In Geoff Dyer’s article, The Art of the Novel, Dyer reflects on Penguin Classic novels from the 1970’s and the cover art associated with them.
“The use of different paintings meant each book was a “modern classic” in its own particular way. ..I saw my first-ever Hopper — or a detail of one at any rate, showing a couple in folding chairs, staring into a radioactive sky — on the cover of “One” by David Karp (who seems subsequently to have dropped from the pantheon of Modern Classics)…Since then the happiest moments in 35 years of museum-going have occurred when I’ve seen these Penguin Modern Classic paintings on a gallery wall. Especially since the cover often showed only a detail of the original. Seeing the works themselves revealed exactly what had been lost, though I invariably saw it the other way around, with the painting as an expanded version of the Penguin original.”
Reading his article reminded me of when I buy a classic novel, the aesthetic look of the book is just as important to me as the contents.
Check out more of his musing here.