Monday, 19 July 2010

Before & Afters

I've talked before about the way some books change appearance between announcement and publication. I suspect this happens more and more these days, as internet bookselling tends to demand some sort of image as a placeholder for people pre-ordering the books.

I thought it would be interesting to look at three new or imminent NYRB Classics, and at the covers they were originally promoted with compared with those they qwere finally given. In one case, the title even changed. For each of the three books below, the first cover is the original image and the second is the final, published (and, in the end, more appropriate) version. All NYRBs are designed by Katy Homans.






For the Cossery and Simenons, the now-unused first images are rather intriguing in their own right. However, since they weren't used, I can't find the source information.

6 comments:

Adam Creen said...

I think it's a shame that for the two books not written in English, the translator's credit has disappeared. It would be very refreshing to have more translators mentioned on the cover. Tim Parks' Guardian article in April Why translators deserve some credit gives good examples of the craft of the translator.

A Sideways Girl said...

Hmmm... I would be more drawn to the Cossery with the first cover than the final published version...

JRSM said...

Adam, I agree with you that translators deserve cover-status credit. There are some books I've read more because I trust the translator (Andrea Bell, Michael Hoffman) than because I know anything about the book.

A Sideways Girl: It is a more intriguing--and sinister--cover, isn't it?

ghrency said...

I agree with you that translators deserve cover-status credit.



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Phoebe said...

I'm really curious about the image used on The Jokers by Cossery - it looks like a Picabia painting...

JRSM said...

It does, doesn't it? It's actually a Syrian election poster from the early 1990s.