When we first conceived of The Moby-Dick Collection, we envisioned a catalogue of the various printed editions of the masterpiece. It was to be a kind of a stamp collection like endeavor. At the least it was to be a catalogue of each of the known printed editions, with the collection's holdings to be examples of as many books as could be gathered together given the resources.
As many of you seasoned TMDC readers know it quickly turned into more than that, with the edition of foreign language editions. And as this blog progressed, the individual books themselves begin to tell stories, who owned them, where they came from, and so on.
This post is a combination of all of the finest quirks of TMDC.
Here is a recent addition, the 2008 Webster's Afrikaans Thesaurus. As the picture shows, this is the english text of the book with a thesaurus on each page with the Afrikaans words for various english words, presumably this is for the Afrikaan speaking person, who is learning to read English. So one can see that the Afrikaan word for Whale is Walvis. If we are not mistaken there is a Walvis Bay in South Africa.
This book came into our position this year as a birthday gift from my sister, Sarah, to celebrate my 61 st birthday.
Sarah P. D___ is a world traveler for her vocation and avocation. There is not a month that does not go by that she is not off to some far off land. Immediately, Dubai, Manila, Istanbul, and Ireland all come to mind as places Sarah has been in the last year or two.
When she went to Manila,I began silly requests like, "bring me some envelopes" and last year when she was in Vienna, "Hey, how about bringing back some sausages.. you know the little fellas in the can!"
Im not sure Sarah at first appreciated my oblique humor. But she became a bit of a sport.
This year she travelled to South Africa, and it occurred to me to combine my silly requests with The Moby-Dick Collection, so I asked her to pick up an Afrikaans edition of Melville's classic. She had a bit of a layover between safaris and work, and she searched the bookstores but to no avail. However, she did manage to score this edition, which she proudly shipped to me, and it arrived in time for the big birthday doings! Three Cheers to Sage (as we called her in our youth)
Which brings me to this picture: Here is a little something I have kept in the WOPettit archives all these many years, this is Sarah's passport foto from I believe 1966 when she traveled overseas for the first time from our childhood home to Germany. Since that moment she has never really looked back....