Sandy Klein: http://observatory.designobserver.com/entry.html sends John Gall's "The Nabokov Collection" and
the project to redesign Vladimir Nabokov's book covers. All twenty-one of them"
My idea ...Each cover consists of a photograph of a specimen box, the kind
used by collectors like Nabokov to display insects. Each box would be filled
with paper, ephemera, and insect pins, selected to somehow evoke the book's
content. And to make it more interesting for readers ...Here's who I asked: Chip
Kidd, Carol Carson, Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin, Megan Wilson and Duncan
Hannah, Rodrigo Corral, Martin Venezky, Charles Wilkin, Helen Yentus and Jason
Booher, Peter Mendelsund, Sam Potts, Dave Eggers, Paul Sahre, Stephen Doyle,
Carin Goldberg, Michael Bierut, Barbara de Wilde, and Marian Bantjes.
JM: Illustrators and book-cover
designers are not expected to have read the "twenty-one" books by Nabokov.
Chip Kidd's Brazilian Nabokov covers include at least ten of VN's novels or
collected stories: Pnin, Lolita, Ada, Speak, Memory, The Luzhin
Defense, Machenka, Perfection, Details of a Sunset, Pale Fire, Laughter in
the Dark. Some of them, as I see it, may be a success in design, but
not representatives of the spirit of the book or its author's.
I made a selection of my favorite Gall-boxes. My
favorite is Corral's for "Speak, Memory." (but I don't think VN would have
appreciated it as much as I do).
Sandy Klein sends R.McCrum's
review about TOoL and the caption:
It's always the same old story Great
writers never die, they just fade away
After connecting the quip about "great
writers...just fade away" and Jerry Bauer's observation concerning THE
ORIGINAL OF LAURA (Dying Is Fun) where VN "imagines the death of his
protagonist...as an exercise in self-erasure conducted body part by body part,
beginning with his toes...'The process of dying by
auto-dissolution," Philip asserts, "afforded the
greatest ecstasy known to man'." the "fading" theme made me
recall two other prismatic passages (besides Sebastian's own novel in RLSK and
VN's linking it to "Speak, Memory"): 1. in
his preface to "Bend Sinister" Vn writes about "the brutal
and imbecile soldiers — all of them are only absurd mirages, illusions
oppressive to Krug during his brief spell of being, but harmlessly fading away
when I dismiss the cast." 2. In Pale Fire: "Shade
[smiling and massaging my knee]:'Kings do not die - they only disappear, eh,
(as discussed in the List in April 2007, there
is a link to the beer song "OldSoldiers Never Die"..."There is an old cookhouse, far far away/ Where we get pork and beans, three
times a day..../ Oldsoldiers never
die,/ Never die, never die.../They just fade
After the cast is dismissed or fades away,
will the author's presence endure? YES!!!!