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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On a few of Carsten Jensen's top 10 seafaring tales

Today the Guardian posted Carsten Jensen's top 10 seafaring tales. It's a wonderful list--I've read many of the titles, and am looking forward to reading many more.

He doesn't mention specific editions, so here are some of my favorite editions of a few of his top seafaring titles:

  • The Odyssey of Homer. Translated, with an introduction, by Richmond Lattimore. Lattimore's translations are are just beautiful, and have become the standard texts for students and pleasure readers alike. The Internet Archive has archived a biographical sketch by Deborah E. Kamen which includes a complete bibliography of his works, including his translations and poetry, if you want to read more.

  • Moby-Dick, or, The Whale, published by the University of California Press. This is a reduced, trade version of the Arion Press Moby-Dick, which was published in 1979 in a limited edition of 250 copies. If a library near you has the Arion Press edition, go see it--it's gorgeous. The paper is the most delicate watery blue, and the Barry Moser engravings seem alive. The typeface, in both editions is easy on the eyes, and the UC Press edition is large enough for comfortable reading, yet small enough to carry around in a satchel.

  • "The Little Mermaid," in: The annotated Hans Christian Andersen translated by Maria Tatar. I haven't yet read this edition, so I'm going out on a limb by recommending it, but I do so without hesitation having enjoyed Tatar's other translations immensely. Her list of publications includes academic titles as well as her beautiful editions of folk and fairy tales.

2 comments:

Bob Holtzman -- said...

Some interesting selections on Jensen's list. Glad to see the omission of the too-well-known practitioners of the "great age of fighting sail" genre. Hard to reconcile *not* seeing Arthur Ransome (We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea, or Secret Water). And I'd surely recommend that something by Jan deHartog should be on the list.

Heather said...

Any particular title by deHartog that you'd recommend?