Wednesday, May 19, 2010

America's Quality Paperback Series

Now, some titles from the Scribner Library.

SL-45, dated 1952 & 1953 but I know that SL-1 (Gatsby) in the paperback series wasn't published until 1960, along with 20 other paperback titles, according to the Scribner Chronology.

Again, no date. I have other Scribner editions which I'll share periodically, and hope to date most of them and figure out the corrolation between liney-pattern/no-liney-pattern, color (teal or red or blue, as far as I've seen), and dates.

That red. (The midcentury red I've started to discuss here.) I won't call it Cold-War just-red. I do think this is one of those times where the mid-century is an aged effect. Mr. Scrinber, he was an upright man, and I'm not sure he would have gone for this modernist Not-Quite-Coral business. No, paperbacks were hard enough for him to stomach (according to this House of Scribner History). Any red, I'm sure, was originally true-upright-regular-red. Any abstraction in these covers is the dignified, Lolita minimalist style, not the Kuhlman-Lustig-Rand brand of subversive 'modern art.' Just look through the images in the Chronology--this was an instutition that represented nice, American mostly-figural traditional Salter-esque pastoralism. These books were not for Evergreen readers or Calder Reds.

But then, it is Joyce Crit. Is there anything more midcentury modern than that?

Regardless, what a beautiful collection--especially on a shelf, together, in their 60s-grey-and-compliments, perfectly aligned as standardized trade paperback size. I'll share more, and a picture of how nice they look on a shelf!

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