fiction files redux discussion

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Caustic Cover Critic

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message 1: by Adrian (new)

Adrian | 253 comments One man's endless ranting about book design ...

Caustic Cover Critic


message 2: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
I love this! A high school acquaintance of mine designs book covers -- he designed Her Fearful Symmetry, which I see advertised on here all the time, Point Omega by Don Delillo, The Mercy Papers, Half Broke Horses (endless list, really) -- here's his book cover blog:

http://bookcoversanonymous.blogspot.com/


message 3: by Adrian (new)

Adrian | 253 comments Shel wrote: "I love this! A high school acquaintance of mine designs book covers -- he designed Her Fearful Symmetry, which I see advertised on here all the time, Point Omega by Don Delillo, The Mercy Papers, H..."

This is wonderful. I was gathering scans of some awful early editions of Salinger's books, to justify why he became so finicky about their presentation, and I became distracted by these cover blogs.


message 4: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
A friend gave me a gift of Catcher last year that looks like a pulp fiction novel. It was the one they published in the Times next to his photo when he died. I know it's in a thread here somewhere. I can scan it if you want and email it to you.

I have a similar pulpy version of A Good Man Is Hard to Find.


message 5: by Adrian (new)

Adrian | 253 comments Shel wrote: "A friend gave me a gift of Catcher last year that looks like a pulp fiction novel. It was the one they published in the Times next to his photo when he died. I know it's in a thread here somewhere...."

Yeah, I found that goofy product of the past, along with some covers from British versions, which also repelled Salinger. The first Penguin edition of Catcher offended him because it featured critical praise on the front and, even worse, an author photo & bio. on the back cover; he demanded that this would never happen with any future editions. I just grew weary of Salinger's sense of offended hauteur and decided against posting any more about it.


message 6: by Jonathan, the skipper (new)

Jonathan | 609 comments Mod
. . .i'm with you, adrian . . . frankly, i feel sorry for his publishers--he was a pain in the ass . . .


message 7: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 102 comments I'm with Salinger. Critical praise on the front is just tacky. Author photo & bio is not as bad, but I wouldn't miss them if they were gone.

The problem with Salinger (in my opinion) is that he was SO adamant against the idea of the "cult of the personality" mentality that he became the center of a cult of his own personality.

People are drawn to what they can't have, and if you make yourself (as an author) scarce, people will papparazi-stalk your ass. On the other hand if Salinger was more lassez faire about the whole thing, people would care less about him, and he could actually achieve more of the anonymity.

Well... they'd still care about him, but all he'd have to do was write a few more books of successively poorer quality and people will start to dismiss him as a "has been with one great book".


message 8: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda (rhondak) It is an odd thing that I believe that Salinger was both correct about the personal fame issue as well as incapable of preventing it. Just like any person of interest, the longer he says "No!" to interviews the greater the value to the public for one to come out. Personally I think Joyce Maynard was a money grubbing witch... and he warned her what would happen. She just didn't happen to care all that much about the difference between deserved fame and credit given because of a market for scandal.


message 9: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
compare the cases of Salinger and Harper Lee - she's lead a more or less normal life out of the lime-lite but simply stopping


message 10: by Jonathan, the skipper (new)

Jonathan | 609 comments Mod
. . . good point, monk . . . lee does an amazing job of laying low . . . the fact that salinger spurned the public attention only invited more scrutiny . . . lee just demurely bowed out. . .or at least that's my perception . . .


message 11: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (last edited May 09, 2010 07:23AM) (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
My mom told me of this saying in the south about how a woman can hold a knife inside her - strength and the ability to fight - and a butterfly, to learn how to act with grace in even difficult situations.

The trick is to learn how to be a butterfly even when the knife is being or could be used... and it seems like Harper learned how to be the butterfly, while Salinger had the knife out all the time.


message 12: by R.a. (new)

R.a. (brasidas1) | 79 comments My copy of The Crying of Lot 49 (among others) is just such a cover, or so it seems.


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