[ilds] "two drunken snails dipped in permanganate"

Godshalk, William (godshawl) godshawl at ucmail.uc.edu
Sun Sep 19 10:40:24 PDT 2010

Sorry, I responded before I read all my email.

W. L. Godshalk *
Department of English    *           *
University of Cincinnati*   * Stellar Disorder  *
OH 45221-0069 *  *
From: ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca [ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca] On Behalf Of Bruce Redwine [bredwine1968 at earthlink.net]
Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2010 6:02 PM
To: Charles-Sligh at utc.edu; ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Cc: Bruce Redwine
Subject: Re: [ilds] "two drunken snails dipped in permanganate"


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<http://books.google.com/books?id=rlz1PgAACAAJ&dq=faber+connolly&hl=en&ei=-iGVTOKJCcH48Abf_LyRDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAA> 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<mailto:charles-sligh at utc.edu>

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