medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
From: John Briggs <[log in to unmask]>
> Christopher Crockett wrote:
> > From: Tom Izbicki <[log in to unmask]>
> >> You might consult:
> >> A Translation of the "Chronicle" of the Abbey of Morigny, France, c.
1100-1150/. Edited and translated by Richard Cusimano. [Mediaeval
Studies, Vol. 22.] (Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press. 2003. Pp. ix,
>> quite unreliable in its notes and, i think you may find, in the
precision of its translation, as well.
>> a terribly overpriced, ugly little book, cheaply produced by a kind of
academical Vanity Press.
>> don't get me started on That One.
> At the risk of doing just that, I could add that I have always been
perplexed by the business model of the Edwin Mellen Press. They go out of
their way to say that the are *not* a Vanity Press, which only reinforces
the point that everyone thinks that they are!
yes, they definitely Protesteth Too Much.
>I suppose they survive by producing cheaply, and selling expensively to
the M.C. translation (which is just the translation, no Latin text, even
though the early 20th c. ed. of the latter is in the public domain and rather
difficult to come by) runs 233pp. and lists for $109.95 from the publisher
whose site would seem to indicate that it is still available there.
but the "used" after market
runs from the Strong
to the Excessively Optimistic
in addition to the rip-off price, my objections concerning the publisher are
the typography, while not as bad as it could be, i suppose, is basically crap.
the pictorial cover (there is no dust jacket) is every bit as tawdry as it
a nauseating pink, a low-res digital photo, painted on cheap cloth which wears
white remarkably easily, increasing the cheap, tawdry look.
there are three (or perhaps four) "plates" --again very low quality digitals,
with a very bad color balance, among the worst i've ever seen in a book--
including (rather inexplicably) one of the 11th c. crypt of *St. Mary's of
Etampes*, complete with its rather garish early modern painting, quite similar
to this shot
Cuisimano has supplied a shortish introduction which i read a few years ago
when it first came out --i simply gave up counting the errors in that after
the first dozen-- and the ocassional note (also containg a remarkable number
i had the ocassion to check the translation of a couple of passages and, if my
dim memory serves, there were errors which even the most Latiniacally
Challenged fellow (like myself) could see.
>There is a suspicion that they publish books that no-one else will.
mmm... for good or ill.
the Catholic University Press published his translation of Suger's The Life of
Fat Louis --again without a facing Latin text-- and we may assume that there
is considerably more of a market for that one than for the M.C.
From: Tom Izbicki <[log in to unmask]>
> As a librarian, I have had to deal with the Mellen question on occasion.
They go to conventions with a big sign asking whether you have a manuscript
set up near me for many years at the 'zoo, during my Book Dealer Incarnation.
a nice enough guy.
>That tends to reinforce the perception of them as a vanity press.
of course, sans sign, that's what all the publishers are doing at conferences,
in addition to hawking their wares --looking for books to publish.
they're perhaps just a bit more agressive than most.
>They do seem to produce books no one else, at least among the university
presses, will take. That is not entirely a bad thing.
what, that they will publish the obscure --or the mediocre-- or that the U.P.s
>I have seem books from Mellen I would not buy, but I have some in my own
collection that are worth having.
alas, in the long run, the Cusimano trans. of the M.C. is worth having.
if you've got someone else's money to spend to get it and are Aesthetically
Challenged and understand that it is inherently unreliable as an annotated
otherwise, there's always the PhotoCopy Machine.
>US university presses have pushed certain types of publications to the
margins or overseas. That is not entirely their fault either. Universities
have tended to withdraw subsidies from their presses. Few university presses
have journal lists, as Johns Hopkins does, to keep them afloat. The vice
president of one press told me years ago his outfit tried to find titles
with enough sales potential to float those academic titles they thought
worthy but hard to sell.
i'm not so sure that the U.P.s should be let off so lightly, Tom.
seems like, as the technology of book production has exploded exponentially,
the cost of the finished product has, rather than gone down, progressed
as for looking for Block Busters to subsidize the Obscure, I.U. press does
that by publishing very nice Coffeeish Table books on suchlike topics as
Indiana Courthouses, Birds of Indiana, W.P.A. Frescos in Indiana, etc.
and those are very nicely produced, in the main.
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