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Posts Tagged ‘cover design’

Nabokov's The Defense, designed by Paul Sahre

  • 500 new fairy tales were discovered in a vault in Germany. I never grew up into the folklorist I thought, as a child, I might, but I still find this news item quite bizarre and exciting.
  • JStor launches a beta of “Register and Read,” a free program to allow (capped, limited, but still) access to those not affiliated with academic institutions. Because I am not, this pleases me, though frankly I am unlikely to use it very often despite good intentions.
  • The Millions has a nice little article on the pleasures of used bookstores as mausoleums for deceased texts. The antiquarian book trade is an uneasy island of hope amidst the constant fretting about the Fate of the Book that is my worklife. 
  • I encourage the interested–fans of either Nabokov, cover design, or both–to spend some time reading Salon’s interview with John Bertram, the editor of a new book that collects cover designs of Lolita more in line with its horrific subject than the usual erotic offerings. This article in turn leads to Jacket Copy’s excellent two part case study on the difficulty of designing for the book, here and here. All fascinating considerations of how cover design can change both popular conception and critical consideration of a text (though of course the movie versions are also huge element in cementing the pop culture meaning of the term “lolita”).
  • Related to Jacket Copy:  is Peter Mendelsund perhaps one of the great cover designers of our times? Take a look at his covers–I guarantee that you’ll recognize more than one of them as iconic. I don’t love everything he does but he’s responsible for some of my favourites–the Peavar & Volokhonsky translations of Russian literature and the new Kafkas in particular. Here’s an interview with him over at Caustic Cover Critic, also interesting.
  • I’m in a particularly associative mood today. All this cover-thought has reminded me how much I loved Vintage Press’s recent redesign of the Nabokov covers (which Mendelsund contributed to:  he did King, Queen, Knave and it’s lovely). I already own most every Nabokov in various well-loved and unmatched editions but I am awfully tempted nonetheless by this set–the matchiness of it all, the conceit of the specimen box, and the three dimensional design element of these all tickle my covetous nature. I blame my job:  ever since I started at the bookstore I’ve developed a weakness for set collecting and attractive covers (dangerous!).

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