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The Anatomy of Melancholy (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – April 30, 2001
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From the Publisher
This edition retains the original Latin, while providing bracketed English translations.
About the Author
Robert Burton (1577-1640) was elected a student of Christ Church College, Oxford, in 1599 and took his B.D. in 1614. He served as a vicar in Oxford and then as the rector of Seagrave. The Anatomy of Melancholy appeared in five editions during the author’s lifetime and has been reprinted countless times since.
William H. Gass (b. 1924) is an essayist, novelist, and literary critic. He grew up in Ohio and is a former professor of philosophy at Washington University. Among his books are six works of fiction and nine books of nonfiction, including On Being Blue (1976; published as an NYRB Classic), Tests of Time (2002), A Temple of Texts (2006), and Life Sentences (2012). Gass lives with his wife, the architect Mary Gass, in St. Louis.
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Top customer reviews
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As for the book itself, you have probably seen it mentioned so many times that you have finally decided to see what all the rumpus is about. And it is truly wonderful. Compare to Montaigne. ..... Burton is even more poetic, and earthier too, and even more humorous.
The amazing M. A. Screech, editor of (Penguin's) Montaigne, far exceeds this Burton's editor, Holbrook Jackson, in erudition and in helpfulness. The former is a modern scholar and the latter is vintage. I wish Screech, or someone like him, would get busy on Anatomy. (Sure, but but who could do anything approaching his accomplishment on Montaigne?). The intro here by William H. Gass is a great benefit of this edition, and in fact maybe we should pick up Gass' books next.
My advice is to read the 3rd partition first, in case you don't think you will read the whole work. My favorite partition, anyway.
I wish I had had time for a more studious reading, looking up the notes and looking more closely at the Latin, but alas I did not. Anyway, these notes just cite the sources of the quotations, nothing more. The reading alone is still a considerable effort, but very very worth it. You will wish you had known the author personally, just as you have imagined talking with Montaigne. A long wonderful book is just several wonderful shorter ones, so why be afraid?
My reservations are that this edition is the only affordable one in print, and it is still neither unabridged (when you see the book, and it's the size of a cinder block, you won't believe me, but it's true) nor with sufficient emendations. I shouldn't blame the NYRB folks for not making a standard critical edition at a mass paperback price point, but, well, I guess I am.
There are three "partitions" (sections) bound together in this one volume, and the numbering starts over again from one at the beginning of each section. The first section is 523 pages, the second is 312 pages and the third is 547, for a total of 1,382 pages plus some additional back and front matter.
So fear not. You're getting the whole thing in the one-volume NYRB paparback edition. Some flunky just looked at the page number on the last page and wrote that number in the product details without examining the rest of the book.
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My one-star review is for the Kindle edition (a Google books facsimile) which is...Read more
I hope your conquest is proceeding well, if not easily.Read more