From the editors of Penguin Books and Penguin Classics

"It’s not, of course, the single, isolated events that haunt us, it is those quiet, cumulative ones that slowly wear us down. Jackson’s language is never dramatic or over-the top, something I could’ve easily shaken off and disregarded. There is only the quiet of what is—doors that don’t stay open, sounds only certain people hear, townfolk that refuse to talk about the house at all."

On The Rumpus, S. Hope Mills’s great entry in the “Last Book I Loved” series.

This book is not about heroes. English poetry is not yet fit to speak of them.

Nor is it about deeds, or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, might, majesty, dominion, or power, except War.

Above all I am not concerned with Poetry.

My subject is War, and the pity of War.

The Poetry is in the pity.

Yet these elegies are to this generation in no sense consolatory. They may be to the next. All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the true Poets must be truthful.

(If I thought the letter of this book would last, I might have used proper names; but if the spirit of it survives - survives Prussia - my ambition and those names will have achieved fresher fields than Flanders…)

Wilfred Owen, Preface

The above is a draft of a preface to a collection of war poems Owen hoped to publish in 1919. He died in November 1918, just a week before the signing of the armistice.


Monday First Sentences | Every Monday, we offer the opening sentences of a Penguin Classic to start the week. Throughout June we’re celebrating the literature of the Great War in honor of its centennial.

losertakesall:

lookin’ good, Graham Greene collection.

Lookin’ good, indeed! We love this great Graham Greene shot, and that’s why it’s our Classics Photo of the Week. Thanks losertakesall for sharing this one with us!
Classics Photo of the Week | Tumblr is full of amazing images of Penguin Classics and each Thursday we select one of our favorites from the past week. Tag your photos as “Penguin Classics” so we don’t miss any!

losertakesall:

lookin’ good, Graham Greene collection.

Lookin’ good, indeed! We love this great Graham Greene shot, and that’s why it’s our Classics Photo of the Week. Thanks losertakesall for sharing this one with us!


Classics Photo of the Week | Tumblr is full of amazing images of Penguin Classics and each Thursday we select one of our favorites from the past week. Tag your photos as “Penguin Classics” so we don’t miss any!

mobydickmarathonnyc:

Moby-Dick Marathon NYC by Amanda Bullock and MDMNYC — Kickstarter
HUGE HUGE EXCITING NEWS! We just launched a kickstarter for MDMNYC! We have some really amazing rewards thanks to our generous and amazing sponsors penguinclassics, outofprintclothing, King Post Productions, spudd64, Sophie Blackall, Brian Floca, biancastone, littleneckbk, amyvirginiabuchanan, litographs and more!
Check it out, spread the word, and maybe pledge to help bring the 2014 Moby-Dick Marathon NYC to life. Thank you!

We are BIG FANS of the Moby-Dick Marathon! Please help support them on kickstarter! Like past years, this is sure to be a blast and will definitely help cure any “damp drizzly November in [your] soul.”

mobydickmarathonnyc:

Moby-Dick Marathon NYC by Amanda Bullock and MDMNYC — Kickstarter

HUGE HUGE EXCITING NEWS! We just launched a kickstarter for MDMNYC! We have some really amazing rewards thanks to our generous and amazing sponsors penguinclassics, outofprintclothing, King Post Productions, spudd64, Sophie Blackall, Brian Floca, biancastone, littleneckbk, amyvirginiabuchanan, litographs and more!

Check it out, spread the word, and maybe pledge to help bring the 2014 Moby-Dick Marathon NYC to life. Thank you!

We are BIG FANS of the Moby-Dick Marathon! Please help support them on kickstarter! Like past years, this is sure to be a blast and will definitely help cure any “damp drizzly November in [your] soul.”

“The tall, impossibly tall, incomparably tall, city shoulderingly upward into hard sunlight leaned a little through the octaves of its parallel edges, leaningly strode upward into firm hard snowy sunlight; the noises of America nearingly throbbed with smokes and hurrying dots which are men and which are women and which are things new and curious and hard and strange and vibrant and immense, lifting with a great ondulous stride firmly into immortal sunlight….”

e. e. cummings, The Enormous Room


Friday Final Lines | Every Friday, we offer the closing lines of a Penguin Classic to finish up the workweek. Throughout June we’re celebrating the literature of the Great War in honor of its centennial.

Can’t get enough Dorothy Parker? Obviously. So we’ve got two brand new eSpecials—one by Parker and one about Parker—exclusive to Penguin Classics.

Alpine Giggle Week: How Dorothy Parker Set Out to Write the Great American Novel and Ended Up in a TB Colony Atop an Alpine Peak

Who else but Dorothy Parker could set off to Europe to write a novel and instead find herself trapped in a mountaintop TB colony in Switzerland? It’s a situation so zany it sounds like something out of one of her stories. The novel never happened, but luckily we have this extensive letter to her children, never before published. In spite of the gloomy and bizarre surroundings, Parker is in full form here with her characteristic vivacity and biting prose, gossiping about the likes of Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds, raving about a new typewriter (which she says “up till a few days ago, took the place of sex life” ), a new dog, and getting soused on champagne with Robert Benchley. Coupled with an introduction by Parker biographer Marion Meade, Alpine Giggle Week offers delightful insight into one of the twentieth century’s wittiest women.

The Last Days of Dorothy Parker: The Extraordinary Lives of Dorothy Parker and Lillian Hellman and How Death Can Be Hell on Friendship

Count on Dorothy Parker to avoid doing just about anything the easy way. So perhaps you won’t be so shocked to learn that for twenty years after Parker’s death, her ashes were missing. Here, Parker biographer Marion Meade (What Fresh Hell Is This?) draws on new research to offer a fascinating account of Parker’s decades-long friendship with Lillian Hellman and a unique exploration of her unusual death. Parker died of a heart attack in 1967, but wasn’t buried until 1988. Featuring a brilliant cast of literati—Dashiell Hammett, John O’Hara, among others—Last Days sheds light on Parker’s appropriately unpredictable and eccentric final years and days, as well as the conundrum of her ultimate resting place. It’s a story by turns bizarre, dramatic and comical—in short, everything you’d want and expect from Dorothy Parker.

 

(Source: classicpenguin)

typeworship:

Covered in characters

Above are a few of the typographically led book cover designs from the David Pearson exhibition, currently on in London.  

I love the ‘redacted’ George Orwell, 1984, cover with it’s debossed title under black ink. I was also quite taken with the chilling cover for Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

There’s a week left to go, so if you find yourself in Shoreditch, London before the 28th June, drop in.

David Pearson is an acclaimed British designer, famed for his beautiful series of Penguin book cover designs.

David studied at Central St Martins in London (1999–2002) before taking a job at Penguin Books as text designer and later, cover designer. He left to establish his own studio – Type as Image – in 2007.

David played a key role in the recent re-emergence of Penguin Books through projects such as the multi-million selling Great Ideas series, Penguin by Design and thePopular Classics series. He has won numerous awards for book design, has been listed as one of Britain’s Top 50 Designers by the Guardian and nominated for the Design Museum’s Designer of the Year Award.

(Source: kemistrygallery.co.uk)

Carol Shields fans, take note. CBC re-published this lovely tribute to her the other day, originally prepared for the tenth anniversary of her death last year. You’ll find a recording of her last conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, as well as tribute pieces by various Canadian authors.
"I remember finishing The Stone Diaries sitting outside the Finch subway station. What was I doing there? Waiting to meet a date? Exploring the neighbourhood? I have no idea. I only remember how I was transported from my surroundings and into the life — the full but, on the surface, unremarkable life —of Daisy Flett. There were no buses coming and going around me, no teenagers flicking their cigarettes inches from my feet. I was wholly in the book. Daisy’s life, so unlike mine, somehow my own. Her struggle to find love, to improvise a ‘self,’ to land in one place only to find the ground beneath her feet a moving sidewalk. Not the story of my life, no. Just the story of all our lives.”
—Andrew Pyper (author of The Demonologist)

Carol Shields fans, take note. CBC re-published this lovely tribute to her the other day, originally prepared for the tenth anniversary of her death last year. You’ll find a recording of her last conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, as well as tribute pieces by various Canadian authors.

"I remember finishing The Stone Diaries sitting outside the Finch subway station. What was I doing there? Waiting to meet a date? Exploring the neighbourhood? I have no idea. I only remember how I was transported from my surroundings and into the life — the full but, on the surface, unremarkable life —of Daisy Flett. There were no buses coming and going around me, no teenagers flicking their cigarettes inches from my feet. I was wholly in the book. Daisy’s life, so unlike mine, somehow my own. Her struggle to find love, to improvise a ‘self,’ to land in one place only to find the ground beneath her feet a moving sidewalk. Not the story of my life, no. Just the story of all our lives.”

Andrew Pyper (author of The Demonologist)

“When the Great War broke out, it came to me not as a superlative tragedy, but as an interruption of the most exasperating kind to my personal plans.”

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth


Monday First Sentences | Every Monday, we offer the opening sentences of a Penguin Classic to start the week. Throughout June we’re celebrating the literature of the Great War in honor of its centennial.

According to Gothamist, Bill Clinton did some book shopping yesterday at Powerhouse Arena…and he bought Pitching in a Pinch! Thrilled to see 42 embracing the classics and the spirit of baseball season.