[ModLib] Bret Harte—FYI

Roger Lathbury lathbury at gmu.edu
Mon Jul 16 16:45:31 EDT 2012

Bret Harte is one of the losingest enterprises in modern publishing. In the 1990's the Oxford University Press decided that Harte was ripe for revival so put out a toothsome _Selected Short Stories and Poems_ in its Oxford World Classics series, $5.95. Mass mailings to Americanists, yours truly included.

Five years later you could buy that book on Amazon for 19¢. OUP took a bath. I think I was the only professor who ordered the text for a class (Mark Twain and American Humor). Students rather like the stories--especially the early sentimental "The Luck of the Roaring Camp" and (even better) "The Outcasts of Poker Flat," "Miggles," and the one about the woman living with the outlaw ("Tennessee's Partner"?), but as far as a separate book goes, Harte is dead in the dust.

Out of curiosity I'd like to hear of the other single appearance ML titles so will read this list serve to see.


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Hey folks,

I was just working on the Bret  Hart DJs (easy to do -- there's only  
one, and I have only one valid report so far.)

  I noticed that it seems to have gone off catalog in 1964. I noticed  
this because the date I had previously listed for the soul DJ was  
1967, which means that either the off-catalog date listed in that  
title's BookNotes is wrong or the DJ date is wrong.

The Toledano number listed is 250.1.  There is no 250.2.  I went  
looking for 250.2 to see if I could validate the off-catalog date for  
the Harte: If another title got assigned 250 in the Fall of 1964 or  
the Spring of 1965, then the off-catalog Harte date would be validated  
and the DJ date proven wrong.

This got me thinking: What other Modern Library numbers were retired  
with just a single use?  Might be fun to compile a list -- not good  
for much, I suppose, but will give folks who don't want to play the  
DJDR Game something to do for a while. :-)

Have fun,

Scot Kamins

Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past. -- Lily Tomlin

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