Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Conrad at Anchor

Joseph Conrad: These handsome uniform editions of Joseph Conrad with introductions by Morton Dauwen Zabel were published by Anchor Books in the early '60s, when that imprint, which under the leadership of Jason Epstein had pioneered the trade paperback format, was a legitimate competitor of Vintage and Penguin as a publisher of serious literature and non-fiction in paperback. The cover designs were by Diana Klemin, the art director for Anchor's parent company, Doubleday. The use of photographs rather than art works in several of these titles was, I think, a little unusual at the time.

In addition to these six there were two listed as being in preparation that apparently were never issued, at least in the same form: Tales of Conflict and Falk, and Other Tales of the Sea; Zabel's death in 1964 may have prompted their cancellation. Anchor published a number of other Conrad titles with different cover treatments as well, some of them featuring art work by Edward Gorey. Doubleday's association with the Polish-born Conrad was already at least a half-century old at the time. At some point in the cascading consolidation of the book industry the connection lapsed, although a number of Conrad titles remain available from Doubleday's sister imprints under the Random House umbrella.

No comments: