Tolkien Collector's Guide
Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951)
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Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951)

Joined:
May 2, 2008
From Belgium
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Shirefolk
Posts: 148

I have got a question on this book. My copy of 'Essais' is 'uncut'. With this I mean that I cannot turn all the pages because they still stick together in quires (see photo). Does anyone of you has this sort of copy to? And what is the correct term for this (the term I refer to as 'uncut')?

Thomas

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By Gawain

Re: Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951)

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People do refer to this as "uncut" but I think the correct term is "unopened pages". "Uncut" refers to pages that have not been trimmed, ie have ragged edges.


By laurel

Re: Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951)

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hi
Mine is the same and uncut throughout
Must be a common occurence then?
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Re: Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951)

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I think the correct term is "untrimmed", most modern books are made of octavo sheets (8vo) which were trimmed at the top.

Wikipedia Octavo (abbreviated 8vo or 8°) is a technical term describing the format of a book, which refers to the size of leaves produced from folding a full sheet of paper on which multiple pages of text were printed to form the individual sections (or gatherings) of a book. An octavo is a book or pamphlet made up of one or more full sheets of paper on which 16 pages of text were printed, which were then folded three times to produce eight leaves. Each leaf of an octavo book thus represents one eighth the size of the original sheet.


Most modern books are still described as "8vo" even if they have nothing to do with the above description in the way they are currently printed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octavo

Some US books were not trimmed (do not know why), and it looks like these were also not trimmed properly, not ideal for a reader as it is impossible to read without trimming the top.


Re: Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951)

Sep 6, 2010 - in Books and other printed materials (edited)
Joined:
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From Belgium
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Posts: 148

Thanks for your enlightening responses, all of you.
Untrimmed it is then!
And finally I know what '8vo' stands for. I've have come across the term several times but I didn't know what it meant (I don't know why I didn't look it up ).

How about your copies, Gawain and Trotter (and the others who read this, of course)? Are they too untrimmed, like Laurel's and mine?
If find it somewhat annoying that I can't read Tolkien's essay properly...


edit/ I found out that untrimmed, uncut and Deckle Edge actually mean the same thing, i.e. pages that are not cut, with rough edges. The first edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is like this for example (well, at least my copy is).
So I don't know if there really is a clear and specific term for the 'phenomenon' I was looking for. Perhaps untrimmed and uncut are the terms that best describe it3
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'Love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart; and remember that the true hope of the Noldor lieth in the West, and cometh from the Sea'


By Gawain

Re: Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951)

Joined:
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I'm afraid I do not own a copy to compare.


By garm

Re: Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951)

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I have only an offprint of Tolkien' s 'Middle English Losenger', so I can't compare either.

Interesting to learn of the expression 'deckle edges'. Nice word, 'deckle'. I've come across this before once or twice, in my collection *rummages around* - here we are; Adrien Bonjour's 'Twelve Beowulf Papers 1940-1960'. (published 1962). I had to cut the edges in order to access the essays I wanted to read. I was shown how to do this by a book-dealer; it's not for the faint-hearted, and I wouldn't do it to a 1st ed. Gawain! (mine, complete with dust-wrapper dated April 1925, fortunately came to me in a cut form).

The way to do it, mes enfants, is a very quick and bold slice using a steel rule. Indecisiveness causes tears (and tears!) So be warned: if you want it done to something fancy, take it to a bookbinder.

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Re: Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951)

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Putting on my special collections librarian's hat:

The correct term for a book with the folds of its gatherings still intact is, as Gawain says, unopened. As John Carter writes in ABC for Book Collectors (available as a pdf here), unopened 'must not be confused, as it often is by philistines, with uncut'. My and Christina's copy of the Essais is roughly trimmed but not unopened; it was, however, once owned and read by someone else, who made a few marginal notes, and he or she may have opened the leaves. It's not at all unusual to find scholarly books of this sort, issued in wrappers and intended to be rebound (and thus trimmed at that time), with unopened gatherings.

Now, then, as to opening unopened leaves, my advice is always to stay well clear of any metal or plastic tool, the use of which, even with care, may bring disastrous results, mainly because it will be so much harder than book paper and have a hard edge. Much better to use a stiff card, for instance an index card (at the library I use old catalog card stock), heavier than the paper to be cut but not too thick, and keeping it and the book flat, address the unopened top or fore-edge with a gentle sawing motion, with just enough force to get the job done.

Wayne


By Dior

Re: Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951)

Sep 7, 2010 - in Books and other printed materials (edited)
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My copy of Essas is the same, as well as my copy of the Transactions of the Honourable Society of the Cymmrodorion.

have left them both wthout separating the pages. Is there a need to open the pages? I was worried about damaging the books

Dior


Re: Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951)

Sep 7, 2010 - in Books and other printed materials (edited)
Joined:
May 2, 2008
From Belgium
Group:
Shirefolk
Posts: 148

...and I wouldn't do it to a 1st ed. Gawain (Garm)


There is a little misunderstanding here, I think. My Gawain, as all the early prints I bet, has deckle edges (=untrimmed/uncut pages), but is not unopened. I can turn every page, but the edges of the pages are rough, not smooth.

But I don't think I will 'open' my copy of Essais. I'm not that handy and the risk of creasing a page is too great. And it seems a nice oddity to my collection. It also means the book has never been read or used before.

Anyway, thank you for your responses!
_________________
'Love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart; and remember that the true hope of the Noldor lieth in the West, and cometh from the Sea'



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