Complete Series!

J B Krygier jbkrygier at
Thu Jun 9 08:36:06 EDT 2005

On Jun 8, 2005, at 11:40 PM, 20 Ants wrote:

> Won't happen. It's the same as it is with art pottery: you never say 
> never. As soon as you say you've got 'em all and will never find 
> another... some anomaly shows up.

It certainly is impossible to have a copy of every single variant of
every ML title, so it does not make sense to define a complete
collection as such.

In my stack of books interesting enough to buy, but not to read, is a
copy of Gerard Genette's "Paratexts."

Paratexts (meaning beside or beyond text) are all that stuff that
surrounds the text of any book - introduction, title pages, forwards,
epigraphs, dust jackets, dedications, publisher's review letters,
bound in bookmark, promotional items, etc. (this from the paratext
blurb on the back cover of the book).

Fascinating, certainly (or possibly not).  But if you hack away the
paratexts from MLs and focus on the texts themselves, a complete
collection is possible.  Eg., there are three Illiad and three Odyssey
variants - you only need one of each.

If one is ok with titles without DJs, a complete set is very doable.
No ML title is so scarce that there are not DJ-less copies floating
around for a few bucks.

If one insists on DJs, the task is not impossible but difficult.  The
main problem here is early titles in print for a short time,
particularly those that were only issued by Boni & Liveright or in
the late 20s/early 30s by ML Inc.

Reviewing Scot's list of DJs missing from the DJ pages at Dogeared,
only TWO titles - Shaw's "An Unsocialist Socialist" and Wells "War in
the Air" are missing any DJ at all.  Joe claims to know someone with a
Wells in DJ and the Shaw, in print for 16 years, must be out there in
DJ somewhere.  Didn't one show up on eBay a few months back?

Problem is, it seems like many serious ML collectors are concerned
with "paratexts" - dust jackets, variants in introductions, etc.
and/or edition, thus it seems impossible to get a full collection.

But it isn't!


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