Friday, April 21, 2006

An Intimate Connection (Collection?)

Ah, to be in New York amidst the smell of book dust. Not that you or I could afford the kind of prices these books go for... And I do wonder about the first edition, signed copy blah blah thing.
OK, so there was this one time in Edinburgh when I was really miserable and I considered blowing a week's food money on a pristine first edition of the public printing of Seven Pillars of Wisdon (a great book about lostness and escape) - not the private printing, which runs in the £1000s (or even add a zero), but still rare enough and with all the fold-out maps intact.
I love books with fold-out maps. Or just maps. I've been reading Bettany Hughes' Helen of Troy, which has six or seven maps. And lots of endnotes. And appendices. It's almost Anne Carson, except it's archaeology.
And as with Anne Carson, lots of "distinguished" white male academics and writers are upset because she brings sex (sexuality as well as erotics) into the discipline, and makes the classical world accessible. Blah blah. Her book made me want to translate Greek again... Somewhere in my "other" library in London are a pile of Greek texts (mostly bilingual) from my schooldays in Ancient Greece (hehe).
Although what's left to translate? Carson's done Sappho, Catullus, Stesichoros, Mimnermos, bits of Alkman, Simonides, Euripides, Aeschylus (in the NYRB, but available to subscribers only so I won't post a link that will upset us poor non-subscribers -- but if anyone has a link to the excerpts on a blog or elsewhere, I'd be grateful for the post)...
There is something very tempting about the Iliad, although Christopher Logue kinda has that covered (Cold Calls is haunting me in a "Read me again!" way).
Maybe the antiquarian book fair could turn up something really antiquarian???

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