Thursday, March 31, 2011

Undated - Books Inc, NY, Moby Dick

Here is the most unusual dust jacket edition in the collection. Guys with a football and a scottie dog! No where is to be found an image of a ship, whales, even the sea! Just a bunch of guys being guys, walking down a fight of steps.. Not one of them even has a book in hand!

On the back of the dust jacket this edition is called "The New Prize Guild Library" - The Worlds Best Books for Boys and Girls.

Moby-Dick is #17 in the series, which includes up to 37 Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

On the title page this is "Art-Type Edition" and "The World's Popular Classics"

The cloths and type style have a 30's feeling so I choose to mark it 1930's. Perhaps not. The lad on the right is wearing knickers (I wore them as a ski outfit in the 60's).

When referring to mens clothing, knickers is short for knickerbockers, while knickers in relation to women is something all together different.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

1994 English Edition Moby-Dick

Here is the example of the English Language edition in the collection.

It was pretty easy to pinpoint which of the many english language books is the official "English Language" representative, but I choose this book for two reasons, 1) It is priced in pounds, and 2) it was printed in England by Clays LTD for Penguin Books.

It is a bargain book... my children and I always laugh when we go to a big box book store and walk by the Bargain Book bin at the door. The we ask each other: "Why are bargain books bargains? - because they suck!" Well maybe now we know not all bargain books suck. At least in the UK!

Friday, March 18, 2011

1969 Franklin Watts, Inc Large Type Moby-Dick

Here is the 1969 large type edition from Franklin Watts, Inc., which is listed as a division of Grolier Inc.

This book is ex Lib from the Fraser Valley Regional Library, British Columbia Canada.

The idea for this post comes from a current thread in the blog ahab beckons studying the best edition to read at the MDM.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

1925 Grosset & Dunlap Moby-Dick

1925 Grosset & Dunlap Moby-Dick features illustrations taken from the 1926 Warner Bros. movie "The Sea Beast".

This copy has a bookplate showing Jack and the Beanstalk and the name Howard H. Goldsby - a google search yielded no results for Howard.

On the contents page someone, in ink, marked most of the chapters with a check or plus sign with the ledgend: check marks- chapters necessary to the story and plus- sidelights of interest. He completely lined out chapter 22 Cetology. Apparently it fit neither category.

Grosset & Dunlap published many books as Photoplay editions with photos from motion pictures.

Thanks go to Meg at Power Moby Dick for reminding me about this gem.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Display is up and open

And here is an interview with Mary Darcy for All Over Albany. It is a really good overview of the whole THE MOBY DICK COLLECTION blog... Thanks for all the support I have gotten leading up to the Display!

Regular posts will continue shortly..


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Some thoughts upon the display set up

Saturday, we spent the most part of the late morning making labels and getting the books ready for the installation of the exhibit at the Main University of Albany Library front lobby. (3/14 - 4/24/2011)

There will be one case with some examples of foreign language editions, and one case of the examples of the illustrations of Ahab.

What became clear to me, as I pulled these items all together, was that this exhibit is not so much about the novel, Moby-Dick, but more its about the printing and the presentation of the text. The exhibit shows different languages and various layouts of the text, and the wide variety of the styles of the illustrations. Each edition has a unique soul, and no electronic book will ever have the soul of even one of these books. As I felt the letterpress type of the Lituanian book and the subtle pages of the Japanese book, I felt the heart and soul of the press operator, bindery person, layout artist, and illustrator; I imagined the thousands and thousands of individuals involved in printing these books over the decades. All of their combined work, the hundreds of thousands of man hours, was the result of Melville's two years of dedicated writing, and we can't lose sight of the fact that he wrote the novel in long hand in ink. As I stepped back to look at the sight of the books, I was awed by the entire human effort that has gone into presenting to the world, the story that is the novel Moby-Dick.

Monday, March 7, 2011

1958 Hungarian Language Edition Moby-DIck

The 1958 Hungarian Edition of Moby-Dick, is alas, an abridged edition. The first line appears not to be the famous opening sentence and there appears to be no copy of the hymn.

The cover art is representative of the art, there is an interesting left peg legged Ahab, dressed like John Adams with a frocked coat, but study the cover for a moment, is that not the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz? It is perhaps Ishmael telling his tale years later at the Spouter Inn, but his buggy eyes say it all...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Moby Dick Collection on Display

From March 14th 2011 to April 30th 2011, selections from the collection will be displayed at the main library on the SUNY Albany Campus.

There are two cases and one will feature illustrated books, focusing on images of Ahab, highlighting the various ways illustrators have chosen to present Melville's iconic captain of the Pequod.

The other case will feature foreign language editions, highlighting the wide distribution the book has received over the years. My only regret to date, is that I passed on buying a braille version years ago, I thought it was too expensive. Non the less the foreign language books bring a wide variety to the display as well.

The Main Library is located at 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY and here is Link to directions and maps