Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sketches

A few months ago, browsing in a used bookstore, I happened across a nice hardback copy of Emile Zola's "Germinal". Force of habit (I often look at favorite books in as many editions as possible) urged me to pull the book off the shelf and I let it fall open in my hands.




Sketches. Surprised, I flipped through the book slowly, pausing every few pages. Lovely drawings by Berthold Mahn, scattered throughout this 1942 edition of one of my favorite books. Some drawings are more detailed and complex (above and lower left), while others take on a cruder, simpler style (lower right). The pictures match the story just right without revealing much for the unsuspecting browser. In fact, lined up and placed side-by-side, these different drawings tell a story of their own. The depth and beauty these pictures add to an already excellent book is surprising, making me wonder why I haven't seen more artwork of this kind.


5 comments:

  1. What a lovely find. Germinal has always been one of my favourite classics. I suspect such artwork today would add prohibitively to the cost of the average book. But it's nice to keep treasures like these when we find them.

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  2. I was going to comment that I hope you bought it. But I guess that should be obvious given that you have pictures of it. It looks lovely.

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  3. I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one who "collects" different editions of my favorites. This one is beautiful!

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  4. I love those sketches. I haven't read Germinal though. :-(

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  5. What a beautiful surprise to find such lovely artwork in the pages of one of your favorite books. I bet it just took your breath away! :-)

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