If there is a theme to the coverage in today’s papers then it is about versions of books with some disagreements about the concept of cutting them down and printing draft versions.
David Lister uses his arts column in The Independent to have a crack at Orion Publishing, which is launching its compact editions of classics. Lister describes the whole idea as arrogant: “I wish the scheme as much failure as it is possible to have. It takes a certain sort of arrogance to mess with these texts and make massive cuts.”
One of the obvious candidates for cuts would be War & Peace and in The Times there is a story about the controversy between rival publishers as the original draft version of the book is published. The graphics on the front cover apparently are not too many miles away from the current Penguin classics version.
The Guardian review section ponders on what the biographers will make of a politician who has so far been hard to pin down in print. “What makes Tony Blair tick..has always been elusive.” No doubt the biographers will never be able to match the advance or the sales figures of Blair himself ever decides to pen his memoirs. Remember the Thatcher books? And people wonder why most of us think politics is boring – just try reading about the politicians.