16th Century anatomist Andreas Vesalius's seven-volume opus on the human form, De Humani Corporis Fabrica, secured his status as the founder of modern human anatomy. Now, the foundational text has been translated and annotated in a beautiful (and exorbitantly priced) two-volume set.
The world's first annotated English translation of Fabrica will set you back $1,650 dollars ($1,567.50 if you buy in on Amazon – what a steal!). That buys you over 1,300 pages of digitally enhanced, woodcut anatomical illustrations; upwards of 5,000 annotations; and, if you're me, a mountain of debt. Worth it? Perhaps. David Hast, son of the new edition's co-translator, Malcolm H. Hast, told Boing Boing that it took two decades to produce:
The edition is annotated, with fabulous reproductions of the original plates of the anatomical drawings (which were done by the school of Titian). The book has just been released, though its copyright is 2014 to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the birth of Vesalius.
My father, Malcolm H. Hast, an emeritus professor at Northwestern University Medical School, is co-translator of the book, along with Daniel H. Garrison, a Latinist, also from Northwestern. They took 20 years to complete this translation!
Talk about a beautiful marriage of science, art and history. I want this. I want it badly, but I will never own it. Not unless one of you buys it for me. Or if, like, twenty of us go in on it and we all share it. Timeshare anatomy books. What do you say?
[Spotted on Boing Boing]