Monday, January 10, 2011

Intimacy by Sartre, judging a book by its cover

I confess to not understanding the stated sharing policy concerning articles originating in the Financial Times.  The sharing tools they list are not very helpful and their stated policy suggests that simply posting a link is okay, so post a link I will.

A recurring column in the FT focuses on book covers.  Sure, it is silly to judge a book by its cover but trust me, an ex-publisher with over 300 books published, the cover design process is sometimes the most enjoyable part of publishing a book, covers are collectible in their own right and a pristine dust jacket is what collectors generally pay the big money for.  I generally enjoy each new entry in the FT, book cover series and only wish the series was more active.

The January 10, 2011, article introduced me to a title from Jean-Paul Sartre, published in English translation in 1949 that is intriguing both for the content and the cover.  Intimacy and Other Stories, by Jean-Paul Sartre, translated by Lloyd Alexander, Peter Neville, London, 1949 with pictorial jacket by Guy Nichols is a new discovery for me.  When published in English translation with this cover, both the content and the cover were scandalous at the time. 

The FT review by Edwin Heathcote is fabulous for its insight into British publishing and how this cover artist, a "hack artist" in Heathcote's description, was revolutionary.  I'm certainly now interested in obtaining a copy and my search suggests that book sellers are not doing themselves any favors in posting sales copy since none feature the cover!

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