Heritage Press – The Story of Reynard the Fox by J.W. von Goethe (1954)

August 13, 2017 § 2 Comments

The Story of Reynard the Fox by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1954))
Sandglass Number Unknown
Artwork: Wood Engravings by Fritz Eichenberg
Introduced by Edward Lazare, translated by Thomas James Arnold
Reprint of LEC #242, 23rd Series, V. 10

Click images for larger views.

Front Binding – Hello dear readers! Today’s post features an illustrator I hold most dear; the masterful Fritz Eichenberg, who has made quite an impression on this blog with his exquisite woodcuts and other art scattered throughout the Limited Editions Club, the Heritage Press and a few non-Macy publications. His Macy bibliography is covered in The Brothers Karamazov. But here we get to see a slightly different side to Eichenberg as the majority of his engravings feature animals over humans (although humankind is represented here in the book), giving it much more of a fantastical edge. This is an epic poem from the legendary Germanic author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, although it is not the first appearance of the character Reynard the Fox — according to the introduction the fox has been around at least since the medieval period, with some variants of the tale appearing in Ghent (1148), German (1180), France (1175-1250), and Flemish (early 13th century). English has its earliest version appearing in the thirteenth century as well, alongside an Italian version. In short, Reynard has been around a long time, although it is a particularly excellent spin on this iconic tale that George Macy chose to publish.

Goethe makes his debut on our blog at last, as noted one of the German masters of literature and quite a well-rounded contributor to Germanic academia: among his many talents (including literature) were expertise in art, philosophy, science, diplomacy, architecture and botany. However, we will focus on his skill with the written word, of which George Macy printed two examples of (and his wife Helen a third). The play Faust was the first, issued as a LEC in 1932 starring Rene Clarke’s talents. A Heritage exclusive of the same work was issued later on with Eugene Delacroix’s artwork, possibly in 1959 (I don’t have a copy in front of me to confirm my quick research on ABEBooks; I will update this once I do). I believe it uses the same text as the LEC. Next came this epic poem in 1954 for both clubs, followed by what may be his greatest novel Wilheim Meister’s Apprenticeship in 1959, featuring William Sharp as artist. Not printed by Macy or his other clubs would be the contender for Goethe’s greatest novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, which helped propagate the worldwide literary movement of Romanticism.

Design Notes – The original LEC was designed by Eugene M. Ettenberg, who likely carried his designer title over to the Heritage edition as well.┬áThe font is Janson. I don’t have a Sandglass unfortunately so I can’t get too much more into the details than those observations in the Quarto.

Spine

Slipcase

Title Page – I really like this decoration Eichenberg crafted up for this page. Edward Lazare stepped in to provide a new introduction to this work, which was translated by Thomas James Arnold.

Examples of the Illustrations by Eichenberg (right click and open in new tab for full size):

Personal Notes – This was another title Liz sent me last year. I plan to upgrade to a LEC down the road, but will hold on to this title until that day comes.

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Site News – 8/12/2017: Update

August 12, 2017 § 2 Comments

Hello everyone!

I’m here to revise what I had originally written about site updates now that the aforementioned “last book” went up on the site today. While I am still without any books of my own to document, I have reached out to a couple of Devotees and have gotten approval to host photographs from one user, BuzzBuzzard, of his splendid Heritage exclusives. And I have a second in the works that I don’t want to necessarily share yet as it’s possible it may not pan out. But if it does, it will be an excellent addition as well. Major, major thanks are due to both of these Devotees for their kindness!

Meanwhile, I still feel that updating the older posts should be a priority as well. So I think for now I’ll be rotating a new post featuring BuzzBuzzard’s images biweekly, and work on some revised content on off weeks. If my second contributor can figure out the logistics on their end to be able to assist as well, then we’ll reconfigure this plan as necessary. But the good news is that the site will not have to slink back into the dark, which makes me very happy indeed.

~ JF

6/3/2017 – Update

June 3, 2017 Comments Off on 6/3/2017 – Update

Hello readers!

It has been close to three months since the hiatus announcement, but I do have good news about my job status — I will be starting a new position on the 12th! However, I will be working extended hours once I start, so I cannot guarantee that I will be getting new posts up and running with any sort of consistency for the time being. But I will be ending the official hiatus and will see about putting up some new material this week!

Eulogy to Lois Wheeler, a dear friend

April 15, 2017 § 2 Comments

I just learned from my parents that a very dear friend passed away a few months ago, Lois Wheeler. I’ve mentioned her name a few times here at the Imagery as she was herself an avid lover of books and greatly relished the opportunity to visit and go over my acquisitions with me. She sold me the copy of Beowulf I still own, as well as several other Heritage Press titles, from her time as the owner of Page One Used Books, which I used to volunteer at (and get paid in books). She also gave me books after she closed her store, far too many for me to list out here. She was a lovely individual, someone who was an absolute pleasure to be around and an infectious book enthusiast who helped me gain my own deeper passion for the medium, leading to this blog and my collection.

She was 88 and passed away from breast cancer. I haven’t seen her since I moved, and now I never will. She was an amazing woman and I will miss her greatly. Rest in peace Lois.

An Executive Decision

March 20, 2016 § 1 Comment

Hey everyone,

Blog’s been quiet again. I apologize for that, but I haven’t felt like putting in a lot of work lately, and I think I may have pinpointed why. You see, I think at this point in my life I am just not that interested in putting in the time for books I don’t own. I have no personal investment beyond obligation to this site, and I don’t think that’s the best approach towards producing content for the blog. So, I’m making a personal choice to no longer post up books I don’t own at that moment in time. Which does strip away the entirety of the “Coming Soon!” banner I had (I just changed it to reflect this change). But I’ve been thinking of the posts I put up on the Great French Romances over the break and how essentially barebones they were…because I don’t own complete copies where I can get information for them! And that’s not doing anyone any favors beyond visuals and the barest of details. I think this blog can be better than that. I’m not going to delete any of the posts that lack a Sandglass or anything like that; they’ve already been done, and I can update them later if I choose. But I’m not going to spend any more time compiling incomplete posts. I hope that you understand this editorial choice and look forward to our next post on our first LEC Shakespeare, Henry the IV Part I, in the near future.

The Year in Review: 2015

December 31, 2015 Comments Off on The Year in Review: 2015

Hello everyone,

Sherlock Holmes took a little longer than anticipated to prepare, so it won’t be going up until tomorrow, I’m afraid. In the meantime, for those curious about how the blog performed this year, WordPress has supplied me with its annual report, and you can peruse it at your leisure here.

Happy New Year, readers!

The George Macy Imagery’s 2014 in review

December 30, 2014 Comments Off on The George Macy Imagery’s 2014 in review

WordPress has supplied me with their 2014 annual report for this blog. For those curious about what was popular here, feel free to check it out!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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