Saturday, September 29, 2007

Baltics

I was reading Sarah’s post on Transtromer and got onto talking about the Samuel Charters’s translation of Transtromer’s Baltics, a chapbook-length poem published in 1975 on Oyez Press.

This translation is hard to find. I’ve seen it selling for between £40 - £80. Imagine my shock when I went to Amazon.com and found several copies available at around $60-$110, and one copy via Powell’s bookshop for FIVE DOLLARS.

$5!!!!

Could it be the same book? Amazon didn’t give details of the translator, but it’s definitely Baltics by Tomas Transtromer, published in 1975 on Oyez Press. What else can it be?

I ordered it. The postage cost double that of the book, but that’s still only about £8 in total. It should arrive in a couple of weeks. But I still can’t believe it. There must be a catch. There must be something wrong…

4 comments:

Cailleach said...

You lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky...

You remind me that I have that volume of his sitting upstairs on the bed ledge - I must get to that after I finish Thom Gunn.

James Midgley said...

You can find this kind of thing on amazon or abebooks quite often. I picked up a copy of Burnside's Common Knowledge a while back for 7 pounds, for example, and a 1st edition signed copy of Pattiann Rogers' Eating Bread and Honey for 4 some time before that. Luck and timing.

SarahJane said...

wow! lucky you!

Matt Merritt said...

I had the same thing with a hardback original copy of Ted Hughes' Remains Of Elmet - ridiculous prices everywhere, then one internet seller with it for £7. Pot luck, I suppose.