Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Grimm

I got the latest Taschen catalogue last night, full of their usual mix of high art and ridiculously exensive porn. I assume there's someone out there who thinks $69.95 is a reasonable sum to spend on a book of photos of Kate Moss, but I hope my life never intersects with theirs. However, one book in there that I do need to own is Noel Daniel's upcoming fancy-pants edition of The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm.



What Daniel has done is comb through 150 years of different Grimm editions and translations from all over the wrld, and chosen the best illustrations for the best stories, presenting them all together in one big book. It's a great idea which, like many ideas, I'm amazed nobody had before*.

Some innards:














This is also as good a time as any to post one of my other favourite covers, a sexy and ornate interpretation by Vania (or Ivan) Zouravliov for Vintage Classics.



* My own great ideas are never so great. The other night, waking up at 2am, I had what seemed at the time a bolt of inspiration: start a Tumblr called 'Books' Ends: The Last Word in Great Books', and each day I would post the last word from a great book, somehow revealing the natures of said books and their authors through their well-chosen final words. I have not yet done this, because the world doesn't really need another pointless Tumblr blog, but I'm still tempted.

14 comments:

booklush.com said...

this is gorgeous! major book lust right now.

Jonathan Walker said...

It is a great, simple idea. When I was originally thinking of commissioning illustrations for Five Wounds, my first idea was to get either a classroom of children or a ward in a psychiatric hospital (it did not much matter which) to all draw their own versions of the characters, and then to include every single version in the book. Perhaps just as well I found Dan instead.

JRSM said...

Booklush: I know how you feel!

Jonathan: That would have been great! Although Dan's artwork is just right. You've reminded me of David Milano, who got kids to draw H P Lovecraft monsters based on the descriptions in his stories:
http://davidmilano.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/cthulhu-mythos-as-imagined-by-kids/

Jonathan Walker said...

Thanks for that link, James. Very entertaining.

Chasch said...

I think your tumblr idea is genius, frankly (although I would consider finding a title that sounds a little less like my blog!). One of most remarkable and frustrating book finales I have ever is in Michel Folco's alas untranslated "Un loup est un loup" (literally, A Woolf Is a Woolf). The last lines go:

"- Charles Leloup, he said, trying to catch his gaze. Will you take Bertille Pibrac, here present, as your lawfully wedded wife according to the rite of our mother the Most Holy Church?
Charlemagne let go of Bertille's hand in order to cross his arms. He began waddling in his clogs.
After a moment, which appeared outrageously long to more than one, he heard himself say, loud and clear:
- No."

And that's it. Not many writers would end a book like that! I threw the book against the wall when I got to the end. There is a sequel, but it took the author 6 years to write it!

The Grimm book looks absolutely stunning by the way. It's wonderful to have a different style of illustration for different stories. I hope they'll do it with other fairy tales, like Andersen's.

Hence72 said...

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JRSM said...

Chasch: An Andersen volume would be an excellent follow-up. And I love that extract you've translated--someone needs to publish an English version. "Waddling in his clogs" is a weirdly evocative description.

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JRSM said...

I've now deleted their 3-billionth comment, but I just need to say that the spammers behind 'designer handbags sale' needs the most almighty kick in the slats.

Georgie George said...

Lovely. Must confess to having viewed photos of Kate Moss wedding just this day... thanks for tips about Dawn Powell and the Barr Smith-will join! Do you think there are any 2nd hand shops in Adelaide likely to stock her also-am now realising that I need to cultivate my book shopping eye to be aware of what shops might stock which type of books.

JRSM said...

George: As long as you didn't pay $75 for the photos, I'll still talk to you! For second-hand books, most of the good Adelaide shops disappeared while you were interstate. The Lions Book Shed on Barr Smith Ave near Norwood is pretty good, though.

thatcovergirl said...

Holy book porn, Batman. From those innards teasers, this is a must-buy.

StuckInABook said...

Beautiful... tempting...

And I think you should definitely set up your Books Ends blog - it would become something of a cult site, I reckon ;)

LinWash said...

Wow! This is truly beautiful!