[ilds] "two drunken snails dipped in permanganate"

Charles Sligh Charles-Sligh at utc.edu
Sat Sep 18 13:50:01 PDT 2010

  On 9/18/10 4:01 PM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
> The dust jacket of my /Justine/ 1.1 also has the imprint of a blue 
> hand.  The hand is Sappho-Jane's, no?
The hand-print is meant to recall Sappho's hand as it originally 
appeared, traced in Durrell's /Justine/ notebooks.

However, the image is not actually an imprint of Sappho's hand.  I 
/believe/ that I learned from Joseph Connolly 
or from Michael Haag that Wolpe's daughter's hand was used for the 
jacket.  That point should be clarified.

The intro to Connolly's Faber retrospect gives significant attention to 
letters exchanged between Durrell and Wolpe about the jacket design.  To 
put it mildly -- which Durrell did not -- Durrell was disappointed.
>         /Dear Mr Wolpe
>         <http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/5185858/fine-feathers.thtml>, /
>         /It was good of you to send the cover mock-up. But what am I
>         to tell you honestly? It seems to me beyond words horrible;
>         and yet this is offensive to say to an artist of experience
>         like yourself. This dreadful puce! And I really think that two
>         drunken snails dipped in permanganate could have produced more
>         aesthetically pleasing shapes... /
Wolpe's response:

>         /Dear Mr Durrell
>         <http://www.eyemagazine.com/review.php?id=168&rid=873>. Thank
>         you for your letter which did not reach me until Tuesday. The
>         printer had started printing the jacket and I am sorry to say
>         it was therefore impossible to make any alterations./

For the sake of clarification and accuracy, where does the hand-print 
appear on your copy, Bruce?

On the spine /and/ on the front cover of the Faber /Justine/ 1.1 
jacket?  Or /only/ on the front cover of the jacket?

As Bill knows, the hand-print did not appear on the jacket spines of the 
earliest printings.

I think that Bill is referring to the appearance or absence of the 
hand-print on the spine, and I believe that he is seeking information -- 
as is Mr. Whythe -- regarding the first impression to feature the 
hand-print on the spine.

Does anyone on the list own a Faber /Justine/ first edition, fifth 
impression (1.5) /with/ dust-jacket?  If so, what do you find on the 
spine?  Thank you.

Bill:  You are right.  Dust jackets are often swapped and substituted 
between impressions, mixing and matching to make a bare book more 
attractive.  Good sales technique.  Bad bibliography.

N.B.: Just because /most/ early impressions lack the hand-print on the 
spines of the jackets does not mean an anomaly did not occur.  Reports 
are welcome.


Charles L. Sligh
Assistant Professor
Department of English
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
charles-sligh at utc.edu

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