2011 sees the 50th anniversary of Penguin Modern Classics. I’ve always been partial to the sleek monchrome styled books, perhaps because (from 2007) Jim Stoddart’s latest design used the razz font Century Gothic! In celebration of their 50th anniversary, penguin have released 50 titles of short fiction from the best authors of the last century.
I feel that short fiction is undervalued in the literary world, even until recently I valued the chunky novel as a higher form of art, but as I am currently in the process of writing my own ‘short fiction dissertation’- I have a new-found appreciation for the form. Penguin are encouraging readers to think of these new short classics as a shot of literary expresso. In their own words: ‘”the best short fiction by the greatest writers of the last century – from Beckett to Kafka, Nabokov to Saki and Updike to Wodehouse. Each little book is a quick literary hit, a satisfying shot of storytelling. And though they don’t take long to read, they’ll stay with you long after you turn the final page.”
Taking a trip to Waterstones the other week, myself and Ellie witnessed first hand how addictive penguin’s new release can be; we left with three of the new classics each… (We should not be left in bookstores without adult supervision.)
For just £3 though, these little books are great. Easy to slip in your back pocket, handbag or hand luggage (even alongside Elle magazine, a course novel, a Marian Keyes saga, two moleskin notebooks, a travel guide book, a passport and an arroword puzzle book). Despite their compact size, they are what most men should be: good looking and practical. And that last sentence tells me I should probably leave this blog now, clearly sleep deprivation and jet lag are not conducive to writing a serious blog post. Lucikly, I have a mini modern classics tucked in my bag to swtich to!
For more information, and for a full list of the fifty titles, head over to: http://www.penguinclassics.co.uk/static/minisites/minimodernclassics/index.html