Sappho - If Not, Winter

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Sappho - If Not, Winter

Sep 3, 2019, 1:09 pm

So as I wait for the Fall release, I’ve been pondering adding a copy of the new Sappho to my collection. So far, a lot of members have praised the volume, particularly as it is printed letterpress. I was wondering for those who have owned and read it, are you impressed by it? Is there a lot of white space in the volume, or do you think the presentation is good?

Sep 3, 2019, 1:18 pm

There is a lot of white space, and I'm not always sure it achieves the desired effect, especially for the poems we only have a word or two from. But! It does do an effective job of reminding you just how much has been lost, and how we should treasure the shattered fragments snatched from antiquity. Sappho was a majestic poet, and we're lucky to have any of her.

Sep 3, 2019, 1:35 pm

>2 gmacaree: "how we should treasure the shattered fragments snatched from antiquity."

All the more reason they should have included the new fragments of 2 or 3 new poems and additions to 4 or 5 already known poems found since the original was published, actually making it 'the complete fragments of Sappho'. (and yes, I am still bitter about this).

Sep 3, 2019, 3:52 pm

>3 Fierylunar: Ugh, yes, they really should have made the effort to produce the most recent version. I had briefly forgotten about this and now I too am bitter.

Sep 5, 2019, 6:00 pm

Thanks for your replies...despite my reservations about the version used, I decided to buy it...partly an FAD purchase, though the poetry itself is beautiful.

Jul 3, 2022, 5:29 pm

One of the most beautiful FS publication in years... finally sold out!
I imagine second-hand prices are now going to be exorbitant. That said, this publication is one of the best works I have seen from the FS - printed letterpress with and introduction and wonderful notes from famed scholar Anne Carson, this is a 10/10 no questions asked!

Jul 3, 2022, 11:53 pm

>6 astropi: I imagine second-hand prices are now going to be exorbitant

Considering the niche content and how long it took to sell out I doubt it'd be that rare (or sought-after) on the second-hand market in the years to come.

Jul 4, 2022, 2:10 am

One is currently offered on for $229.

Jul 4, 2022, 10:29 am

>7 bacchus.: Agreed. I've seen that sort of prediction before, and it hasn't always been the case. E.g. The Door in the Wall LE was widely praised, deservingly, with very similar predictions, but can usually be found for about $500 on eBay.

Edited: Jun 12, 2023, 9:10 am

>8 jroger1: I see one on sale now for £195. Tempted (but not enough – I'd have to sell my Fraenkel Agamemnon to afford it!). I have the first edition, which is a handsome enough hardback, in truth. (If Winter: Fragments of Sappho, Anne Carson, Random House, 2003)

>7 bacchus.: As for being niche, sure, but niche here means the millions of classicists round the world, not simply fans of a single author. Given that most classicists have both Greek and English in addition to their first language and given Carson's importance as a poet in her own right as well as a classicist with a deep understanding of the original text, I suspect this will be sought after by serious readers, not simply Folio collectors.

Nov 25, 2023, 2:06 pm

Just bought it through Abe. 125 euro postage included

Nov 26, 2023, 8:35 pm

>11 Macumbeira: sounds like you got an amazing deal, because the lowest price I have seen is $200 and that's lacking the slipcase.

Edited: Nov 27, 2023, 2:09 pm

I haven't got the actual book in hand yet; I am curious and hope I haven't been cheated.

Description: Comes in V.G. pictorial slipcase which has some very minor marking. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall`

Nov 27, 2023, 3:17 pm

>13 Macumbeira: Hope you get it. As I said, I only saw two copies for sale. One lacks the slipcase and is $200, the other includes the slipcase and is about $300.

Nov 27, 2023, 3:20 pm

>13 Macumbeira: Who was the seller? I'm familiar with a fair number of them, might be one I can provide feedback on for you.

Nov 27, 2023, 3:39 pm

Charles McBride : Hi, thank you for your order. Your book is on its way.

Nov 27, 2023, 4:09 pm

>16 Macumbeira: Name doesn't ring a bell, sorry. But I do hope you get the book and in proper condition, it's a great title. It's also the one which started me buying FS books.

Edited: Nov 27, 2023, 9:13 pm

Thanks guys, hope I won't get the fragments in fragments
I'll keep you posted

Dec 8, 2023, 11:52 am

Had to pay import duties ( UK is not Europe anymore - I forgot ).
Total sum 125 + 30 euro = 155 and counting.
I should get the book next week.

Dec 8, 2023, 3:42 pm

>20 Macumbeira: Still a great price for a great book!

Dec 9, 2023, 2:17 am

>20 Macumbeira: The UK left the European Union but it is still a European country.

Dec 9, 2023, 2:59 am

>22 English-bookseller: In such terms, Russia is the biggest European country.

Dec 11, 2023, 10:45 am

>23 bacchus.: I understand that the European part of Russia comprises 23 per cent and Asia has 77 per cent.

Edited: Dec 11, 2023, 3:01 pm

>24 English-bookseller: Even so, the European portion of Russia is the largest in the continent - and surprisingly that 23% of landmass makes for about 77% of the Russian population.

In any case sorry if the UK jab came off a bit sharp - just some light-hearted banter given all the crazy stuff going on, no hard feelings towards the Brits!

Dec 12, 2023, 1:55 pm

No offence taken I assure you - and I am not a Brit anyway!

Edited: Dec 14, 2023, 10:50 pm

Ordering books from the UK demands patience nowadays.
Customs confirmed me that the book will be delivered today or early next week.
It will be 3 weeks since I ordered.

But what are 3 weeks compared to the age of the works of Sappholina?

Edited: Dec 14, 2023, 11:48 pm

>27 Macumbeira: Still hoping you have good fortune. And the mail systems are strained in many places by the holiday load, so every kind of delivery is apt to be delayed. Not to mention some companies are employing bad logistics. I currently have a package that has spent over a week sitting in Texas, which departed from North Carolina bound to Virginia. A quick look at the map of the US will show you how atrocious the logistics behind that route are.

Dec 15, 2023, 12:41 pm

I did not receive the book today (sobbing)

Dec 15, 2023, 10:16 pm

>29 Macumbeira:

I hope you get it by the end of winter; if not, Spring.

Dec 16, 2023, 1:35 am


Dec 16, 2023, 9:04 am

Dec 23, 2023, 2:28 pm

Christmas is arriving and the book is still not in my hand... can you imagine that ?
Boldface joke was funny, but my sense of humor has completely disappeared.

Edited: Dec 24, 2023, 2:12 pm

>33 Macumbeira:

"For me, neither the honey nor the bee.”

"Come to me now to end this consuming pain,
Bringing what my heart desires to be brought"


Dec 24, 2023, 9:03 am

I googled that last line and I find myself at the "suicide-helplines-in-Belgium" website and a funeral webpage.
into the macabre ?

Edited: Dec 25, 2023, 4:06 pm

(deleted undesired copy )

Dec 24, 2023, 9:12 am

>36 Macumbeira: Gosh.
I googled that last line and I find myself at the "suicide-helplines-in-Belgium" website.

Why didn't you mention it before? ;)

Edited: Dec 27, 2023, 12:09 pm

Received the book today. It took more than a month...but what a relief.

The book itself is in mint condition. Unread, unopened.

The Solander box on the contrary looks fine but has a threadlike shape impressed on the cover of the box.The impress looks like the ears of reading spectacles or a speaker of a headphone. Such an item must have been lying between the box and a heavy load of other books on top of it for a long time.

As my wife says: is that not the idea of the solander box, protect the book inside ?
Maybe with care and time, the impress will disappear.

I am satisfied with my purchase.

Dec 27, 2023, 12:05 pm

>38 Macumbeira:


Dec 27, 2023, 1:26 pm

>38 Macumbeira: Exciting to hear! Hope you enjoy it immensely

Dec 29, 2023, 2:07 pm

>38 Macumbeira: Fab, glad it arrived at last! And how lovely that the book itself is pristine.

Dec 30, 2023, 5:12 am

I am very happy with my purchase for it is really a beautiful edition.

The letterpress quality and the cream - colored paper are just splendid. Homer would say "a wonder to behold" : )
The esthetic quality is especially evident, when I compare it to the Cambridge University Press Sappho translated by Diane J. Rayor and André Lardinois. The paper of this hardcover edition is of a disturbing whiteness, so much so, that one has the impression that it is a "print - on - demand" horror.

But comparing both books reminds me of a problem I often have when reading historical Folio Society editions. While the Folio's are often, as objects , unbeatable in look and feel, their content is not of the highest order in accuracy or actuality.

With 100 fragments more than in the Folio, the Cambridge edition and translation is the book for the scholar or the enlightened amateur. The Folio edition however is bilingual and comes with the Greek text.

Finally , the Diane Rayor translation is more cautious, plainspoken and less manipulative "artistic".
In the Folio's edition, it is Anne Carson translation ( with all due respect ) that is the predominant voice.

But the Sappho scraps have always been a playground for free interpretation and association.

Jan 1, 9:04 am

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