Don Quixote: 1933 (Ricart) vs 1950 (Legrand)

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Don Quixote: 1933 (Ricart) vs 1950 (Legrand)

1desmond1910
Jul 25, 2013, 4:25pm

Which of this two LEC editions of Don Quixote is more preferable? I'm very attracted by 1933 edition published in Barcelona, however it's hard to ignore Legrand's illustrations.

2UK_History_Fan
Jul 25, 2013, 5:19pm

Do you have to choose? I own both and they are both among my favorite LECs (and I haven't even read the story yet!). The illustrations are stupendous in both edition, probably my favorite Edy Legrand. But I wouldn't want to be without the Ricart either. I also really like the yellow spines and marbled boards on the 1950. So I guess if I really had to choose just one I would go for the 1950, but only because it is more affordable usually.

3Django6924
Jul 25, 2013, 7:51pm

I'm pretty much with UK_History_Fan on this one. I wouldn't want to be without both, but Legrand's illustrations set the standard for me for illustrating DQ. When you consider the competition, Doré, Mueller, Dali, Quentin Blake, etc., that's quite a statement, but I do believe it. That said, Ricart's work is also brilliant, very Spanish, as is the entire 1933 edition, and I believe the actual typography and print of the older edition to have the edge.

4parchment1
Jul 26, 2013, 5:06am

If I were forced to get rid of all my books with the exception of ten that I could keep, Legrand's Don Quixote would be one of those ten.

5desmond1910
Jul 26, 2013, 12:34pm

Thanks to everyone) It seems I"ll buy both editions))

6UK_History_Fan
Jul 26, 2013, 2:00pm

> 5
And you will not regret it either!

7leccol
Mar 27, 2014, 12:38am

I have both editions, but tend to like the Ricart best. When it came time to rebind, I chose the Ricart since it was deteriorated much more on the covers. I rebound it in a sumptuous 2-goatskin binding. I made a stamping of the Don's and Sancho's likeness on the title page of each volume; then stamped them in gold on the front of each volume. Sancho's heavy beard made his stamping a little hard to discern all his craggy features yet I am satisfied with the rebinding. In fact, I like my version more than that of the Arion $4000 version. The Ricart illustrations seem more in tune with the story rather than the cartoonish ones of Arion.

8astropi
Mar 27, 2014, 11:53am

I doubt you can go wrong with any of those books, including the Arion Press edition, which I think is spectacular! However, it's also $4000, so you have to have a deep wallet. While they're all beautiful illustrations, I personally think that the Dore illustrations are on a whole different plane

http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/tag/don-quixote

9jveezer
Mar 27, 2014, 12:10pm

If you go to the Arion Press Benefit Dinner, you can buy a $50(?) raffle ticket to win an AP DQ. You gotta ask yourself, "Do you feel lucky. Well do ya...?"

10desmond1910
Editado: Mar 27, 2014, 1:57pm

> 8

I also adore them. I wonder whether there is a fine press edition of Don Quixote with Dore's illustrations?

11SirFolio16
Mar 27, 2014, 2:37pm

I believe Easton Press has an edition

12kdweber
Mar 27, 2014, 4:41pm

> 11 The Easton Press edition is a facsimile of an 1870 edition. I picked up a nice rebound copy of the original for less than half the cost of the EP reprint. I went with the original mostly because I feared that the EP would not do a good job reproducing the steel engravings. As with many others I chose to go with both the Legrand and Ricart LECs both of which I prefer to the Dore as well as the Folio Society's edition illustrated by Quentin Blake; however, the Dore is more copiously illustrated than any of my other editions. My seven editions of DQ utilize six different translators and five different illustrators. I'd still love to replace my trade hardcover first edition Grossman with the Arion Press edition.

13astropi
Mar 29, 2014, 9:57pm

Easton Press released a couple editions of the Dore Don Quixote. The first release was a good-quality edition and the engravings were well reproduced. However, EP also released a 400th anniversary Deluxe Limited Edition, and this is the copy to get

http://www.eastonpress.com/Books/prod/DA2/Gustave-Dor%C3%A9-s-DON-QUIXOTE_2875.a...

Of course, it's not letterpress, however the engravings look fantastic, and the book is large (9.25" x 12.25") so you can appreciate all the details. I'm surprised it has not yet sold out, but it will.

14kdweber
Mar 29, 2014, 11:46pm

>13 astropi: Glad to hear it's not a rebound Chartwell edition; hopefully, it was bound by Kingsport. Still, it's hard to understand why one would by the EP copy when one can buy the original for 1/3 to 1/2 the price.

15UK_History_Fan
Mar 30, 2014, 10:42am

> 14
Your point on the price of the EP vs. the original is valid, but I think you might struggle to find an original in like new or even fine condition and will pay accordingly.

16Django6924
Mar 30, 2014, 10:45am

As much as I admire Doré's illustrations for this, I can't see spending that much for an edition which uses an inferior translation (Jarvis, I believe). I think there are Spanish language editions which reproduce the Doré illustrations available for the same price or less, and I would opt for one of these over the EP version.

17UK_History_Fan
Mar 30, 2014, 2:03pm

Good lord, I just realized that I actually own 6...count them, SIX...copies of Don Quixote. I did purchase the DLE book being discussed in this thread, mainly because I am a huge fan of Dore and it looked attractive. Plus I knew going in that it is grossly overpriced, so at least "eyes wide open." I also know that Dore has a strong following among purchasers of Easton Press books and I expected a quick sell-out and knew myself well enough to know that no matter how hard it was to rationalize the purchase, my regret over not purchasing direct would simply lead to an even more gross overpayment in the secondary market!

I also own the Franklin Library version published as part of their 100 Greatest series, also illustrated by Dore, but I am not sure who translated and the book is not convenient for me to dig out for review (plus Franklin Library is frustratingly reticent to acknowledge translators on title pages). I have the complete 100 Greatest series, so even though it also features Dore illustrations, I did not mind the duplication. Then there is the Franklin Library 2-volume edition in the 25th Anniversary of the Great Books of the Western World series, featuring the illustrations of Daniel Vierge and translated by John Ormsby.

I also own a Folio Society standard edition with illustrations by the inimitable Quentin Blake (though I must admit he grew on me only very slowly over several publications and I still don't favor him for DQ). Given all my other copies and given that it is Quentin Blake, I did not find the need to purchase the Folio Limited Edition version of this which is even more expensive than the EP DLE.

Finally, I own both versions of Don Quixote published by the Limited Editions Club and I would be hard pressed to say which I prefer, since both illustrators appeal to me for different reasons. Overall, I like the design and layout of the 1950 Edy Legrand version best, but that doesn't necessarily mean I prefer Legrand to Ricart as an illustrator. The design of the Ricart edition is not one of my favorites, though I do still like it. So for overall package, I give the 1950 edition the edge, but for illustrations only, it is a toss-up.

Sadly, despite six different editions of this classic novel, I have not read any of them. Someday...someday....

18EclecticIndulgence
Editado: Mar 30, 2014, 4:55pm

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

19Django6924
Mar 30, 2014, 8:42pm

>18 EclecticIndulgence:

The Cohen translation was done for Penguin, and is a highly respected modern translation. I have read the Samuel Putnam translation, also highly respected and contemporary with Cohen, and I slightly prefer Ormsby's--mostly because it has a very Spanish flavor. (In fairness to Putnam, Putnam himself said that Ormsby's translation was so faithful a contemporary, mid-20th century translator, in this case, would be hard put to find a better word than the one Ormsby used.

20astropi
Mar 31, 2014, 7:12am

14: the binding is excellent. The slipcase itself is beautiful as well. While not Arion Press quality, it's still excellent and I would argue the best facsimile you can purchase. While it's true you can purchase an original for less (although then you also get into the whole first/second printing etc issue), the question is in what condition? As typical for "old" books, most will have foxing and other blemishes. If you're looking for a copy in "fine/near fine" condition, expect to pay far more than the EP reprint.

21BuzzBuzzard
Editado: Abr 2, 2014, 5:53pm

Slightly off topic.

Found this at the local college library. Shows how librarians handle fine press books. I was surprised by the lack of interest from the student body (Pic 2). Can't help but wonder how much good book donating does.

A really nice edition.



22Django6924
Abr 2, 2014, 7:20pm

Yes, the Ricart edition is a beautiful book--fabulous illustration, great paper and printing. Your pictures show why I stopped donating books to libraries.

23BuzzBuzzard
Abr 11, 2014, 1:13pm

In one of the Monthly Letters it is mentioned that Lima de Freitas illustrated Don Quixote. I think this is a Portuguese edition published in the 50's. I really, really like it!

Ilustradores de Dom Quixote features a dozen or so illustrators for this famous book. Enjoy it.

Note: Pictures courtesy of Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal.





24BuzzBuzzard
Mayo 28, 2014, 12:24pm

For those that are on the look out here is a fine set of Ricart's Don Quixote on eBay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CERVANTES-DON-QUIXOTE-LIMITED-EDITIONS-CLUB-RICART-SPAIN...

25UK_History_Fan
Editado: Mayo 28, 2014, 1:02pm

> 24
Good tip for collectors, but I would dispute the grading of this set as fine. At best it is merely "very good." This seller has a habit of overstating condition.

26BuzzBuzzard
Mayo 28, 2014, 1:13pm

>25 UK_History_Fan:

For me the books are in fine condition. But there are pictures so everybody can be his own judge. Grading is so subjective...

27BuzzBuzzard
Mayo 28, 2014, 3:26pm

My copy just arrived. Neither ML nor Slipcase but I am extremely pleased with the condition for $70.



28Django6924
Editado: Mayo 28, 2014, 4:57pm

vdanchev, you should be pleased! What a bargain!

29UK_History_Fan
Mayo 28, 2014, 5:21pm

Yes, those do look great (and apparently no fading of the spines!) and the price makes them even more attractive. The amount you saved (compared to what I paid for my copy with slipcase) you could easily have a gold-plated slipcase made. Congrats.

30BuzzBuzzard
Mayo 28, 2014, 7:04pm

There is no fading to the spines indeed. Mind it that with a good camera, proper light conditions and some help from a post production software every fading can disappear :)

I took a gamble with this purchase because the available pictures on eBay were not revealing of the actual condition of the set. However I am not set at only acquiring LECs at very fine condition and the price point was in my comfort zone. Some sellers seem to be under describing their stock.

31jveezer
Mayo 28, 2014, 10:43pm

Oak Knoll Books has two copies: one for $100 and one for $150. I would probably go for one of them if I had the cash lying around.

32Django6924
Mayo 28, 2014, 11:46pm

>31 jveezer:

Those are very good prices. This set can be found in a wide range of prices (though I have never seen one in such good condition sell for what vdanchev paid for his!), and as I remember, mine was over $250 almost 20 years ago. In the ML, Macy comments that the binding was not done in Spain because they didn't have the means of doing a first-rate job for a feasible price. Although I love the patterned boards, the buckram does tend to age toning. Macy also says that the volumes are two heavy (they are heavy!), but this is due to the exquisite hand-made paper, and I have to agree that such paper makes the weight issue unimportant. The paper is simply incredible.

33BuzzBuzzard
Mayo 29, 2014, 3:38pm

The only reason why this sold at this price (that I can think of) is the seller wanting to move his inventory fast. With a little bit of patience he could have realized at least twice as much. The book was advertised as:

Ex-Libris.
Small sticker removed from free end paper of each volume.
Library stamps on title pages, no other library marks, no pockets.
No bookplates.
Gilt titles on slightly sunned spines.
Board corners rubbed just through.
Bindings and hinges are fine.


However it was not ex-libris but part of a museum collection (small difference here) and as such it was never in circulation. Yet a lot of people on this forum will be put off by this description.

34Django6924
Mayo 29, 2014, 7:29pm

>33 BuzzBuzzard:

Amazing! Thanks for sharing that.

35BuzzBuzzard
Mayo 30, 2014, 2:07pm

One thing that I find interesting about the Ricart's Don Qioxote is the fact that there is text on the back side of the pages with woodcuts. In the few Eichenberg's illustrated LECs that I have (Fathers and Sons and Resurrection) this is not the case.

Does anyone know if this paper (or very similar) was used in later LECs? I have seen this same watermark somewhere else but I cannot remember where.

36Django6924
Editado: Mayo 31, 2014, 7:35am

I believe this was the only time an LEC used paper made by the Spanish firm Guarro. It wasn't long after this that this firm began selling their handmade paper exclusively as fine art paper--much too pricy for book printing.

37BuzzBuzzard
Jun 21, 2015, 9:54pm

It must be a coincidence that I just purchased Legrand's Quixote for $70, which is exactly how much I paid for my Ricart's Quixote. Stranger things have happened but this is still pretty random.

38Django6924
Jun 22, 2015, 10:27am

>37 BuzzBuzzard:

Was the Legrand in as fine condition, as the Ricart? If so then you got the bargains of the century on Don Quixote!

39ultrarightist
Jun 22, 2015, 11:06am

Out of curiosity, does anyone have the Nonesuch Press edition of DQ to compare to the LEC editions?

40Django6924
Jun 22, 2015, 11:54am

>39 ultrarightist:

I don't, but I have seen it and it is a very well-produced edition, bound in leather in the old style with raised bands on the spines and morocco labels. The paper is very nice, probably superior to the Legrand edition's paper, but not the up to the quality of the Guarra paper used in the Ricart.

It isn't as profusely illustrated as either LEC, but I'm pretty sure many of the illustrations were hand-colored by the pochoir process. The illustrations are very attractive (Kauffer was mostly a commercial artist who specialized in advertising and graphic media such as posters, but was an exceptionally gifted artist, and illustrated several classics), but for my taste they are unidiomatic and have little Spanish flavor, and this is a drawback.

The translation is by Motteux, often maligned as the least accurate of the major English translations, and the text in the Nonesuch version has been edited and revised (can't remember by whom). It has that curiously racy quality (and the same tendency to paraphrase rather than translate) which I find in Urquhart's translation of Rabelais, which is partly due to the archaic language, but which gives it a comic quality that, according to Ormsby, is quite foreign to the tone of the original. Although my Spanish is weak, I'm convinced that Ormsby's is much truer in tone to Cervantes, though I'd like to hear opinions from others who are fluent in the language.

41leccol
Jun 22, 2015, 12:18pm

I like both sets of illustrations, but I think the Ricart ones should be in a rebound copy. As I've said, my rebound Ricart DQ has each volume rebound in two different leathers. It makes for an attractive DQ with the title being put on using a high temperature font and gold lettering. Using a high temperature font, is like the difference between letterpress and offset printing. Not all binders can do this, so you much choose a binder carefully.

I paid $150 some years ago for my Ricart. Total cost. including a slipcase to hold both volumes and a leather label on the slipcase rear. was about $1000. Seems high, but nowhere near as high as the Arion one. I think my book can compete very well with the Arion DQ.

42BuzzBuzzard
Jun 22, 2015, 12:56pm

>38 Django6924: It is reportedly in Fine condition with the original glassine still intact. I hope to receive it by the end of the week.

>39 ultrarightist: I have wondered the same myself. Now I cannot comment on the translation but the illustrations (21 total) do not work for me. Otherwise the paper and press work for the Nonesuch edition seem fine. The limitation of 1475 is almost the same as the limitation for the LECs. Although it is not as expensive as the Arion Don Quixote it is still times more than either of the two LEC Quixotes. For me that's definitely a no go.

43Django6924
Jun 22, 2015, 3:15pm

>41 leccol:

Don, I paid $250 for mine several year ago; it was in Fine condition with all illustrations still slip sheeted and only the slightest tarnish on the gold titles, which, because they weren't done originally using a high temperature font, means they are somewhat faint, otherwise the binding is fine.

The Nonesuch Don Quixote I saw was when I was working in the Special Collections branch of the library; it had been in the extensive library of comedy books belonging to an actor who you would probably remember, though I doubt most of the younger members here would--Jack Oakie. He was quite a popular movie actor in the 1930s and his career lasted several decades. Apparently it was his dream to play Sancho Panza, a role which he was physically well-suited to play. If he is remembered at all today, it was for his portrayal of a Mussolini-like dictator in Chaplin's "The Great Dictator."

44jveezer
Jun 22, 2015, 4:15pm

As a lover of literature first, and a lover of fine press second, I have to say the one thing the Arion Press has on all these beautiful editions is Edith Grossman. That's worth a lot to me, although maybe not the price that Arion Press is charging. I suppose I could read the trade edition of Grossman while enjoying the illustrations and other perks of the LECs but that just isn't the same. I'm definitely with you that the LECs both have the illustrations of the AP edition beat. I enjoy the illustrations in the AP but I don't love them. Of the editions I have, I prefer Quentin Blake's in the Folio Society edition to Wiley's in the AP.

Definitely on my wish list to acquire one or both of the LECs when money allows. And when I have the urge to read DQ a third and fourth time, as that is one of my budgetary requirements to purchasing multiple editions.

45BuzzBuzzard
Jun 27, 2015, 6:55pm

Just received my Legrand Don Quixote and it is as new! I doubt it was ever opened. Glassine present and whole. Slipcase fine. Only the ML is missing. An amazing set. I will post pictures next week and compare both sets. Parchment once said that if he is ever reduced to ten books Legrand's DQ will be one of those ten. This says something.

46parchmentredux
Jun 28, 2015, 2:47am

>45 BuzzBuzzard: Yes, this is "the" Don Quixote for me, and I like the book more and more each time I study it. Edy Legrand is still another example that collectors would do well not collecting every book illustrated by a single artist. His Don Quixote is a masterpiece, and I do like a few other of his LEC books, but having browsed the web and looked at his French-language books, I still haven't found one that I want to obtain. For example, he illustrated three of the titles in A. France's Histoire Contemporaine, and I can't believe how bad they are (in my opinion).

47Django6924
Jun 28, 2015, 12:13pm

>46 parchmentredux:

Well said! parchmentredux. As I have often (perhaps too often) said, Legrand's DQ illustrations are, for me, the front runner in a very outstanding field. I don't think any other work of literature ever was blessed with the attentions of so many great artists and illustrators.

Legrand's other LEC work is not up to this standard (although the Nibelungenlied is outstanding): the Dumas and de Maupassant seem pretty and proficient, but not inspired; the St. Augustine Confessions much better when it comes to depicting Augustine's world, less so when trying to fathom Augustine's spiritual turmoil; and the Doughty Travels are fine but I would have preferred the contemporary photographs used in the recent Folio Society edition.

48kdweber
Jun 28, 2015, 3:45pm

Did Legrand not like to sign books in the 50's (Don Quixote (1950), Une Vie (1952), Travels in the Arabia Deserta (1953) - all unsigned) but was okay with it in the 60's; e.g. Marguerite de Valois (1969)?

49parchmentredux
Jun 28, 2015, 5:05pm

A seance would be necessary to get an answer to your question.

50Django6924
Jun 28, 2015, 8:45pm

>48 kdweber: >49 parchmentredux:

All I can surmise is that from the information in the ML for the Doughty book, Legrand spent his time in the years after WW II hopping back and forth from France to Morocco, where he had his other home, and often went on journeys in Africa and the Middle East (in fact he supposedly followed Doughty's trail gathering research for the illustrations). I would suppose the peripatetic (and busy!--he was illustrating several book during this period) artist couldn't manage to adjust his schedule to fit with the LEC's production schedule to be present to sign the pages. Just my guess.

51BuzzBuzzard
Editado: Mayo 10, 2018, 5:20pm

As good as it gets! Simply lovely. I can let my HP copy go now...

I think Ricart's DQ has the edge in terms of paper and press work. As for the illustrations I am not sure yet. I love Legrand's depiction of the knight and his squire.

52Jan7Smith
Mayo 27, 2017, 5:39pm

The LEC editions both seem to be double columned and the Nonesuch version does not which I like but can't afford. Any suggestions for others that are not double?

53Django6924
Mayo 27, 2017, 11:56pm

>52 Jan7Smith:

Other than the Arion Press edition with Edith Grossman's translation, I am unaware of any later fine press editions of the book. The Arion is probably more expensive than the Nonesuch, however. The Folio Society issued a Limited Edition with Quentin Blake's illustrations a few years ago, but I don't know if it is also double-columned (I'm dubious since it is in one volume).

54BuzzBuzzard
Mayo 28, 2017, 12:03am

>52 Jan7Smith: Well the 1933 LEC is not double columned. A gorgeous book too. Both LECs use Ormsby translation while the Nonesuch uses Motteux.

55Django6924
Mayo 28, 2017, 12:07am

Addendum to >53 Django6924:

But why do you think the earlier LEC (Ricart illustrations) is double-columned text? Mine isn't.

>51 BuzzBuzzard:

Vasil, I'm in total agreement about the superiority of the paper in the earlier DQ--probably some of the finest paper ever in an LEC. But as much as I love the Ricart illustrations, I think Legrand's are his best ever, and definitely my favorite.

56BuzzBuzzard
Mayo 28, 2017, 1:46am

>55 Django6924: It is really, really difficult to say which edition I like better. Legrand is quite possibly at his best and this is a very high bar. The paper and press work for the earlier edition is as good as it gets. I can't quite put it into words but the overall design for the Spanish DQ is so appropriate. I only wish it had double the illustrations (20).

57wcarter
Mayo 28, 2017, 2:22am

>53 Django6924:
The Folio Socity LE of Don Quixote is 770 pages of single column text, but has a beautiful full leather binding.

58Jan7Smith
Mayo 28, 2017, 10:05am

>54 BuzzBuzzard: I must have mistakenly viewed pictures of a 1950 version. Thanks for all the good information.

59Jan7Smith
Editado: Mayo 28, 2017, 10:32am

>55 Django6924: I think your comments on the earlier LEC made up my mind. I love the talk of the finest paper in an LEC.
I thought I was looking at pictures of a text page from this version when I assumed it was double columned. Thanks for the help.
Now if only I can find a beautiful set like the BuzzBuzzard books I will be so happy.

60jveezer
Sep 8, 2020, 2:06pm

Anyone seen the Eko illustrations in the 400th anniversary edition by Restless Books?

https://restlessbooks.org/bookstore/don-quixote

The cover illustration looks pretty cool, kind of modern steam punkish. It's the Ormsby translation, so I'm not really interested in reading it. If I have another read of DQ left in this reader's life, I'll read my Ricart illustrated LEC edition of the translation. But I might still be tempted to buy it if the illustrations merited it. I know, I know, I don't really need a fifth edition of DQ...

61Sport1963
Sep 10, 2020, 6:30pm

jveezer: Need has nothing to do with it.

62kdweber
Sep 11, 2020, 12:07am

>60 jveezer: Is it only in paperback?

63jveezer
Sep 11, 2020, 11:37am

>62 kdweber: I didn't have time to check but I was wondering the same thing. I'm not a paperback buyer if a hardback exists somewhere. I'll wait years to find an OOP hardback copy before I buy a paperback....Most of my paperback buys nowadays are literature in translation that are only published in paperback in English.

64skyschaker
Sep 20, 2020, 1:38am

I have both Quixotes and I am far from choosing the better one: both are wonderful editions. This book is so important in the history of literature, that no surprise that dozens ( if not hundreds ) of editions were published, and a few of them are outstanding. Since my native language is Russian, I have been filling my shelves with different Russian books, (after I finished the LEC collection in 2013), and among the Russian books there is an edition of Don Quixote that I could not resist. Illustrator is Russian architect and artist who did not so much illustration, his name is Savvah Brodsky. Here is a link to the book: https://www.labirint.ru/books/669392/ it is offered for sale for 3242 roubles, i.e. about $44 for 2 vols (Plus shipping to US, that can be about $35). Two heavy beautifully presented volumes are stunning. He also similarly illustrated "Romeo and Juliet" and "Hamlet".

65GusLogan
Sep 20, 2020, 5:14am

I just received the 1950 LeGrand DQ and realized I hadn’t done my Quarto-Millenary/forum homework - I expected something like the LEC Tristram Shandy size-wise! The eBay photos weren’t helpful in that regard. I’ve now found an excellent thread on smaller LECs. Not that I’m unhappy with the DQ - but space is at an increasing premium...

66WildcatJF
Sep 20, 2020, 10:08am

>65 GusLogan: Yeah, both the LEC Don Quixotes are very big and wide. Having acquired both the last two years, they probably together take up a good chunk of one of my shelves.

67Django6924
Sep 20, 2020, 11:06am

>64 skyschaker:

Striking illustrations! Do you know whether they are art prints or photolithography reproductions?

I don't think any work of literature in the Western World has been blessed with so many gifted illustrators as has DQ--not even any of Shakespeare's plays.

68skyschaker
Editado: Sep 21, 2020, 2:55pm

>67 Django6924: The market for art prints as a part of a book is something that is very rare and expensive. These pictures are photo reproductions, no doubt. If they were real lithos, the price could be 50+ times more. Until recently, the beautiful editions were hard to find and buy. Printing quality level in the USSR was quite low. The official prices were VERY cheap, but the book stores hardly offered interesting books. After the Soviet Union collapsed several private presses appeared, that started to publish beautiful books with limitation of 300-500 copies. The leader in this business is Vita Nova (vitanova.ru). They print the books in Latvia on some Italian press, the result is absolutely amazing. Here is a link to "Thais" by Anatole France, one of my most favorite books: https://vitanova.ru/katalog/tirazhnie_izdaniya/buduar/tais_1282 700 copies that were printed and offered at 5,000 roubles (i.e.$75) is too expensive for most of Russians. They used the illustrations of Raphael Freida, and many other artists (mostly French) from the rare French editions. This link will bring you to a series of beautifully created love stories https://vitanova.ru/katalog/tirazhnie_izdaniya/buduar/,
but there are MANY more books to enjoy the art work. Also if you go to google images and search for "Hamlet Savva Brodsky" or "Romeo and Juliet Brodsky" you will find the illustrations that are included in these editions.

69wcarter
Sep 21, 2020, 3:43am

>68 skyschaker:
These look like lovely books. Its a great pity they don't publish in English, or at least in a western European language that I can understand.

70Glacierman
Sep 21, 2020, 3:23pm

>68 skyschaker: Interesting publisher. I will have to give some serious consideration to one or more of their books. The leather-bound Wind in the Willows would be a nice addition to our collection of that title. And the Saadi's The Rose Garden has some awesome illustrations. Plus, with my dictionary to hand for unfamiliar words, I can read them.

71skyschaker
Sep 22, 2020, 3:34am

>70 Glacierman: The best edition of "Master and Margarita" is here: https://vitanova.ru/katalog/biblioteka_velikih_proizvedeniy/masterimargarita_262... has very unusual illustrations, that became very popular. The artists, brothers Valery and Alexander Traugot prepared 500+ illustration to the most popular novel of Mikhail Bulgakov; only half of them were used for the edition, published in 2005. In spite of a high price it was sold out shortly. The 2nd edition, published in 2015, used the other 250 illustrations and is also gone in a few weeks. Vita Nova offers an exquisite edition of the 2015 version; the 1st edition is impossible to get. here it is: https://vitanova.ru/katalog/biblioteka_velikih_proizvedeniy/masterimargarita_262... Price is about $300, s&h at cost

72booksforreading
Editado: Oct 8, 2020, 10:55pm

I have just finished the first volume of 1933 Don Quixote - my Spanish is not strong at all to read this novel in original, and I tremendously enjoyed the translation by Ormsby. In fact, I purchased a paperback copy of Grossman's translation, because it was praised so much, and because it is the one used by Arion Press. I wanted to compare the two versions and use Grossman's commentaries. I was very desirous of Arion Press's edition several years ago, mostly because of the translation and commentaries, but now, having read the LEC version with its commentaries, and having a chance to compare the two editions/translations, I would rank the LEC edition as a better edition (in my opinion, far superior).

Both LEC and Grossman's editions provide commentaries and explanations (this was one of the main attractions of Arion Press's edition to me). On occasion, the two versions can be complimentary to each other; however, most of the time, commentaries and explanations in LEC are more substantial, detailed, and numerous. I also love how, in many difficult situations for translation, LEC commentaries provide the original Spanish version and explanations about how decisions were made in this or that choice of English version.
Grossman never gives such an explanation (at least I have not seen one), and she mostly makes her own decision based on what she thinks would be the closest translation - her decisions are good, but a lot of things do get "lost in translation" this way.
Also, LEC commentaries add a lot to study of culture and history.

Conclusion: LEC 1993 version is a phenomenal edition! It is worth the money! AP version is not worth its price, in my opinion.
And LEC illustrations are wonderful!

Question: does LEC from 1950 have the same commentaries as the 1933 version?



73Django6924
Oct 9, 2020, 1:17am

>72 booksforreading: "does LEC from 1950 have the same commentaries as the 1933 version?"

Yes, but they are handled very differently: in the 1933 edition, the majority of the comments are placed as footnotes on the bottom of the pages where they occur, with an occasional footnote referring to a commentary, usually denoted by a letter, at the end of the chapter (eg.,"3-See note B on page 87"); usually the notes at the bottom are explanatory, often about an unfamiliar term, place, person or incident, and the ones at the chapter end deal in detailing a particular custom or they explicate why the translator chose the English he used. In the 1950 edition, all footnotes for a chapter are sequentially numbered in the text and the notes are grouped at the end of the chapter in which they occur, which is more common in scholarly texts, but I actually prefer to have the notes at the bottom of the page where they occur, as is usually the case in the 1933 edition. Students of fine printing consider footnotes on a page (or for that matter, any scholarly apparatus in a text) as inelegant, and I'm pretty sure that's why there aren't any in the Arion Press edition. To quote Prince Orlovsky: chacun à son goût. I would miss a lot in a work like Don Quixote or works by Homer or Vergil without some explanatory information.

Both Limited Editions Club Dons are wonderful and choosing between them isn't easy: the 1950 edition has the Ormsby translation as well, and I also prefer it over any other I've read (I've only read snippets of Grossman, but large chunks of Sam Putman's version and that of J.M Cohen, as well as an abridged version done by Motteux, which is great fun, but according to experts in these matters, not reliable as faithful to Cervantes' meanings). On the plus side, it has truly magnificent illustrations by Legrand, and on the whole, these may be my favorite of any illustrations of this work. I have already stated my preference for the placement of the footnotes, but this also is a matter of taste as is the fact that the 1950 edition places the text in double columns, which I don't like as well as the 1933 choice of single columns on the page. The illustrations by Ricart are certainly wonderful as well, and as original wood engravings have the added cachet of not being photographic reproductions. But there is no doubt about my preference for the paper used in the 1933 edition: in my opinion it has few equals and no superiors among Limited Editions Club books.

Only one solution, of course: get both.

74booksforreading
Oct 9, 2020, 10:52am

>73 Django6924:
Yes, I want to get the 1950 edition, I just need to prioritize :)
From what I have seen, AP edition does have commentaries/notes, though, as I have already mentioned, they are by far not as extensive or as numerous as in the Limited Editions Club's edition.

I feel that I should mention that the 1933 edition is heavy, so it is probably not as comfortable to read as the 1950 one.
Also, some tissue guards for a time kept wanting to get out of their respective places after I passed their respective illustrations and before some substantial number of pages was read after each illustration - does anyone else have this problem?

There were two-three very cute misprints in the notes, and, (something I have never seen before) two lines of text were reversed on one page - the line that should have been directly above the other was directly below it. I think that it was page 422, but I do not have the book in front of me now.

That said, the things I mention above did not detract from my pleasure of reading the edition, and I completely agree that the paper is a joy to handle and to feel!

75jveezer
Ene 30, 1:46am

I don't remember noticing before that the table of contents is in the back of the Ricart DQ. Not sure I've seen that before...

76ultrarightist
Ene 30, 6:41pm

I own a set of the 1933 Ricart edition in a bespoke leather binding with elaborate gold tooling. I may post pictures if anyone is interested in seeing it.

77MyrddinWyllt
Ene 30, 7:20pm

>76 ultrarightist:
Yes please!

78goldenbowl
Ene 30, 10:19pm

>76 ultrarightist: I second that! I recently acquired a copy of the 1933 edition. The interior is in great shape, but the covers and spine in particular, as seems to be the case with many copies, haven't aged that well. I was thinking of taking the plunge and having the book re-bound but I don't really know where to start, and I'd love to see more examples of others' experiences with custom bindings.

79booksforreading
Ene 31, 3:19pm

>75 jveezer:
I think that it was (is still?) very common in some European countries, such as France and Spain, as well as in Russia to place table of contents at the back of the books. I am not sure how it is now, but I have several 19th century French books, and they all have tables of contents at the back.

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