Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Telegraph strokes spine scandal

The scandal around the dust-cover design of The Pornographer of Vienna has reached the heady heights of The Daily Telegraph’s comment column. I hereby bid farewell to my reputation.

Spine tingler

Author Lewis Crofts is incensing browsers with his new work, The Pornographer of Vienna. The fictionalised account of the life of the Austrian expressionist painter Egon Schiele has reproduced a painting of the artist's wife on the cover, with the lady's knickerless regions positioned neatly across the spine.

"Disgusting!" complains one on Waterstones' website. "I would not want my children to see that."

"It's not grotesque - it's art," Crofts tells me. "Children can wander into galleries and see even more explicit pieces. Frankly, it could be a lot worse: I could have chosen a completely undressed piece."

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Thursday, 7 June 2007

Two ladies' things: VOGUE & men

Two totally unconnected things happened to The Pornographer of Vienna today, both of which I welcome, neither of which I expected.

Firstly, my book got picked by VOGUE magazine as part of its recommended summer reading list, so I hope to see a few sun-baked, sand-strewn copies at the bottom of beach-bags.

And secondly, an as yet unidentified friend of mine photographed himself holding a copy of the book in front of his groin and posted it on Facebook for all to enjoy. That was kind of him.

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Saturday, 2 June 2007

Spinal Tat

It seems I’ve offended some people. Well, not me actually. The book designer. Good on him.

Since the book hit the shops, a few people have been expressing their “offence” and “indignation” at the book design which features a painting by Egon Schiele wrapped around the entire book. The woman’s face and torso are on the front and her legs are on the back cover. That, logically, leaves her genitals on the spine.

It seems that a few prim ladies browsing the bookshelves in the Home Counties have come across the spine, recognised - in the words of Courbet - “the origin of the world” and run away, blushing and spitting discontent at the state of modern publishing.

I had never head of www.indignation.org until yesterday but it seems to be a rather amusing puddle of bile, which has become a focus of all things degrading and ungodly: i.e. me, the designer and Egon Schiele.

For god’s sake, she’s wearing undergarments.

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