Friday, 29 January 2010

The 3,988,393,210,272nd Salinger Blog Post

The death of J. D. Salinger has generated a vast quantity of online verbiage, so my apologies if you don't want any more. I'm actually not a big Salinger fan, having only read A Catcher in the Rye, and that probably too late in life to really love it. But a sharp-eyed reader emailed me with this link to the 'Guardian', and their online display of some inadvertently timely Salinger redesigns, which are being brought forward because of the death.

To quote from the article: "Before his death, JD Salinger's publisher, Hamish Hamilton, worked with him to produce jackets for reissues of his books (originally planned for June, they are now due out next month) ... [said]Simon Prosser, publishing director, Hamish Hamilton: "There are strict rules about JD Salinger's covers. The only copy allowed on the books, back or front, is the author name and the title. Nothing else at all: no quotes, no cover blurb, no biography. [...] We commissioned Seb Lester, the highly regarded type designer, to hand-draw a font; that font, on the cover of these re-issues, is a one-off and is known in-house here at Hamish Hamilton as the 'Salinger'."

Here are the covers:

 
  
  
  

So, I think I'll be reading some more Salinger, then.

8 comments:

Derek said...

I prefer his other books to Catcher, but reading is so much a matter of personal taste that I can't guarantee you'll feel the same! As for the covers, I'm a big fan of text-only designs.

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

These designs are really, really gorgeous. We see so much shit typography and graphics that it's just wonderful to actually see something like this.


The hand-drawn design is just fantastic. Thank you for posting these. They are all lovely.

Steerforth said...

I don't like them - too ostentatious - I think a smaller type and fewer swirls would be more appropriate. But as I don't like Salinger either, I'm probably not the best judge.

Vintage Reading said...

I've only read Catcher, but I loved it.

Some of the British papers featured Salinger's death on the front pages and used the photo where his is obviously going to punch a photographer. I thought it showed a lack of respect for JD.

Dieguin said...

hey, nice post! thx for the support, would you like to exchange links?

JRSM said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I think I'll have to try 'Franny...' or 'For Esme...' at least.

That photo choice is unfortunate, but I suppose they didn't exactly feel spoilt for choice in terms of the pictures they could use.

Dieguin--I'm trying to work it out--are you the chap who stares at apocalypses?

Roger said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/02/jd-salinger-obituary-letter
for earlier experiences with Salinger's covers. It's interesting that Salinger accepted Hamish Hamilton's alterations to the text when he was first published

JRSM said...

That's a really interesting article, Roger. Thank you for the link.