Author Topic: EFKR - I got it!  (Read 2882 times)

redburn

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EFKR - I got it!
« on: August 25, 2009, 01:11:37 PM »
Hi all, I just received my copy of Encyclopedia of Knots and Fancy Rope Work by Graumont and Hensel.
It is a 1952 edition, so I was worried about any lacking in the index, as noticed by Vince "Frayed Knot Arts" in another post.
Glad to discover that in this tenth printing (2000) there is an Appendix Index which contains -or at least I guess so- the missed part (one page and half, more or less).

Is it only my suggestion or the pages have the typical tarred hemp smell? Did anyone other notice this?

Anyway, since the first look, it is really a great book that I will need all next century to go in depth ...

Dan_Lehman

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Re: EFKR - I got it!
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2009, 03:29:49 AM »
Hi all, I just received my copy of Encyclopedia of Knots and Fancy Rope Work by Graumont and Hensel.
...
Anyway, since the first look, it is really a great book that I will need all next century to go in depth ...
I must burst this false hope: this book is egregiously bad .

It's appearance and the claims made for it make it to be a compendium
of the history of knots, from all over.  It is only by careful/attentive examination
that one comes to question this, that one sees in it outright mis-copying (i.e.,
one knows a prior book with knot and words matching (nearly) what H&G give),
copying of nonsense (the knot was bad before, and they echo or change it and
it is still bad), hilarious/ridiculous non-sequiturs (Turks shooting farther on account
of a knot tying bowstring to bow), and entry after entry of makes-no-sense "knots"
that can only be understood as efforts to fill up a page (or else, ... what?).

I hope that a few pages of close reading of EKFR nonsense will open some eyes.
It stands as a powerful indictment of all of us who have gotten it and lumped it up
on the shelf, thinking it some wealth of information to mine when we just have
some time.  But after confronting it point blank -- not mere "inaccuracies" but
outright ridiculous balderdash --, we must face up to the fact that we've let it
pass muster w/us for so long, so outrageously bad.

And that no one (apparently) has called its bluff!   >:(

You can read samples of the pure nonsense from the book in a thread
begun here not long ago:
http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=1431.15

--dl*
====

redburn

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Re: EFKR - I got it!
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2009, 02:49:21 PM »
I understand Your point.

I thought that my difficulties in reading were dued to my understanding of English, that's not my first language.
I excusated the quality of b&w pics reflecting they were made in 1939 or so and that Ashley's book was printed in 1944.

I have a lot to learn, not only in knotting ...

Dan_Lehman

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Re: EFKR - I got it!
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2009, 05:30:25 PM »
I know that the sour words (mine) are off-putting, but when you come
upon a big lie/falsehood, it's time to put the Light on it for others to see.

Now, you posted here under Fancy & Decorative Knotwork , and I'm
a Practical person; I cannot (now) speak to this book's value in this
F&D field.  It certainly has a lot of things to look at, any of which might
inspire & guide one's designs; for that matter, much of the apparently
practical -- though in the vast sections entitled "Simple" & "Miscellaneous"
knotting -- might lead one to interesting designs.  And that's all well and
good.  But here we must note that we're doing a lot of the work in
finding value in the book, which one might have expected to be
forthright in presenting information ("Here are various interweavings
of cordage created by the authors, of no particular value, but which
might ... ").

By chance, I have found one clear case of plagiarism -- a near verbatim
copy of Hasluck's text for a supposed Sheet-bend-like knot --, and in
that case one can see the authors' lack of skill:  (1) they copy a knot
that is in no way sensible (in H.N.G. Bushby's beautiful, private Notes
on Knots
he calls it "a hopeless bungle"); (2) they copy a bit of
Hasluck's text about it (edited to remove a relative reference); yet (3)
they reverse one crossing, and (4) switch which end of the hitching
line is loaded. !!!  Similarly, they present -- but well separate from
the above, w/o cross-reference -- the similar (and similarly no good)
structure from Tyrrell Biddle's book and alter the crossing in the
same position; though in this case it isn't determinable from EKFR
which end is to be loaded (a problem with perhaps most of their
presentations!).

One might point to the organization (little) of the book's contents
as a big hint as to the wit of the authors.  But not just that, but
the contents themselves are so badly wanting.  -- but have sold ... !

Let's consider Plate 30 (pp.72-3), here.  What is #111 ?  It could be
some bowline variation, or some crossing-knot-based eyeknot; but
I see no resemblance/connection to the referred-to Mathew Walker.
And #113, what is the point of that?  -- is it to be a noose, as might
be hinted by proximity to #112?  -- or perhaps some kind of adjustable
eye (the turn making for the "Rolling" moniker friction-gripping a
sliding end)?  And #s116 & 121, these structures make no sense.
And #118 is nothing like the referred to rope-ladder @pl.250#130 !!
This is really BAD authorship.
AND really BAD publishership,
but both could only exist from sadly bad READERship -- how else does
a book get reprinted for several decades?!   -- and reviewed by two IGKT
members (I'm one) with high (not me!) and okay (me) ratings on the
world's main bookseller, Amazon.com ?!!  -- something I intend to redress,
ASAP.

But, again, perusing it might take your decorative (even practical) interests
into worthwhile flights of fancy.  Just don't give the authors & book credit
not due.

It is really a growing curiosity of mine as to how this vast assemblage
of stuff --much of it lousy-- came to be?  I can only imagine that two
guys got together and dreamed up a lot of things to which they gave
fanciful, often comical names ("The Crossed Loop Hitched Knot",
"The Rolling Hitch Figure of Eight", "The Braided Figure of Eight in
an Eye" {<= "consists of a prolonged Figure of Eight placed in an eye"!
[pp78/80pl34#170]}).
Geesh, I can't stop--soooo many:  p77#146, "The Crow's Feet Eye
Hitched Knot (uh-huh) may be used for a sling shortener."  No, it CAN
NOT:  it is not TIB (tiable in the bight), which is essential for shortening
a (closed-circle/-loop) sling; it reduces to a Double Overhand knot.

And, finally --for this post-- , what perhaps best sums up the value of
EKFR in a nutshell, consider as a paradigm for this book the brief
entry pp.74/7pl.32#141, "The Becket Loop has no practical value."
INDEED !

QED.

--dl*
====

« Last Edit: August 28, 2009, 05:52:40 PM by Dan_Lehman »

Bob Thrun

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Re: EFKR - I got it!
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2009, 10:45:13 PM »

By chance, I have found one clear case of plagiarism -- a near verbatim
copy of Hasluck's text for a supposed Sheet-bend-like knot --, and in
that case one can see the authors' lack of skill:  (1) they copy a knot
that is in no way sensible (in H.N.G. Bushby's beautiful, private Notes
on Knots
he calls it "a hopeless bungle"); (2) they copy a bit of
Hasluck's text about it (edited to remove a relative reference); yet (3)
they reverse one crossing, and (4) switch which end of the hitching
line is loaded. !!!

Could you tell us what knots these are? 

My impression of EKFR was that G&H were great at tying decorative knots, but they do not provide directions for someone else to tie these decorative knots.

Dan_Lehman

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Re: EFKR - I got it!
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2009, 02:30:49 AM »
By chance, I have found one clear case of plagiarism -- a near verbatim copy of Hasluck's text
... yet (3) they reverse one crossing, and (4) switch which end of the hitching line is loaded. !!!

Could you tell us what knots these are? 

My impression of EKFR was that G&H were great at tying decorative knots,
but they do not provide directions for someone else to tie these decorative knots.

Here are the two cases of copying related to what I call (borrowing Geoffrey's
moniker) the "Wot?knot":

pp.74/5pl.31#136 :   "The Loop Bend is another way of bending a rope to a loop."
(citation for the image; text is nearby)

This is a copy of Biddle's knot except for (1) reversing the first crossing of the
bottom-left strand (hitching line) and (2) implying that it is for a loop (only)
-- Biddle presents this (verbally) as an extension to the Sheet Bend, which he
gives only as an ends-joining knot.

pp.28/9pl.7#150 :  The Bending Loop is another and more complicated method
bending a rope to a loop.
  It can be tied as shown by the illustration. When
hauled taut, it holds securely.
  However, it takes longer to make a Bend of this type.

[Note similarity of names.  And I guess a "method" IS "more complicated" than
a mere "way".   ::)  ]

Now, here is what Hasluck wrote (1904)
"Another and somewhat more complicated method of bending a rope on to
a loop
is illustrated by Fig.37.  B is the standing part, and A is the end of the
rope to be bent on a loop already formed. 
  [dl:  So, he is clear re S.Part.]
When hauled taut, this holds more securely than either of the other methods,
but, on the other hand, takes longer to make."


Again, H&G reverse the first crossing of what Hasluck gives as the hitching
line's S.Part but treat this as the end, reversing also the loading thus.
The Hasluck knot is ridiculous; but H&G are hardly better (nor is Biddle's or
H&G's rendering of Biddle's).

--dl*
====



KnotMe

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Re: EFKR - I got it!
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2009, 01:29:12 AM »
Whatever else you might think of the technical content, lack of instructions, inaccuracies or "borrowing", the book has many pretty knots to look at and is inspiring in that sense if nothing else.

I've got a copy and it makes me happy.  8)

Dan_Lehman

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Re: EFKR - I got it!
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2009, 04:02:25 AM »
Whatever else you might think of the technical content, lack of instructions, inaccuracies or "borrowing",
the book has many pretty knots to look at and is inspiring in that sense if nothing else.

Fair enough, though, but the honest review of such a book is:

Although practically worthless as a guide to the history or use or tying  of knots,
it has many pretty knots to look at and is inspiring in that sense.


Is that a 5-star rating?
-- 4-star ?
... ?!

I'm pressing for awareness & fairness.

 :)