[ModLib] Various questions

Gordon Barrick Neavill neavill at wayne.edu
Fri Mar 4 16:11:35 EST 2011

1. Breit's introduction to Absalom, Absalom was dropped in 1963. 

2. I haven't seen a copy of Metropolitan Opera Guide with Fifth Printing on the verso of the title page and no discography. The ML didn't always update the verso of the t.p. with each printing. 

3. There were multiple printings of most Illustrated ML titles, but each title has to be differentiated on its own. And there are some that I'm not certain about at this point. Identifying first printings of the first five titles is easy -- the title page imprint was "Modern Library" not "Ilustrated ML." The two Shakespeares, Don Quixote, Famous Ghost Storeis, and Walden were the only titles that to my knowledge had a single printing. 

4. Ibsen's Eleven Plays was reset in the 1940s, but I'm not sure when. The earliest copy I've seen with continuous pagination has a 1948 jacket. 

5. Best Russian Short Stories and Andreyev's Seven That Were Hanged & The Red Laugh were combined as one volume in 1934. The text was reset in a single  sequence of pagination in the 1950s. The earliest copy with the reset text that I've seen is spring 1959. 

The numbering system of my forthcoming ML bibliography distinguishes major variants such as reset texts, variant title pages, introductions added and dropped, etc., but the sequence is based on the order in which first printing of a given  title was published, not its ML catalog number.   I have seven numbers for Best Russian Short Stories. Most of these are for "families of printings" with a particular feature in common. In this case my bibliography number (the 18th ML title published) and the ML catalog number are the same, since the ML hadn't dropped any titles when Best Russian Short Stories  was added . My "families" of printings are as follows: 

    18.1a: First printing (1917) 

    18.1b: Preliminaries reordered 

   18.1c: Imprint revised ("Inc." dropped from Boni and Liveright) 

   18.1d: Title page with monk device 

   18.1e: ML title page (1926) 

   18.1f: Seven That Were Hanged added (1934) 

   18.1g: Title page reset (c. 1940) larger format with stiff covers 

   18.2a: Text reset (1950s) 

   18.2b: Title page with Fujita torchbearer; 7 ½ inch format (1969/70) 

Families numbered 18.1 are printed from the original set of plates; families numbered 18.2 are printed from new plates made from a new typesetting. 



----- Original Message -----

From: "Scot Kamins" <kamins at modernlib.com> 
To: "For collectors of Modern Library books" <modlib at thuban.owu.edu> 
Sent: Friday, March 4, 2011 1:48:14 PM 
Subject: [ModLib] Various questions 


Answers? Opinions? Comments? 

Begin forwarded message: 

From: willthemad at aol.com 
Date: March 4, 2011 8:47:57 AM PST 
To: kamins at modernlib.com 
Subject: Various questions 

Dear Scot, 
Here are the first four topics on which I need your and others' help; my apologies if these topics have been previously covered. 
1. "Absalom, Absalom" 
Toledano lists only one entry for Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom" as 271.1 with an introduction by Harvey Breit.  My copy in Spine #11 (dj with title list but no number, back panel style k) has NO introduction.  Shouldn't this be identified with a separate number?  Also, the later printings in Spine 17 and Spine 18 (the 2010 wheat/beige quartercloth) contain Faulkner's biography and the "corrected text"; shouldn't this also be a separate entry (since it has no number)? 
2. Metropolitan Opera Guide 
A few months ago, the website discussed two varieties of "The Metropolitan Opera Guide" establishing 48.1 as having a discography and 48.2 as having no discography.  It was established that printings 1 through 5 (1939-1945) contained the discography and that printing 6 (1946) and thereafter no longer contained the discography.  MY G4 binding, 1945 fifth printing on the back of the title page, however, contains no discography.  Perhaps sometime during 1945 the discography was discontinued; the data file seems to need to be amended to reflect the fact that some 1945 fifth printings do not have a discography. 
3. Illustrated Modern Library 
Are First Editions of the Illustrated Modern Library identified or identifiable, or were there only first printings? 
4. Ibsen's "Eleven Plays" 
Are there different identification numbers for the varieties of G18?  My first edition of "Eleven Plays by Henrik Ibsen" contains three non-sequential pagination groupings; my later edition has just one continuous pagination sequence and the plays are in a different order. 
5. "Best Russian Short Stories" 
I have three distinctly different editions of "Best Russian Short Stories"; Can you give me the correct identification for each.  All three have Seltzer noted for compilation, introduction and editor.  Here are the varieties: 
     A. Spine 5, no dj, continuous pagination, one Andreyev story ("Lazarus" on p. 215), 261 text pages, list of Regular titles at the end of the book. 
     B. Spine 8, 271 titles on dj verso, Style g, discontinuous pagination (1 through 261 and 1 through 231), three Andreyev stories ("Lazarus" on the first p. 215, "The Seven That Were Hanged" on the second p. 1, "The Red Laugh" on the second p. 103), 492 text 
pages, plus separate lists of Regular and Giant titles at the end of the book. 
     C. Spine 8, 393 titles on dj verso, Style i, 556 text pages, no Regular or Giant list of titles at the end of the book.  The three Andreyev stories listed above in B are grouped together on pages 320 through 521 creating a different order of stories and the pages on which they occur. 
It seems, from previously established criteria for other books, that three different identification numbers should exist. 
Well, that's a start.  I sincerely appreciate whatever help you and others might be able to offer me. 
Bill Hornick  

Scot Kamins 
It's all sandcastles ...  

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Gordon B. Neavill 
Associate Professor 
School of Library and Information Science 
Wayne State University 
106 Kresge Library 
Detroit, MI 48202 
313-577-0507; 313-577-7563 (fax) 

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