Sunday, October 7, 2012

1997 Konemann Classics Moby-Dick

Moby DickThe 1997 Konemann Classics Moby Dick features J M W Turner's The Whale Ship on the cover, and is ubiquitous in bookstores and on line. The paper, type, printing is just so classic and beautiful, with a subtle feel which all combine to make this a "proper book".

 Konemann is a publisher based in Cologne Germany. The book is printed in Hungary. An example of The European Union at its finest (how is that Euro doing guys?). We are unaware, at this time, of any other book in the collection printed abroad yet in the english language. This is something for further study.

Chapter XLV

Owen Chase: The dark ocean and swelling waters were nothing, the fears of being swallowed up by some dreadful tempest, or dashed upon hidden rocks, ... seemed scarcely entitled to a moment's though; the dismal looking wreck, and the horrid aspect and revenge of the whale, wholly engrossed my reflections....

Owen Chase recalls the wreck of the whale ship Essex, his ship, sunk by a whale, (a true story) and in doing so, he points out that it is not the phantoms of the mind, the possible out comes of future events that haunt him, it is the actions of the whale that stove his ship and left him adrift that horrifies and frightens him. 

Melville sets the stage for the ultimate destruction of Ahab and his ship by referencing in this chapter a well known event. Thus he adds strength to the notion that it is not words but actions, it is not the ghosts and goblins of our minds that frame life but actual happenings, real things. 

Real things like a live whale stoving in the side of a wooden ship causing complete wreckage.

We are all warned.

1 comment:

  1. When I was surveying editions of M-D to take to the annual marathon reading in New Bedford, this was my favorite -- the typeface; the paper; the dimensions, weight, and binding were all so "right." Then I realized that the text was an old, public-domain version, containing many errors that were corrected in the "Northwestern-Newberry" text. Still, it is a beautiful example of the publisher's art.