The Set I’ll Use

No… not the onions it will take to finish the job in a year’s time… but rather the set of books I’ll be reading throughout the year.

In January of 2007 I was lucky enough to stumble upon the complete set in hardbound form for a remarkable $95 on amazon. The price has gone up considerably since… but considering what a turkey shoot the pricing at amazon can be these days, you never know if it will go back down again.

I can’t recommend this set highly enough. Individual hard-bound volumes by the always venerable Penguino make for a pleasurable mind-body-soul experience, a big upgrade over having them bound in one big-ass book.

Everybody has their individual preferences, understood. Many people love paperbacks. I’m a big fan of trade paper. But these slim blue hardbounds are hard to beat, especially if you come across a good deal.

As an added note, I’ll be using various volumes from the “No Fear” Shakespeare line as well. I love language, but my Renaissance English is a bit shaky. In the past I’ve noticed that my skills weirdly improve over time… as if all English speakers have a recessive gene for the Queen of bygone days.

Nothing replaces original usage, whether it be Dante’s Comedy in Italian or Goethe’s Faust in German. Chaucer deserves to be read in the buff if you understand him or not — but the wife of Bath, well, if you understand what she’s saying, she’s sure to get a rise. (It always amazes me that students read her in high school English classes and have no idea how bawdy she is.)

I like dual-language editions and the No Fear series provides the most accessible, low-cost version around. Last time I checked, their selections weren’t exhaustive, but we can’t have everything, can we?

I will be sure to note where a connotation is derived from a No Fear “translation” rather than my cracking my own nut to come up with a meaning. Full disclosure is my promise here, whether it makes a fool of me or not.

Good luck in your quest, ladies and gents. If you have preferences for the set you’re using, let me know. I’m always on the lookout. You can never have enough copies of the Mahler 9th and the collected works of Shakespeare, that’s my POV and I’m sticking to it.

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2 Responses to “The Set I’ll Use”

  1. marilyn clemons Says:

    how many people, now?

  2. Not enough! Tell your friends. Reading Shakespeare is a lot more fun the more chances you have to make a complete fool of yourself in front of millions.

    Stay tuned!

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