From an interview with Vendela Vida, author of a first novel called And Now You Can Go:

I do like the idea of there not being any design on the book jacket and just reading every book in the same font.

Via La Muselivre, an excellent French literary blog (je veux dire carnet) whose creator was so enraged by this that she stopped reading the interview, thereby missing this delightful exchange:

RB: It is getting tedious. I was engaged in one of those weblog threads and somebody called me a nitwit.
VV: [shouts] Don’t read it! Don’t go on line!

Somebody called him a nitwit! The horror, the horror! The barbarians are at the gates!


  1. It’s my day : everyone talking of my blog ! (I’m kidding !, but it’s still nice).(I like “blog” : “carnet” is very precious…)
    I think, considering her reaction, that VV has been too often called a nitwit in her life… Now, thanks to you, i have another good reason not to read that very enraging interview 😉

  2. I remember going to a University bookstore ca. 1960 when I was 14 and seeing a whole section of extraordinarily drab Penguin (and Pelican?) books. Every one looked like every other one. I remembered thinking that the people who read those books must be Very Serious People. (I also felt, very oddly, that the people who wrote New Directions books with the black-and-grey covers must also be Very Serious People of a grim, puritanical bent.
    Thene in the late Sixties (?) I saw a Penguin edition of Beyond Good and Evil (still out, I think) with a nude woman on the cover. It seems that there must be a moderate position somewhere in between.

  3. It seems that there must be a moderate position somewhere in between.
    That’s pretty much how I feel about the pre- and post-Tina New Yorker.

  4. Mrs Eggers, innit? Birds of a feather…

  5. That’s the one. (Hold your mouse over the title of her novel…)

  6. John Cowan says

    The current Penguin cover is something I cannot myself decipher, if indeed it is not entirely abstract. However, a naked woman seems entirely in decorum for a book whose title plainly alludes to the Adam and Eve story.

  7. Certainly not entirely abstract; there’s a cubist building in the background, probably a cathedral.

  8. “Der Weg des Genius” by Wenzel Hablik.

    “Sphinx” by Franz von Stuck is a classic Germano Facetti choice.

  9. The cover is a detail from “Der Weg des Genius” (1918) by Wenzel Hablik.

  10. Good work, both of you!

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