I've just 'experienced' an interview with cover designer Peter Mendelsund over at Varsity Bookmarking and have been reminded of his wonderful colourful, yet economical Kafka series for Knopf. They really do sum up the weird disconnectedness of the books while retaining their level of Coen brothers-style absurdity. I know – so good right?
Not content with Alt-J's dominance in turning classical works of art into extremely enjoyable hipster dubstep choral pop-rock, Myles Manley & the Little People have spliced scenes from Caravaggio paintings together to form a music video for their track Easter Morning. Interesting and relevant, here's something to play in the background while you while you tuck into your hot cross buns.
DrunkenWerewolf Issue 4 is out today FREE! It features the next big thing in indie pop Bastille as well as Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, Gabrielle Aplin, Olo Worms, Glis Glis and a very good, amusing column by yours truly. It is especially amusing this month, if I don't say so myself. All the more reason to pick one up in Bristol for free or download it from the website.
Designer Eric White has reinvented Truman Capote's seminal works for Random House. And they are sick. Particularly the cover for In Cold Blood. His website is full of awesome images.
French artist Hubert Duprat makes sculptures that also make themselves, utilising structural elements of the natural world: crystals in rhomboid formations placed in patterns that emulate or display their natural form; and these below: caddis fly larvae, which create protective cases from their environments. In this instance, Duprat has supplied them with gold and pearls. This makes me go all Attenborough.
The Tube has been around for 150 years, and the London Transport Museum are celebrating it with an exhibition of its many posters. This devilish one advertising smoking carriages is particularly nice I think. Check out the beautiful subtleties of the blue text.
More info over at Creative Review.
There has been controversy over Faber's recent 50th anniversary edition of Sylvia Plath's partially autobiographical novel The Bell Jar. The criticisms have mostly centred on how this new cover, complete with red lipstick, compact and joyfully haphazard cursive script, makes the book look too much like 'chick lit.'
And, well, yes, yes it does.
This seems foolish for two reasons: 1) It gives the wrong impression of the sentiment or plot of the book, and 2) It's going to confuse the hell out of people who have never read it before.
Someone wonders round Waterstones the weekend before their trip to Majorca trying to pick out a couple of 3-for-2's to gently read on the beach between drinks and dips in the ocean. They pick up this copy of The Bell Jar. They think, 'ooh, this looks nice. I did like that chocolate book they made of the film with that lovely Johnny Depp and that French bird in. Just pop in the basket....' Then, days later, they are confronted by one of the rawest and most accurate descriptions of depression to have made it into popular literary culture.
Perhaps this is good, you are thinking? Perhaps it is good to lure people in with the promise of badly written sex scenes and Jane Austin rip-offs. And, like, yeah. Maybs you're right. Totes blates this will attract a different kind of audience to the book and, sure, that can only be a good thing. But it doesn't seem very honest or accurate. In fact, it reminds me of the trailer to The Shining that has been re-cut to make it look like a romantic comedy. Gets in a new bunch of people (and wallets), but not exactly appropriate for the content.
A more representative cover was in fact already used by Faber and Faber when they took the book up in 1966, by in-house designer Shirley Tucker. The cover and an interview with Tucker are below. So why the U-Turn, Fabes, ehy?