Sunday, September 30, 2007

Which War and Peace to Buy?

The new Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace is coming out soon. The crucial question is which edition to buy? When the content is the same, it becomes a question of aesthetics -- how prettily it will sit on your bookshelf. (Yes, I am shallow in my own way.)

Should I buy the US edition , with that sentimental baby blue?

Or should I buy the UK edition, with its more sombre grey and red script?

Decisions, decisions.

11 comments:

Dorothy W. said...

I like to think about the aesthetics of books too -- you certainly aren't alone! Both of those books are nice looking; I might be tempted to go with the bottom one.

Matt said...

I recommend the Penguin Classics edition and also the Anthony Briggs translation that came out last year. :)

jean pierre said...

i know exactly how you feel! :)

i only found my copy of dracula on friday night 'cause i simply couldn't find a cover that i liked :)

out of the "war and peace" editions, i personally prefer the US one.

Chris said...

I'm going to have to go with the US edition, which is odd for me for two reasons. #1 is that I almost always prefer other countries' editions to ours and #2 because it is baby blue and I usually prefer darker, more somber colors...but for some odd reason, I like our bright, happy US edition....maybe it's the contrast with the subject matter, who knows? Thanks for letting me know about this new edition by the way! I wanted to read this and it's good to know that this edition is out!

Ex Libris said...

I think I like the UK edition the best. Of course, I would like the one I can't get...

iliana said...

I love to see the difference in cover art when I travel. It's so interesting to see what the designers think fits best for their market.
I think I'd go with the U.S. edition - that blue just looks so pretty.

Dark Orpheus said...

Dorothy I felt the Grey with red script one has a more classical look, but the Blue one looks happier. You like the classical one better?

Matt I actually have both the old Penguin Classics and the Anthony Briggs translations. Hee. I have too many books, yes. :p

Jean Pierre I should do a Personality Quiz on which editions you guys like. So, you're for the happier Blue?

Chris Another one for Happy Blue! I'm also usually for the darker covers, but the blue seems so attractive. Actually -- if they have it in velvet black covers, there wouldn't be any dilemma!

Iliana Hmm...Hapy Blue seems like the popular choice.

I know what you mean about the different covers. Because we have Commonwealth rights for our market, we get to bring in the US, UK -- sometimes Australian and even Indian editions. You display them side by side and it's amazing to see which edition sells more.

Okay, I'll have to take a picture of both versions side by side when they are out!

jean pierre said...

haha, yes! a personality quiz!

well - its not so much that the blue is happier, but that the blue cover is far less cluttered.

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

Which one did you decide on? I like both but I think the blue actually looks more classically Russian for some reason.

Dark Orpheus said...

JP I like the layout of the blue - less cluttered as you say. But it's so HAPPILY blue!

Heather I haven't decided which one to buy yet. Maybe it'll be easier if I can put them side by side.

jean pierre said...

haha! and thats a bad thing, is it? you could say it is a "cultured" blue, a "19th century" blue...?