Monday, November 21, 2011

1926 Modern Library Moby-Dick Cloth Cover

Recently aquired, the green cloth cover Modern Library Edition of Moby-Dick is the more deluxe version of the book already blogged in the  two prize post.

Chapter VI The Street

"Still New Bedford is a queer place."

Alas, in 1851 New Bedford seems such a fun town. Cannibals on the street corners and Green Mountain boys looking for adventure at sea.   Already alive and perhaps looking out the window of her father's stately mansion, Hetty Green, maybe even seeing Melville himself.

Hetty Green: we would first be aware of when passing the Hetty Green Motel in far away Bellows Falls VT on the way in 1964 to some ski adventure in the back seat of Dad's Buick Electra.  Only years later after much research did we understand the Victorian life of Hetty Green, to the point of making a pilgrimage to her grave in 2008.

Our mother summered at Salters Point, and her father would take her on Sunday visits to the Charles W. Morgan, at that time the play thing of Col. Ned Green, Hetty's son.

During our salad days when we would want to experience some form of prep school hi jinx, we would steal out of the dorm and drive to New Bedford. Really steal, we would obscond with one of the school cars, usually a black Ford Beach Wagon. We had keys made.

Melville: Whaling: Hetty Green: Ned Green: Charles W. Morgan: Family: New Bedford: YOUTH: SKIIING: HI JINX all intertwined and circling around the same being, those are touchstones that define lives.

Monday, November 14, 2011

1950 Modern Library Edition Moby Dick

The dust jacket illustration features Ahab, left pegged leg, sighting his position by shooting the sun with a sextant.

This copy, near perfect, is the #119 in the Modern Library series, published in 1950, right after WWII, in time for the economic expansion of the 50's. TV's just around the corner.

Chapter XV Chowder

As its getting colder here in Albany, I reread this chapter, a chapter of warmth and comfort, for there is nothing more comforting to this old salt on a cold day than a cup, no a bowl, of clam chowder.."the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt."

We love how Melville mixes it up: not salt and peppa but pepper before the salt. 

Chowder for breakfast, chowder for lunch, chowder for dinner, and never never never a red chowder, Manhattan chowder is not Chowder, I don't know what it is, but its not chowder.

1950 is the birth year of the editor of TMDC, and he too is shooting the sun to find his location.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

1964 Bobbs-Merrill Company Moby-Dick

Here is the fifth printing of the 1964 Bobbs-Merrill Company edition of Moby-Dick. Already blogged is the 1980 Bobbs-Merrill edition that I purchased at a tent sale accompanied by my friend, LG., one fine day this summer. But I digress.

This early edition lacks cover art, but the internals are identical to the later book. As with all used books, ephemera can sometimes be included, and here stuck in the book is a letter from the Maulding Clinic, apparently a physician and surgeon who lived in NYSSA, OREGON. This letter is his dreaded "Approximately 1000 calories" diet plan. His recipe for Golden Salad dressing calls for 5 drops of orange food color. - eh gads.

Other than Doc Mauldings diet plan, there is no other indication of the former owner, but there are no underlinings and the condition of the spine indicates that the book was never read. We hope that he or she at least stuck to the diet plan, cause you have to believe back in '64 if your doc gave you diet instructions you prob needed to shed a few....