working out; presumably because it ain't easy dividing hundreds of wagon-loads of precious stones and gold. "whereat they (Nibelungs) were wroth (angry)." So the chap is trying to divide treasure between the Nibelungs and struggling, which makes them angry. Still on the same page?

"And when he could not bear it through" - and when he could not carry the task through - "the kings with their men fell upon him" - the Nibelungs called up the gang and tried to kick Siegfried's *ss. Makes perfect sense, no?
We're not told explicitly why Siegfried could not finish the task, but put yourself in poor chap's shoes and try dividing equally millions of precious stones, not counting the other bling ;)

Btw, I don't know Middle High German, or modern German for that matter, but the above interpretation also fits other English and Russian translations. One of those translations differs slightly, as it doesn't say that Siegfried was unable to finish the task, but rather states simply that the Nibelungs were unhappy with Siegfried's division of the hoard.

176Django6924
Edited: Feb 11, 12:22pm Top

>173 elladan0891: "What a horrible, horrible translation! Nibelungenlied was actually written in nice rhyming verse, and here we get ugly, faux pseudo-archaic pretentious prose"

I don't know if I would be that harsh about Miss Armour's translation. My German is pretty good (albeit Schuldeutsch) and thanks to my Old English studies, which has many cognates, I can parse out Middle High German fairly well, and on the whole, Armour's translation is about as good as the contenders I have been able to sample. The original has a bit of a singsong quality (see my comments at 168 above) and although it must have helped tremendously as a mnemonic device for the minnesinger, the tragic (not to say gruesome) events seem to require more gravitas than this verse form seems capable of.

I've compiled some comparison samples of the opening strophes. Take a look and see if you think Armour's translation is the worst (and you still may).

Middle High German with literal interlinear translation by Django6924

Vns ist in alten maeren | wunders vil geseit
{To us are in old (times)glorious | wonders many told} 

von heleden lobebaeren | von grozer arebeit
{of heroes praiseworthy | of great deeds}
von vroevden hohgeciten | von weinen und von klagen
{of joyous high times | of weeping and of wailing}
von chvener recken striten | muget ir nu wunder hoeren sagen
{of bold warriors strife | may you now wonder(s) hear told}

ez wuohs in bvrgonden | ein vil edel magedin
{once grew (up) in Burgundy | a very noble maiden}
daz in allen landen | niht schoners mohte sin
{that in all (the) land | not (more) beautiful might be}
chriemhilt geheizen | si wart ein scoene wip
{Krienhild (was she) called | she was a beautiful woman}
darvmbe mvosen degene | vil verliesen den lip
{through (whom) (in the sense of “because of whom”) many swords(men) | will lose their lives}

Translation of George Henry Needler

To us in olden story / are wonders many told

Of heroes rich in glory, / of trials manifold:

Of joy and festive greeting, / of weeping and of woe,
Of keenest warriors meeting, / shall ye now many a wonder know

There once grew up in Burgundy / a maid of noble birth,
Nor might there be a fairer / than she in all the earth:
Kriemhild hight the maiden, / and grew a dame full fair,
Through whom high thanes a many / to lose their lives soon doomed were.

Translation by William Nanson Lettsom

In stories of our fathers high marvels we are told
Of champions well approved in perils manifold.
Of feasts and merry meetings, of weeping and of wail,
And deeds of gallant daring I'll tell you in my tale.

In Burgundy there flourish'd a maid so fair to see,
That in all the world together a fairer could not be.
This maiden's name was Kriemhild; through her in dismal strife
Full many a prowest warrior thereafter lost his life.

Translated by Daniel B. Shumway

Full many a wonder is told us in stories old, of heroes worthy of praise, of hardships dire, of joy and feasting, of the fighting of bold warriors, of weeping and of wailing; now ye may hear wonders told.

In Burgundy there grew so noble a maid that in all the lands none fairer might there be. Kriemhild was she called; a comely woman she became, for whose sake many a knight must needs lose his life.

Translated by Margaret Armour

In old tales they tell us of many wonders of heroes and of high courage, of glad feasting, of weeping and of mourning; herein ye shall read of the marvelous deeds and of the strife of brave men.

There grew up in Burgundy a noble maiden; in no land was a fairer. Kriemhild was her name. Well-favored was the damsel, and by reason of her died many warriors.

177howpim
Edited: Feb 11, 11:42am Top

>175 elladan0891:
"I think it makes perfect sense."

It doesn't make any sense at all. A group of men beg a stranger to help them divide up piles of treasure - that's pretty stupid already. The the group of men attack him because he doesn't manage to divide up their treasure. That is a very stupid scenario of the poet's if that is a faithful translation.

I am not having a go at you elladan0891, if it plausible to you that's fine. In my opinion either the translation is clumsy or the poet was foolish at this point.

>176 Django6924:
What is a literal translation of the two lines I quoted ?

178featherwate
Feb 11, 3:00pm Top

>177 howpim:
You are not alone, howpim. At this point in Frank Ryder's 1962 verse translation there is a footnote:-
The sequence of stanzas in manuscript B gives a confusing picture of the scene...

179howpim
Feb 11, 3:13pm Top

>178 featherwate:
Great find featherwate. Thanks that's reassuring.

180Django6924
Edited: Feb 12, 12:12pm Top

>176 Django6924: "In my opinion either the translation is clumsy or the poet was foolish at this point"

One of the main problems facing any translator of works from a very different culture of long ago is whether to be faithful to the text, or whether to amplify based on your own knowledge of the times and the conventions. A translation is to the original as a photograph of a person is to the person. It isn’t the real thing, but we can recognize the real person from the photograph. Some translations are unvarnished portraits, showing warts and all, and some are Photoshopped, smoothing and prettifying the subject. Which is your preference? Again, if the syntax of the original is clumsy, should the translation faithfully depict that?

As far as the poet being foolish, it should be kept in mind that with many of these ancient epics, they grew out of the oral traditions of centuries, and that the audience was as familiar with the events the story-teller was relating as we are when we hear of Robin Hood or King Arthur. What was important in the retelling was not the basic events or characters, but the skill in which the teller brought the characters to life and arranged the events for maximum emotional impact of the whole. The Nibelungenlied poet knew his audience was familiar with how Siegfried acquired the cursed treasure and probably felt that rather than drawing out that episode, he needed to get to the important stuff—how feudalism and the bonds of loyalty that feudal society is based on, are doomed by conflicts arising from those bonds.

The point of the Nibelungen princes asking for Siegfried to divide up their father’s treasure is that two princes with their attendant vassals—who are essentially hired guns whose only claim for their daily bread is to look out after their lord—would be aware that if each started saying “dibs,” on that loot, that sooner or later there would be disagreements which would lead to internecine war. So if you had to choose someone to divvy it up and along came a famous warrior who you knew was stronger than either of you and personally disinterested, who would you choose?

The problem they didn’t foresee, is that with so much loot, and perhaps with Siegfried being overly cautious in trying to decide how to divide it to not offend either party, that the princes (both very entitled), with a few hundred warriors cooling their heels watching, would finally lose patience and perhaps try to hurry Siegfried along with strong-arm tactics from their twelve bully-boys, who may have pushed too hard and things just got out of hand.

Now the poet’s audience were probably well aware of that part of the story so no need to belabor it. And don’t forget that at this point in the story, Hagen is just relating to Gunther who are the knights who have come to court, and his short-handing of the Nibelungen story is much like you would introduce a well-known personage by a very brief mention of his most famous exploit.

In Armour’s translation, the exact syntax of the thought expressed in:”he strove vainly to end the task, whereat they were wroth...And when he could not bear it through, the kings with their men fell upon him" cannot be exactly rendered word for word. Here is the original and my literal interlinear translation:

..den in da leisten solde | sivrit der helt gvot
(of) that manage (he) should | Siegfried of the heroic mood
(meaning “of the task (of dividing), the heroic-minded Siegfried”)

ern chvndez niht verenden | si waren zornech gemvot
he could not (make an) end | they were furious (of) mood
(meaning “could not make an end of it, and the princes were angered thereby”)

si heten da ir frivnde | zwelf chvene man
they had there their companions | twelve bold men
(meaning “they {the princes} had with them their vassals; | twelve bold warriors)

daz starche risen waren | waz chvndez si vervan
that strong giants were | what could they accomplish
(meaning “who were strong giants; but what could they do?”)

di slvoch sit mit zorne | div sivrids hant
they (were) slain with fury | from Siegfried’s hand
(meaning “they were slain wrathfully by the hand of Siegfried”)

vnt rechen siben hvndert | twang er von nibelvnge lant
and swordsmen seven hundred | sent he from Nibelungen land
(meaning “and seven hundred soldiers were despatched from the land of the Nibelungens {by Siegfried}”)

181elladan0891
Edited: Feb 14, 2:40pm Top

>177 howpim:
Sorry, I was too busy to check LT last few days, but I see that Django6924 answered perfectly.

The only thing I can add is that the problem of dividing "treasure" between siblings transcends time and is just as relevant now as it was in the 5th century where the events originate, or the 12th century when the poem was written down. I'm sure you'll agree that the matter of dividing inheritance is still creating much bad blood between siblings and other family members, often has to be solved by strangers (judges, mediators), and that it's not always easy to divide stuff equally satisfying for all parties.

182elladan0891
Edited: Feb 14, 4:51pm Top

>176 Django6924:
Although I don't consider myself big on poetry in general, I don't share the sentiment that poetry/rhyming verse/song is too weak of a medium to convey gravitas. I think there are plenty of examples from various centuries and languages proving otherwise - from other Medieval epics to religious choral works to WWI poetry, etc.

Moreover, Nibelunglied fits extremely well into framework of Chansons de geste. The rhyming verse form is perfectly natural for this sort of work given its context. It is what it is - an epic poem in rhyming verse that was sang/recited. You can surely change the media and presentation of the work to better /in your opinion/ show certain qualities you want to accent, but then you end up with something quite different, your own, personal, interpretation. Just like Peter Jackson's Hobbit or LoTR are not quite The Hobbit or The LoTR.

Armour's work does not give a reader any sense whatsoever to what Nibelungenlied really is and how it fits into the framework of other Medieval works. The sentiment of the famous line "It is a pretty poem, Mr. Pope, but you must not call it Homer" applies even more to Armour, in my opinion. And to the point of archaic allowing to keep some of the original conjugation you made in >168 Django6924: - thanks for bringing it up, it's a very interesting point. But I think it would have added anything to the translation only if the actual form was followed (i.e. rhyming verse in the same meter). As things stand, however, since she already fundamentally broke all the form of presentation to the point that it sounds absolutely nothing like the original, a question whether such small and insignificant details match is absolutely irrelevant, in my opinion - why try being faithful in a little detail, if you're not being faithful to the whole?

183Django6924
Feb 14, 5:35pm Top

>182 elladan0891:

I think it's safe to say we come to this work with very different perspectives. I personally like Armour's translation and feel it gives an accurate picture of what--for me anyway--is the main strength of the work: the inevitable sense of doom arising from the actions of characters who are tied by their feudal codes of loyalty and status. The fact that the translation does not try to reproduce what is--again for me--the weak aspects of the poetic form, is not a cause for criticism. When I read the attempts made by others (such as quoted in 176 above) I have to say the form gets in the way of the function.

Still, quoting one of my favorite movie lines (from "Out of the Past") "I always say everybody's right."

184elladan0891
Feb 14, 8:20pm Top

>183 Django6924:
For sure! I'm actually glad someone likes Armour's translation, otherwise it would be a waste of a beautiful book! Typography looks very nice, and I really like the illustrations.

185Auriger
Feb 21, 8:33pm Top

>99 Django6924:
Just for the record, Pope translated Homer into heroic couplets, whilst Homer's metre is dactylic hexameter.

It's difficult to recommend a translation. Of the moderns, Fagles is highly rated, E.V. Rieu (less modern) is probably most read, and of the centuries-old moderns Chapman is the most spirited, as well as the most quaint and "bold" (as Keats would have it).

I've read all of Homer in Greek as well as English, and though no translation I've ever read really captures the sound or the spirit of Homer, Chapman's is the translation I feel most fondness for.

186Django6924
Feb 22, 11:53am Top

>185 Auriger:

Of course you are correct that Homer did not write in iambics (in fact did not write at all if the experts in these matters are to be trusted), though the lines were 6 footers.

We have discussed translations of Homer elsewhere, and though I also have much travell'd in the realms of gold, I am like honest Casca when it comes to understanding Greek. I have heard several recordings of sections of both Homeric epics, and what comes through for me is what I described as the impetuosity of sound, which seems both quicker and more forceful than Pope's heroic couplets or Chapman's rhymed 5 foot iambs. Rhymed couplets tend to break the irresistible flow of thought and form a chain of discrete ideas, which make the verse form wonderful for apothegms, of which Pope's own poetry affords many examples, but to my mind seems less apropos for Homer.

My first reading of Homer was Palmer's prose translation of The Odyssey, which I still admire, and I also very much like Lawrence's prose translation of the same work, but my own favorite verse translation of the Odyssey is the much abridged version done by Herbert Bates in unrhymed iambic tetrameter, which does a better job of replicating the quickness I hear in the Greek. For The Iliad, I am still a fan of the verse translation of Lattimore, which has flow and seems to have more force than Fagles.

There is no author other than Shakespeare I have read and reread more often than Homer; a look at my shelves now shows 5 different translations of The Iliad and 7 of The Odyssey, and none of them would I consider unacceptable and all of them have similarities that must be due to a characteristic of the original work.

187Auriger
Feb 22, 12:19pm Top

>186 Django6924:
It's great to know you're so well acquainted with Homer, Django.

I should have mentioned the translation of Lattimore, which deserves its good reputation.

Do you have the Nonesuch Iliad, which I think has the Greek with a facing translation? And do you know of any other finely printed modern edtions of either the Iliad or Odyssey that either have the Greek alone or are parallel texts?

I am very new to modern private and fine press books and am only just starting to appreciate them. Most of my books are either academic texts or antiquarian editions of Greek and Latin authors.

188BuzzBuzzard
Feb 22, 12:35pm Top

>187 Auriger: Here are some pictures of the Nonesuch Illiad: http://www.librarything.com/topic/196676

189kdweber
Feb 22, 2:21pm Top

>187 Auriger: "And do you know of any other finely printed modern editions of either the Iliad or Odyssey that either have the Greek alone or are parallel texts?"

Check out the Chester River Press Iliad & Odyssey (Pope translation).

190Auriger
Feb 22, 2:43pm Top

>188 BuzzBuzzard:
>189 kdweber:
Thanks for the info!

191wcarter
Feb 22, 3:46pm Top

>189 kdweber:
The Chester River Press edition is hugely magnificent!

192dlphcoracl
Feb 22, 7:01pm Top

>190 Auriger:

One problem with the Chester River Press bilingual edition is that it is quite impractical to read. Each volume is about 15" H x 12.5" W and weighs nearly 10 lbs.

193Django6924
Feb 22, 8:57pm Top

>187 Auriger:

Ah, to own the Nonesuch Iliad! 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished!

The Chester River Press edition was the other one I would have mentioned had not my more alert fellow Homer fans here beat me to it. I had not realized it was quite so imposing as I discovered by reading >192 dlphcoracl:. This would pre-dispose me to acquiring the Nonesuch when I win the lottery, as I have been doing more and more of my reading in a supine position these days, and big volumes can be fatiguing.

194Auriger
Feb 23, 6:47pm Top

>192 dlphcoracl:
They've clearly done things on an epic scale.
>193 Django6924:
"big volumes can be fatiguing"
Perhaps the Greeks knew this, because they had a saying: μέγα βιβλίον μέγα κακόν - "a big book is a big evil". Actually, "big" there is unlikely to have meant big in weight, but it's a useful description nonetheless for the inconvenience inherent in reading from heavy, oversized books.

The flipside of a big book is that if done well the sheer size of the canvas has a greater chance of impressing a reader with its magnificence.

195wcarter
Feb 23, 7:20pm Top

I read the Chester River editions seated at a desk - worked well for me - and such beautiful editions to handle and behold.

196scholasticus
Feb 23, 11:44pm Top

>192 dlphcoracl:

I think this alone is sufficient to dissuade me from ever adding the Chester River Press edition to my shelves.

197wcarter
Edited: Feb 24, 12:59am Top

198Django6924
Feb 26, 12:23am Top

For those who question why the Chester River Press edition used Pope's translation of Homer, also used by the LEC, instead of a more modern one, it might be instructive to compare different translations of the same passage and see what are the merits of Pope's. Consider the following passage, first in Chapman's translation, then in Pope's, and last in Fagles. Following these is T.E.Lawrence's prose translation, one of my favorite versions:

CHAPMAN
"O how falsely men 50
Accuse us Gods as authors of their ill,
When by the bane their own bad lives instil
They suffer all the miseries of their states,
Past our inflictions, and beyond their fates.
As now Ægisthus, past his fate, did wed 55
The wife of Agamemnon, and (in dread
To suffer death himself) to shun his ill,
Incurred it by the loose bent of his will,
In slaughtering Atrides in retreat.
Which we foretold him would so hardly set 60
To his murderous purpose, sending Mercury
That slaughter'd Argus, our considerate spy,
To give him this charge: 'Do not wed his wife,
Nor murder him; for thou shalt buy his life
With ransom of thine own, imposed on thee 65
By his Orestes, when in him shall be
Atrides' self renew'd, and but the prime
Of youth's spring put abroad, in thirst to climb
His haughty father's throne by his high acts.'
These words of Hermes wrought not into facts 70
Ægisthus' powers; good counsel he despised,
And to that good his ill is sacrificed."
Pallas, whose eyes did sparkle like the skies,
Answer'd: "O Sire! Supreme of Deities,
Ægisthus past his fate, and had desert 75
To warrant our infliction; and convert
May all the pains such impious men inflict
On innocent sufferers to revenge as strict,
Their own hearts eating. But, that Ithacus,
Thus never meriting, should suffer thus, 80
I deeply suffer. His more pious mind
Divides him from these fortunes. Though unkind
Is piety to him, giving him a fate
More suffering than the most unfortunate,
So long kept friendless in a sea-girt soil, 85
Where the sea's navel is a sylvan isle,
In which the Goddess dwells that doth derive
Her birth from Atlas, who of all alive
The motion and the fashion doth command
With his wise mind, whose forces understand 90
The inmost deeps and gulfs of all the seas,
Who (for his skill of things superior) stays
The two steep columns that prop earth and heaven.
His daughter 'tis, who holds this homeless-driven
Still mourning with her; evermore profuse 95
Of soft and winning speeches, that abuse
And make so languishingly, and possest
With so remiss a mind her loved guest,
Manage the action of his way for home.
Where he, though in affection overcome, 100
In judgment yet more longs to show his hopes,
His country's smoke leap from her chimney tops,
And death asks in her arms. Yet never shall
Thy lov'd heart be converted on his thrall,
Austere Olympius. Did not ever he, 105
In ample Troy, thy altars gratify,
And Grecians' fleet make in thy offerings swim?
O Jove, why still then burns thy wrath to him?"

POPE
“Perverse mankind! whose wills, created free,
Charge all their woes on absolute degree;
All to the dooming gods their guilt translate,
And follies are miscall’d the crimes of fate.
When to his lust AEgysthus gave the rein,
Did fate, or we, the adulterous act constrain?
Did fate, or we, when great Atrides died,
Urge the bold traitor to the regicide?
Hermes I sent, while yet his soul remain’d
Sincere from royal blood, and faith profaned;
To warn the wretch, that young Orestes, grown
To manly years, should re-assert the throne.
Yet, impotent of mind, and uncontroll’d,
He plunged into the gulf which Heaven foretold.”

Here paused the god; and pensive thus replies
Minerva, graceful with her azure eyes:
“O thou! from whom the whole creation springs,
The source of power on earth derived to kings!
His death was equal to the direful deed;
So may the man of blood be doomed to bleed!
But grief and rage alternate wound my breast
For brave Ulysses, still by fate oppress’d.
Amidst an isle, around whose rocky shore
The forests murmur, and the surges roar,
The blameless hero from his wish’d-for home
A goddess guards in her enchanted dome;
(Atlas her sire, to whose far-piercing eye
The wonders of the deep expanded lie;
The eternal columns which on earth he rears
End in the starry vault, and prop the spheres).
By his fair daughter is the chief confined,
Who soothes to dear delight his anxious mind;
Successless all her soft caresses prove,
To banish from his breast his country’s love;
To see the smoke from his loved palace rise,
While the dear isle in distant prospect lies,
With what contentment could he close his eyes!
And will Omnipotence neglect to save
The suffering virtue of the wise and brave?
Must he, whose altars on the Phrygian shore
With frequent rites, and pure, avow’d thy power,
Be doom’d the worst of human ills to prove,
Unbless’d, abandon’d to the wrath of Jove?”

FAGLES
'Ah how shameless--the way these mortals blame the gods.
From us alone, they say, come all their miseries, yes
but they themselves, with their own reckless ways,
compound their pains beyond their proper share.
Look at Aegisthus now...
Above and beyond his share he stole Atrides' wife,
he murdered the warlord coming home from Troy
though he knew it meant his own total ruin.
Far in advance we told him so ourselves,
dispatching the guide, the giant-killer Hermes.
"Don't murder the man," he said, "don't court his wife.
Beware, revenge will come from Orestes, Agamemmnon's son,
that day he comes of age and longs for his native land."
So Hermes warned, with all the goodwill in the world,
but would Aegisthus' hardened heart give way?
Now he pays the price--all at a single stroke.'

And sparkling-eyed Athena drove the matter home:
"Father, son of Cronus, our high and mighty king,
surely he goes down to a death he earned in full!
Let them all die so, all who do such things.
But my heart breaks for Odysseus,
that seasoned veteran cursed by fate so long--
far from his loved ones still, he suffers torments
off on a wave-washed island rising at the center of the seas.
A dark wooded island, and there a goddess makes her home,
a daughter of Atlas, wicked Titan who sounds the deep
in all its depths, whose shoulders lift on high
the colossal pillars thrusting earth and sky apart.
Atlas' daughter it is who holds Odysseus captive,
luckless man--despite his tears forever trying
to spellbind his heart with suave, seductive words
and wipe all thought of Ithaca from his mind.
But he, straining for no more than a glimpse
of hearth-smoke drifting up from his own land,
Odysseus longs to die...
Olympian Zeus,
have you no care for him in your lofty heart?
Did he never win your favor with sacrifices
burned beside the ships on the broad plains of Troy?
Why, Zeus, why so dead set against Odysseus?

LAWRENCE
It vexes me to see how mean are these creatures of a day towards us Gods, when they charge against us the evils (far beyond our worst dooming) which their own exceeding wantonness has heaped upon themselves. Just so did Aegisthus exceed when he took to his bed the lawful wife of Atrides and killed her returning husband. He knew the sheer ruin this would entail. Did we not warn him by the mouth of our trusty Hermes, the keen-eyed slayer of Argus, neither to murder the man nor lust after the woman's body? 'For the death of the son of Atreus will be requited by Orestes, even as he grows up and dreams of his native place.' These were Hermes' very words: but not even such friendly interposition could restrain Aegisthus, who now pays the final penalty."

Swiftly there took him up Athene, goddess of the limpid eyes. "Our Father, heir of Kronos, Lord of lords! That man Aegisthus has been justly served. May everyone who slaughters a victim after his fashion go down likewise into hell! But my heart is heavy for Odysseus, so shrewd, so ill-fated, pining in long misery of exile on an island which is just a speck in the belly of the sea. This wave-beset, wooded island is the domain of a God-begotten creature, the daughter of baleful Atlas whose are the pillars that prop the lofty sky: whose too are the deepest soundings of the sea. The daughter has trapped the luckless wretch and with subtle insistence cozens him to forget his Ithaca. Forget! Odysseus is so sick with longing to see if it were but the smoke of his home spiring up, that he prays for death. I marvel, my Lord of Olympus, how your heart makes no odds of it. Can you lightly pass over the burnt offerings Odysseus lavished upon you, by the Argive ships in the plain of Troy?"

199Jan7Smith
Feb 27, 11:42am Top

What difference in construction quality relating to long term durability is there pertaining to HP vs LEC? I know that paper and illustrations are usually better in the LEC books but after one hundred years would one version survive the ravages of time better?

200Django6924
Edited: Feb 27, 12:23pm Top

>199 Jan7Smith:

I would say that for durability, the Heritage Press books usually hold up better. LEC books frequently used materials in binding that were chosen more for an attractive "association idea" than for durability, and often these materials have not stood the test of time. Try to find a pristine LEC of Moby-Dick or Gibbon. I have only seen one copy of each in my over three decades of collecting that didn't have the sheepskin crumbling away. The limp bindings of the LEC Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, and the first Madame Bovary have likewise only survived by being little-read.

Granted an LEC which has been well-taken care of and which has been seldom-handled will usually hold up rather well, but given the use that most HP books have seen over the years, I have to believe they were made to last and to be read and passed on to other readers.

ETA: I should say the above is a generalization, and that some LECs are very durable. I have owned two sets of the the Dwiggins-designed Rabelais over the years, and the bindings on both--one which had obviously been read and was lacking the slipcase, and the other which still had the glassine and had perhaps never been opened--were as tight and solid as when they were new.

201Jan7Smith
Feb 27, 12:56pm Top

>200 Django6924: You answered my question very well and I suspected something along these lines because Don had so many LEC books rebound since the original was so bad. Thanks!

202wcarter
Feb 27, 4:03pm Top

>198 Django6924:
Amazing differences in style and meaning.
Demonstrates very well the importance of the translation.

203howpim
Mar 20, 10:10pm Top

How do people feel about those old (150 years) books which you must have but are so expensive in excellent condition that you compromise to get them, and so are faced with spotting, foxing and fingerprints to varying degrees?

When I feel I am getting a good deal I do not mind so much the aesthetic flaws of grubby or aging marks but I do wonder if spotting/foxing is unhygienic, are these marks more like a mold or a stain ?

204Parchment123
Mar 21, 1:55am Top

>203 howpim: My five cents. You say 150 years, and that means the mid- to late 19th century. That century saw a decline in paper quality, and some acid papers have already desintegrated.

I would say, strive for perfection but sometimes accept some defects. Recently, I read that a seller of one of the Cranach Presse Virgil/Maillol wrote that his copy had some foxing as usual for that book but that the paper of the kind that was used could easily be washed. That made me afraid, because you do not know what will happen to a paper that has been chemically cleaned in the long run, so if I finally manage to acquire a copy of the Maillol, I would be pleased if it had very minor foxing at the raw paper edges.

There are different kinds of foxing, so you will have to check each book. I have read somewhere that if you get a moldy book, you can kill the mold by placing the book in a freezer.

205WildcatJF
Mar 21, 8:45pm Top

204) Freezing a moldy book does help kill the mold. It was a practice performed at the museum I used to work at for all kinds of artifacts. Still, the damage previously done will remain, so keep that in mind.

206howpim
Mar 25, 12:24am Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
A theory I have is that some of the older book collectors, for example Django, are so old that the mold from under their fingernails gets onto the pages of the books and spreads like a disease thus spoiling books that I might otherwise enjoy without fear of losing my life.

Has anyone seen Murnau's Nosferatu?

207Parchment123
Mar 25, 3:14am Top

>206 howpim:

I appreciate your comment because, in comparison, it will make even a nasty person like me look like an agreeable fellow.

208kdweber
Mar 25, 3:37pm Top

>206 howpim: "Has anyone seen Murnau's Nosferatu?"

Yes, when I was young, a good friend had a neighbor that had a movie projector and real movies (back in the days even before Betamax) and he gave us a private screening. If you wish to know more about the film I suggest you ask Django as Robert has more film knowledge than just about anyone on this forum.

209Jan7Smith
Mar 25, 4:35pm Top

I love Thomas Mann's books and was wondering why his Buddenbrooks wasn't included in the Limited Edition Club issues? I know every book can't be included but this one seems to deserve the honor. The Nobel Prize in literature he received was credited mostly to this work. Just wondering what some of you well informed think.

210Constantinopolitan
Mar 25, 6:14pm Top

>209 Jan7Smith: Yes. It's a shame that Buddenbrooks wasn't an LEC. Do you prefer it though to The Magic Mountain? That was published before Mann won the Nobel prize but perhaps hadn't had the necessary span of time for a committee to feel confident in making a judgement on that work's greatness.

211Parchment123
Mar 26, 6:27am Top

>209 Jan7Smith: >210 Constantinopolitan:

I would have wished for fine editions of "Joseph and his brothers" and "Dr Faustus" (paired with "Die Entstehung des Doktor Faustus. Roman eines Romans")....
...and Hermann Broch's "Death of Vergil".

212Jan7Smith
Mar 26, 10:32am Top

>210 Constantinopolitan: I would probably put The Magic Mountain slightly above all others. >211 Parchment123: I would also love to have "Joseph and his brothers" and "Dr Faustus" Lec editions.

213howpim
Mar 26, 11:34pm Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
Also Django's breath, the breath from the grave, surely that fouls the pages with foxing and mold.

214Parchment123
Yesterday, 1:49am Top

Wimp ho!

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