Saturday, September 06, 2008

Chester Brown does Chatterley

... the library has just finished accessioning a whole new batch of Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions. The editorial selection - which finds room for repress of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, & Jack London's The Iron Heel - is unapologetic in its militant humanism.

What is most striking about the best of these titles is the absolutely stunning packaging: these are genuinely beautiful books. Frank Miller does artwork for the Gravity's Rainbow of Pynchon, and a Dame Darcy portrait of Dot Parker is all over that anthology. Clearly the execs at Penguin have clues, nerve, and a budget.

This one kills me! The first time I read thru that cover graphic, my eyes teared up. Chester Brown's graphic summary is the passionate & feisty epicentre of the book. In his own way, Gamekeeper Mellors is just as impotent and powerless as any of the other characters; just a bit more outspoken, is all. But the cover's tension - between the furtive tenderness of the becalmed lovers, and the righteous outrage of abased humanity - is what makes this thing so powerful. (click on the image for a better look, in a new tab)

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