Wednesday, April 20, 2011

1926 Jonathan Cape Edition, London Moby-Dick

Alas, this lovely Moby-Dick volume is abridged. That is the failure of this volume. See the last paragraph of this post.

However, the title page and illustration is a testament to the art of graphic design. The layout, colorful, clean and crisp equates to elegant.

Rowland Hilder, the illustrator, worked this commision shortly after he studied at Goldsmith's College School of Art.

This illustration of the Pequod conveys a open sea air like few book illustrations in the collection. Had the publisher left this volume untouched, this would have been the greatest edition published to the date of publication. Only the Rockwell Kent editions which come 5 years later would have eclipse it. And I may say that the number of illustrations Kent executes may be one of the factors, the work that Hilder does here is equal to Kent in genius.

For those of you who want to know more.. here is an article that I stumbled on this article, which upon reading, I thought was worthy. The explanation of Melville and his digressions at the start is the POINT- for those of you who have found Moby-Dick a "hard read". Relax about that, get over it, and enjoy the digressions...

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