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How many copies are 'too many'?


Looking at this image, it does feel a little like overkill.


But ... I'm going to try to defend it, nevertheless ...


 

Let's begin with some pleas of mitigation.


Firstly, no prizes for guessing I'm a committed I'm a bibliophile, and uncomfortably familiar with the glorious Japanese concept of tsundoku. I've been battling a fairly strict 'one in, one out' rule imposed by my Dearest Parter of Greatness since we moved into our current home.


I think I'm winning, but please don't tell her I said so!


Next, despite being a frequent user of e-books, I want to celebrate the aesthetic appeal of these beautiful things. I love the most recent one, with its suggestion of the slippery nature of evil - perfectly encapsulating Mephistopheles, and the way Faustus is more than once distracted or bought off by the gift of a new magic book. But my favourite, despite the personal history of my university Norton Anthology (#2), has to be #1. Not just the austere design, letting the text speak for itself, but the tactile glory of the fabric cover. And the smell ...


Is this any more than a quasi-narcissistic glimpse of my bookshelves? Is there any value to my tutees, and other Marlowe students?


Absolutely!


And it's all about AO5, people. Also known as:

explore literary texts informed by different interpretations.

Think of each version as a time capsule. The introduction to each is an insight into what the critical view of the text was at publication. Which means that as well as a production and critical history since the play was performed, we can view, live, how criticism of the play evolved over the last 75 years!


Your teachers will have recommended academic editions of your texts where possible - and for good reason. Don't ignore the introductions (but I would read the text first), and remember that other editions will have some additional hits of AO5 for you!


Which books do YOU have lots of copies of?



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