Page 28-29 - H&W Brochure #3

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[Herman Melville]; Randall Enos. The Life & Death of Mocha Dick.
Brooklyn: Strike Three Press, 2009. Folio, 13 x 11 inches, original ecru cloth.
11 linoleum cuts with facing text. $350.
First edition of this tribute to the nineteenth-century “hero of whales,” one of
32 copies. Each illustration tells a story about Mocha Dick, from his rumored
involvement in the sinking of the whaleship
to his role in protecting
harpooned whales from their hunters. A stirring celebration of a South Sea
legend, the real-life inspiration for Moby-Dick, “who seemingly decided that
his fate was to challenge man and protect his species against the relentless
‘blubber boilers.’”
[King James Bible]; Russell Maret. The Book of Jonah.
New York: Russell Maret, 2012. Oblong folio, 10 x 11 inches, grey cloth over
patterned paper boards. Accompanied by printer’s prospectus. $400.
Another fine press whale tale, one of 80 copies. Searching for a text suited to the
archaic letterforms of his Nicolas typeface, Maret seized on the Old Testament
book of Jonah: “The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth
closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.” Maret hand-set
each line, “inked in migrating shades of blue ink, conceived as a visual descent
into and eventual reprieve from darkness over the course of the text.” The
patterned boards, viewed from the spine, suggest the wake of the whale.
John Dryden (translator); Homer; Ovid; Giovanni Boccaccio; Geoffrey Chaucer.
Fables Ancient and Modern; Translated into Verse, from Homer, Ovid, Boccace,
& Chaucer: with Original Poems.
London: Jacob Tonson, 1700. Folio, 14.5 x 9 inches, contemporary paneled calf,
rebacked with early spine label laid down. $2500.
First edition, large-paper copy, of Restoration poet John Dryden’s shorter verse
translations and imitations, published in the wake of his ambitious 1697 English
translation of Virgil. In the preface, Dryden explains how his original efforts to
translate Homer led him to Ovid, then to Chaucer, then to Boccaccio, weighing
the comparative merits of all four precursor poets. Dryden is quick to defend his
translation of Chaucer into modern English: while Chaucer’s language has “the
rude Sweetness of a Scotch tune in it, which is natural and pleasing . . . We can
only say, that he liv’d in the Infancy of our Poetry, and that nothing is brought
to Perfection at the first.” Highlights include the first book of Homer’s
episodes from Ovid’s
, selected stories from Boccaccio, and three
of Chaucer’s
Canterbury Tales
, with the original Middle English text included
as well. Pforzheimer notes that some copies of the
were issued “on thick
and fine paper which usually measure more than an inch larger,” as here. A
handsome large-paper copy of Dryden’s final achievement in English translation.