Fables (1860): Jean de La Fontaine
La Fontaine, Jean de
. General Books LLC Publication . NY ,
PQ1811.E3 2009 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Perhaps copied from the second volume of an 1860 edition by Derby and Jackson, which I have in one volume purchased from First Folio of Buchanan, TN, in June, 1988. Becoming acquainted with this publication has been disturbing to me. To judge from the product, the book was quickly and poorly scanned and edited. That it indeed comes from a Derby and Jackson publication seems clear from the garbled rendition of the scanned colophon on the verso of the title-page, where PERBY I JAl-KSOS appears. The editor did not bother to check the scan against the original. My next issue came when I read what immediately follows, the dedication to Madame de Montespan. That dedication comes at the beginning of Book VII of La Fontaine's fables. This volume does not bother to reproduce titles like Book VII. It offers rather seventeen sections. Is a section a break perceived by the scanning machine? This book thus gives no indication that it is the second of two volumes. The next disappointment to a reader will come when she or he encounters on page 9 the first of many cases in which La Fontaine's poetry is rendered as prose, with several lines run together without any indication that they are poetry. In case the reader needs a final disappointment, he may with a chuckle read the pasted-in library listing on 228-29, now rendered as though it were part of the book: RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED, followed by LOAN DEPT. The scanner was adept enough to pick up that the due time for the last of the book's borrowers was 8 pm on July 1, 1979. This book gives a frightening glimpse of what publishing may come to in the future! It has made me grateful for the care that good publishers give their books.