Modern Library

Lewis Tanner take5 at
Fri Jul 4 15:25:23 EDT 2003

I have Gogol's Dead Souls, #40 in the ML series, (c)1923 by Mrs. Edward
Garnett [translator], introduction by Clifford Odets, Jan. 1936,
introduction (c) 1936 ML. According to the DC it sold for $1.25. It is
265 p. According to the half title page, "Every reader of books will
find titles he has been looking for, handsomely printed, in unabridged
editions, at an unusually low price." This sentence was
usually, but not always, included in the half title page. 
Other ML volumes, Joyce's Ulysses, for example,
exclude the words "in unabridged editions"  but I have always
assumed that the ML editions were complete and unabridged
unless the half title page stated otherwise. That Clarissa was
abridged comes as no shock to me. How many people today would want to
read a novel of over 1,000 pages unless forced to do so for an English
Lit class? I also think that it is very stupid and misleading to publish an
abridged version without printing in large, bold letters, ABRIDGED, on
the DC and half title page. (I can't stand abridged or bowdlerized books and
never buy them.) lewis
p.s. The ML published Gulliver's Travels complete and unabridged while
most other publishers were abridging it e.g. removing the section where
Gulliver puts out a fire by  urinating on it. I guess that some of these
publishers wanted to sell GT to parents and schools and were afraid
that printing the complete text would upset the parents of the
little kiddies as well as causing some idiots to demand that the
libraries remove the book from their shelves. lt 

> Just one thing,the ML did publish abridged editions,Samuel
> Richardsion's Clarissa for one. Also,we have a Dead Souls published in
> 1936,265Pps. A new translation in 1965,of 544Pps.
"Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel. He is the man
 who talks the loudest."  Mark Twain [1908] 

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