One of my first posts on this blog was about twins in literature, and sparked off quite a little frenzy of puzzling. Well, looks like Vintage have had the same idea, though perhaps a little bit differently.
A few other bloggers have mentioned this, but none of them are twins (so far as I know) and thus I have the upper hand on discussing it. Possibly.
In publishing a series of classics, somebody in the Vintage offices had the alarmingly good idea to print these alongside Modern Classics – or, for those who don’t like an ovymoron before breakfast, modern books which they anticipate will become classics of literature. What a great idea! And hats off to whoever was in charge of cover designs, as they have done rather a brilliant job. Each pairing has a very identifiable ‘look’, so that they are obviously connected, whilst retaining something intrinsic to the individual novel. As Susan Hill says on her blog, when buying a classic, I’m going to make my purchase decision based on cover – it’s not as though Middlemarch were, to use the parlance of football sticker collecting, a rare one.
Here’s a confession to make. Out of their ten pairings (Crime, Fantasy, Fear, Lies, Love, Lust, Monsters, Satire, Sin, Youth) there is none for which I have read both the Classic and the Modern. Shocking. What’s perhaps even more surprising, for regular readers of my blog, is that I’ve read a fairly even split of Modern and Classic.
This is a great marketing plan, but also tackles both ruts which avid readers sometimes fall into – either a diet of solely pre-1950s literature (my own personal menu), or only reading that which hits the shelves this minute, and preferably a few hours before the rest of the world does. Vintage Twins will mean we can all broaden out reading, while making connections within the ongoing canon.