Monday, February 4, 2013

1977 Easton Press Moby-Dick

 One of the most common editions available is the Easton Press. A search of Ebay found no less than 100 active listings ranging from $10 to $50 or so. This copy is near perfect having never been opened. This craftsmanship is wonderful. Illustrations by Robinson Boardman. The paper fine, gold edged, type large and easy to read. 
This is a fine book to have on the side table.

Our love of this work stems not just from the many finely made editions, but also from the text itself. Every page has something worth mulling over.  

Chapter III   The Spouter Inn

On one side hung a very large oil-painting so thoroughly besmoked, and every way defaced, that in the unequal cross-lights by which you viewed it, it was only by diligent study and a series of systematic visits to it, and careful inquiry of the neighbors, that you could any way arrive at an understanding of its purpose. such unaccountable masses of shades and shadows, that at first you almost thought some ambitious young artist, in the time of the New England hags, had endeavored to delineate chaos bewitched. ...[but] The picture represents a Cape-Horner in a great hurricane; the half-foundered ship weltering there with its three dismantled masts alone visible; and an exasperated whale, purposing to spring clean over the craft, is in the enormous act of impaling himself upon the three mast-heads.

Here in the first pages of the book, Melville foreshadows the action to come in the subject of a old dark painting on the wall of the Inn. Whale versus ship, with the ship on the losing end. 

NB: "in the time of the New England hags"  LOL - ed.