[ilds] "two drunken snails dipped in permanganate"

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Sat Sep 18 15:02:41 PDT 2010


I have Justine 1.2, not 1.1.  My previous error.

On this copy, the imprint of a blue hand appears on the front cover only, not the spine.  I don't know what LD was so upset about, assuming he wanted the imprint of a hand on the front cover.  Wolpe's design seems to me a good illustration of what Durrell describes on p. 45 of Justine.  Maybe he expected something else entirely, i.e., something the FBI might have done.


On Sep 18, 2010, at 1:50 PM, Charles Sligh wrote:

> 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,
>> 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. 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.
> C&c.
> -- 
> ********************************************
> Charles L. Sligh
> Assistant Professor
> Department of English
> University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
> charles-sligh at utc.edu
> ********************************************

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