What i thought would be a slow summer when it comes to record covers and books actually turned out to be quite the opposite. I have gotten a couple of books and a record cover during the last few weeks that i’m pretty excited about. But i’ll try and go through it all chronologically and this book is first in line…This is one of the first dust jackets that i found information on once i started looking for them. At the time i got the impression that it wasn’t incredibly rare as i was able to find quite a few copies online for sale. But at the same time it became obvious that it would require a bit more digging to find one without having to pay hundreds of dollars.
The funny thing was that i had no idea that the edition published in the US by New Directions in 1961 and the one published in the UK by Chapman & Hall a year later had the same cover. Chapman & Hall seems to have been a somewhat big publisher back in the day, at times housing names such Charles Dickens and William Thackeray. Today it seems to only exist as an imprint for science and technology books published by Taylor & Francis. Anyways, some of the few frequent visitors to this blog might remember my Amazon rant about this book back in may where i was confused about publishers, Amazons various sites and ASIN numbers and so on. Eventually one of the sellers i contacted got back to me with some very familiar images. I still couldn’t put it all together so i also emailed a little bit with Guy Minnebach asking about the possibility of different editions using the same cover. As i recall he was not aware of this but apparently i had gotten blind from staring at images of this cover for to long because he noted something obvious that i had missed completely – that the published is clearly stated on the spine! So… it turns out there are in fact two editions using this cover.
As usual the seller on Amazon didn’t offer international shipping but for once this one was actually willing to make this possible. With shipping and everything i think i payed a mere $25 for this. I was quite pleased with this especially since i was almost on the verge of caving in and getting the cheapest copy i could find, and that’s the one that’s been on Etsy for a looooong time for $155. I had been haggling a little with that seller and gotten the price down a little bit, not much and nowhere near the $25 that i ended up paying for this copy, so once again i think i made a real bargain.
This is also the second book i’ve gotten so far that does not credit Warhol with the cover design, the first one was Love is a Pie by Maude Hutchins. However, as with that book Warhol is credited with the design on New Directions website as well as on other places so there is no doubt this is a Warhol. I’m uncertain weather or not he is credited in the original edition published by New Directions. I’m a little curious though so maybe Guy can shed a little light on this?
There is not that much to say about the condition really as i think it’s pretty good. There is a little smudge or something like that on the bottom right of the front cover but to me it kind of blends in with the overall design so i don’t think it’s that visible. At least it doesn’t bother me at all, the cover is also in protective plastic which is always nice. Another thing i noted is that the face of the red headed girl from the cover (of what i assume is supposed to be the books main character) is also on the spine of the actual book. I’m also curious if this is the case with the edition by New Directions, but i would guess that it’s the same.
I don’t know for sure but i would assume with at least some confidence that the original US edition is more desirable than the one i’ve got and i will probably not stop looking for that edition. But considering what i payed for it and that the covers are in fact identical (except from the publishers name on the spine of course) i’m more than pleased with this copy for now. I also wonder who did the typography, i’ve been comparing it to the one on The desire and pursuit of the whole and they are quite similar to my eyes. Whatever the case that doesn’t bring me any closer to finding out who did it…
To sum it up i think it’s a great looking dust jacket. And since i love black and white and repeated patterns this is really one of my favourites so i was very happy to finally get a hold it! I just wish my record cover collection would move along with the same pace as the books…