Sunday, May 13, 2012

1991 Everyman's Library Alfred A. Knopf MOBY DICK

The nicest things can come in plain packages. Things with little embellishments, little fan fare, modest statements. This edition is such a thing. The red cloth binding, with a small hint of gold and elegant typeset on the cover, is understated. The overall impression is one of quiet reserve, grace and charm.

Individual people, too, can be unassuming and full of quiet reserve, grace and charm. The best ones become friends and most often are those who don't even know their true nature and strength. 
  • Chapter 86 The Tail  ....Real strength never impairs beauty or harmony, but it often bestows it; and in everything imposingly beautiful, strength has much to do with the magic.

Alas, we own an Ipad, it has proven very useful, for watching movies, for writing and reading emails, for surfing the web. We downloaded on to the Ipad both Beethoven's 1st symphony and the Missa Solemnis, which are imposingly beautiful but sound less so on the tiny speakers. This ipad will never be beautiful and no doubt it will be recycled soon. Reading a novel on it may prove rewarding, but never long lasting.

This volume is imposingly beautiful and hence is endowed with real strength and thus the magic of Melville's words radiate from the page. And this volume is long lasting. As long lasting as ours and Beethoven's Unsterbliche Geliebte.


  1. Hello!
    I cam across you website while I was trying to track down when my copy of Moby Dick was printed, as you seem to be expert on the editions and years of this book I was wondering if you could give me a hand! I am a big fan of Moby Dick and have been looking for a copy (not a brand new one) for a while. I came across a copy in a little book store at the beach and just had to have it. However I am wondering when it was printed... the book as no copyright or printing date information. So I was wonderinf if you hame have some information on it. Below are links to 4 pictures I took of the book to help track the edition information down. You can also reach me at my website or email

  2. I own Everyman's edition of Moby-Dick and in chapter 1, towards the end, it mentions the parable of Lazarus and Dives. However, in the Norton Critical edition this whole passage is omitted. I wonder why this is so. Could you lend me a hand here? Many thanks.

    1. Lucy, which edition of the Everyman do you refer to? Date of publication? Thanks

  3. Lucy. Thanks for asking the question. I reviewed several of my editions and could find no passages like the one you referred to. At first I was confused and began to doubt that it existed and doubt your question, the Internet being the Internet I was skeptical. Forgive me for doubting at all. Perhaps it was a visit to your website or a rereading of chapter one, a chapter so full that an inclusion of the larzarus parable would make sense, that made me look again this morning at the question. In my norton amongst the material at the rear of the book is a comparison of the differences between the first English edition and the first American edition. The larzarus parable is included in the first American edition and omitted in the first english edition. Your 1991 Everyman (and not my 1991 Everyman) is therefore based on the first American edition. Scholars prefer the first English as the more definitive version hence it would seem that that is the more prevalent.