But the decision to put the entire book into a single paperback volume was a bad mistake. It's impossible to hold it in any position or to turn the pages. Would have been much better to split it out into the three "partitions." I tried a couple of the kindle versions, but they are poorly edited, and the Latin and Greek (pretty extensive here) are not systematically translated.
As for the book itself, you have probably seen it mentioned so many times that you have finally decided to see what all the rumpus is about. And it is truly wonderful. Compare to Montaigne. ..... Burton is even more poetic, and earthier too, and even more humorous.
The amazing M. A. Screech, editor of (Penguin's) Montaigne, far exceeds this Burton's editor, Holbrook Jackson, in erudition and in helpfulness. The former is a modern scholar and the latter is vintage. I wish Screech, or someone like him, would get busy on Anatomy. (Sure, but but who could do anything approaching his accomplishment on Montaigne?). The intro here by William H. Gass is a great benefit of this edition, and in fact maybe we should pick up Gass' books next.
My advice is to read the 3rd partition first, in case you don't think you will read the whole work. My favorite partition, anyway.
I wish I had had time for a more studious reading, looking up the notes and looking more closely at the Latin, but alas I did not. Anyway, these notes just cite the sources of the quotations, nothing more. The reading alone is still a considerable effort, but very very worth it. You will wish you had known the author personally, just as you have imagined talking with Montaigne. A long wonderful book is just several wonderful shorter ones, so why be afraid?
- Paperback: 547 pages
- Publisher: NEW YORK REVIEW BOOKS; 1 edition (15 September 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0940322668
- ISBN-13: 978-0940322660
- Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 5.8 x 20.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.2 Kg
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