Seeing Double

Duplicates, Duplicates: looking for duplicates, I found 3 volumes of Virgil’s masterpiece, The Aneid. Two of the copies are the famous Fitzgerald translation and the third is the new translation by Flagel. I like reading the Flagel best.

Fitzgerald renders the first line of Aneid to read:

I sing of warfare and a man at war.
The Aneid, Virgil,

This is a truly classic first line, brief and to the point. Flagel, however, comes up with “Wars and a man I sing—an exile driven by fate.”  Nice rendering that says more and, perhaps, sets the stage better, but I like the Fitzgerald rendering so I better keep both Flagel and Fitzgerald.

But why do I have two copies of Fitzgerald? One copy is a Vintage Classic paperback with signs of being used, perhaps because it was the text for a continuing education course at Stanford.

I can’t imagine where the other copy came from. It’s a beautiful hardbound Everyman’s Library edition. In this case, beauty doesn’t hack it since the typeface of the Everyman is difficult to read, making it impossible for me to scan the poem.

The other doubles I found are: The Lives of Birds by Lester Short and In Their Wisdom by C. P. Snow. There is a hardbound copy and a trade paperback of each; the hardbound copies will stay in the library.

The jacket notes for Lives tells us “This first book in a series … is a lively, highly accessible, generously illustrated volume featuring awe-inspiring descriptions of hundreds of bird species from around the globe.” The emphasis is mine. I like the book but didn’t find it altogether awe-inspiring. With a promo like that maybe Lives will become a best seller in a used-book store.

The jacket notes of the Lord Snow volume offer: “In Their Wisdom rivals Dicken’s Bleak House in its compelling ceation of an epic legal struggle.” I don’t know if that comparison favors Snow or Dickens.

The deaccession count: Days 3, Books 10.

Note: The Life of Birds is a TV series by the BBC with David Attenborough narrating, very interesting and worthwhile if not awe-inspiring. The TV series does not seem to be directly related to the book: The Lives of Birds.


About carto

Retired software engineer who grew up in Montana, went to Montana State College in Bozeman, and moved to California to work at Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Carto's Logbook is about photography, travel and adventure; Mt. Maurice Times is tall tales mostly biographical; Carto's Library is about books I've read and liked.
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