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Merejkowski - The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci
It is a curious thing that little oddities so catch our attention after years of
neglect and lead us to question bigger things.
That happened to me this evening. I was walking by my bookcase of Russian
authors (in translation - I can only read enough Russian to follow their chess
magazines), when I noticed that the title on the spine of my copy of Dmitri
Merejkowski, The Romance of Leonardo DaVinci, Random House, New York, 1931,
which my mother owned before I was born, and which I read 40 years ago, was set
up so that the letters faced the front cover (European style) instead of the
back cover (American style). I was stunned that I had never noticed this
before. So I pulled out the book to make sure it was published in New York. It
was. Then I looked at the copyright page and noticed the title shown as [first
line] The Romance of Leonardo DaVinci [second line] The Gods Resurgent. I also
had never noticed that second line title, which is not found on the title page
or the half title page.
Curious now, I pulled out my copy of the German translation to compare.
Verlagsbuchhandlung Schulze & Co. Leipzig 1906, 2nd edition. The first
difference I noticed was that the title was not the same. On the title page it
reads: [first line] Leonardo da Vinci [second line] Historischer Roman aus der
Wende des 15 Jahrhunderts. Trans.: Historical Novel of the Turn of the 15th
Century. I flipped through the book and noticed each chapter had one or more
headers with quotes from various sources. Encountering a vocabulary problem in
one of them, I picked up the Random House copy and was shocked to find that
there were no such quotes in that copy.
So, if anyone here is familiar with the original Russian text, (1) what is the
correct title, (2) do the chapters have quotes at the top?
Francis A. Miniter
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