Friday, March 14, 2008
As I spend a good deal of my working week on trains, above and below ground, I can't help but notice what my fellow passengers are reading. Surprisingly often - especially above ground - it is the Bible or related religious tracts. But large numbers are always reading the kind of big selling, respectable, emotionally correct titles endorsed by Richard and Judy and co, and I've noticed lately that they're all beginining to look the same. Jacket designers have gone big on sepia tones, singed parchment effects and faded photographs, often with a washed-out, hand-coloured look - le style Nemirovsky, you might call it (though Suite Francaise is a far far better book than most of these). It's odd how jacket design goes in phases - a while back, wherever I looked it was larky, spidery, all-over-the-place chick lit jackets, or a faux 50s hand-painted style for the marginally more serious works - this sparked perhaps by the ubiquitous Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Before that there was a phase of sunny escapism - tables in the sun, chairs, sun hats... These things come and (mercifully) go, but the present style suggests a strong tug of nostalgia for an elusive past when it seemed that things were serious and real and had meaning - perhaps it explains too the pull of those pseudo-enigmatic images of men in hats by Jack Vettriano. Something must.
Posted by Nige at 11:14 am