Links for the weekend
Posted June 15, 2007on:
It turns out that the boring, mysterious Premier Classics line published my Random House and difficult to find on any site except Chapters is not the celebrated line destined to bite Penguin Classics in the butt. It’s these.
Ron at the GalleyCat posted the news and linked to Première de Couverture which has more pictures of the books that are being launched. A few look good and just right like Alice in Wonderland but most look like they’re trying too hard and the Austen covers are plain boring to me. (I get the contrast of the different motifs but it’s still plumb boring.) Three cheers for the book jacket focus group though that said the Penguin Red covers were patronising.
I’m not sure how these are going to work in my town since the local chain store has been hitting us over the head with Premier. I’m guessing the indie will have better luck at selling them. Update: Or it might not get them at all. Thomas of Premiere de Couverture wrote in comments, “I wouldn’t dismiss those Premier Classics (a Chapters exclusive!) just yet, as there’s been no confirmation that Random House will even bother to release the new Vintage Classics in Canada. As I mentioned in my post, the local Random House rep in Montreal isn’t even aware of their existence…”.
That would suck. I don’t see myself buying books like Gulliver’s Travels or Moby-Dick, two of the few intriguing covers, without introductions or endnotes, but I would dearly prefer to pass by those books on the shelves rather than the insipid stuff they chose for the poorly made Premiers. (I can’t think that Canadians would respond better to these in comparison. Who would?)
The Conversational Reading has a generous offering of interviews, reviews and commentary on translation for your browsing pleasure. I really enjoyed Esposito’s Queneau reviews and interviews with Chad Post, programme manager of Reading the World, and Karen S. Kingsbury, translator of Eileen Chang’s Love in a Fallen City.
Which leads nicely to an informative interview the great people at Litminds had with Edwin Frank, editor of the NYRB classics series. He gives the background on how the series started, the idea behind its mission and what the word “classic” means for the imprint. One of the first authors whose work they printed was Ivy Compton-Burnett! You see? You have to read her now. 🙂 (via A Different Stripe)
At A Different Stripe I also read about a new book in the series The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy which sounds smashing. Oddly enough this particular edition can’t be found on the national chain store’s website nor on Amazon.ca; it has the Viragao Modern Classics edition but it’s only available from third party sellers. Isn’t that strange?