Thursday, August 06, 2009

virtual watercooler post

Cruising through the webs at work, trying to work out how best to use some scraps of vellum I've been given; visited a fav blog and discovered this beaut site at The Guardian, comparing various cover designs for Wuthering Heights.

I particularly like this one, as it has repackaged Bronte's novel to fit the teenage Twilight zeitgeist:

Poor Jane has been going through this as well, with P&P plonked into the Chicklit market, from which I fear it will be hard to recover:

I must admit, part of the reason I bought Pride & Prejudice and Zombies was for the cover, which is lucky, because the book was quite disappointing. Latest news is that it's about to become a graphic novel, which is much more exciting, as I think that format will be a lot more interesting than the book or a movie.

In other other (pretty stale) news, there's a sequel to P&P&Z called Sense & Sensibility & Seamonsters. I don't think the cover is as interesting, but if it's going to be pitted, as the link suggests, against the latest Dan Brown yawn, then I'll root for it to succeed. Then again, it would be nice to have some real writing pitted against boring spin-offs any day.

If you have other 'repackaging' loves or hates, SHARE. Time we had a coversation (I meant to type conversation, but that spelling works in this context, doesn't it?) around here. I'll break out the iced vovos to go with the tea. Or would you prefer cashews with a nice bottle of white?


starlelite said...

i'll take a white and some cashews, thanks.

actually, the repacking of covers is something i address in my dissertation (which i am apparently not proof-reading right now). one example: julia leigh's the hunter. most of the covers include a picture of the thylacine/tasmanian tiger: some of these pictures reference the extinct thylacine, using black and white images, some the myth of the tiger by using blurry pictures which appear to reference the 'look at my photo of the extinct animal' picture-trend. one cover has a picture that clearly links back to friederich casper david's 'der wanderer ├╝ber dem nebelmeer / wanderer above the sea of fog' and foregrounds Romantic interpretations of the key figure of the hunter...

i do similar stuff with my other texts too. interested to see what other people come up with!

Penthe said...

All I can say is if Jane Austen can survive the 1960s lurid bodice-ripping covers she can survive the pastel chicklit market as well. I can't find an example anywhere. I have quite the collection of Jane covers - nasty cardboard for kiddies from the 1950s and 60s, even nastier paperbacks and some quite nice hardcovers trading on the period as a fetish.

Justine Larbalestier has a good discussion of different versions of her covers. She talks about issues of race and representation here:
(sorry, don't know how to embed the link).

Jay Dee said...

Oh Gosh - truly dreadful book covers. If you'd like to see some real 'eye candy' for booklovers, you should check these books out - They are beautiful :)

Ampersand Duck said...

Mmm, it's a nice white.

I really like Justine's posts about her cover -- especially the 'whitewashing' issue.

Starlelite: I think the study of covers is the next big wave of bibliographical studies; we're such a visual culture now, and the subtexts of covers is almost as important as the changes forced upon authors by publishers and editors.

Jay Dee: nice books! I'm a bit lairy of that quasi-naive graphic style though; I think it will date as easily as the covers of the 1970s.

genevieve said...

Gee, I'm a dill - I thought that Wuthering Heights was one of Belle and Sebastian's favourite books, trying to read that sticker. It's a very clever cover.
I met a lovely teenager working in a bakery (which serves great coffee near a river) a couple of weeks ago, who wanted to know what I was reading, and eagerly volunteered that she was enjoying WH. Doesn't happen often, but it did happen.

The choice between white and Vovos is very tough.

Martha said...

My biggest republishing peeve is about the Narnia Chronicles, which were &@*$ing RENUMBERED in recent editions from multiple publishers. Yes, I know Lewis's estate apparently specified this, but still. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was the first book in the series to be published, and should always be read first. Now a whole generation of kids is reading the series in the wrong order. grrr.

Maria said...

My 'repackaging' gripes usually have to do with movie edition book releases, but I suppose every one has heard of those. The ones where your favourite epic has been rereleased to have an actor grinning down at you or in a "thoughtful" pose and a big sticker saying "Now a major motion picture" written across it.

I saw a ... I think it was Wordsworth classic edition of Anne of Green Gables, paperback. Anne was drawn on the cover with blonde hair.

That is majorly stupid and I would refuse to buy even a cheap version of the book on those grounds. Everyone knows that one of the most important things about Anne was that she was a redhead! VERY redhead. Who are these artists/decision makers?