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Crow and the Golden Section

Lookup NU author(s): Alan Turnbull


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Alan Turnbull Crow and the Golden Section This illustrated talk examines one of the most iconic book-cover designs of British poetry, Ted Hughes’s Crow: from the Life and Songs of the Crow. Presenting a focused, visual analysis of the cover, this talk examines the use of drawing, colour, proportion, and lettering, to show exactly what it was that made the cover of Crow so distinctive and new. It is common in discussions of Hughes’s work to credit Leonard Baskin for the cover, but it was Faber’s book designer Berthold Wolpe who made the crucial decisions in resolving the design.This paper will examine the contribution of Leonard Baskin and Berthold Wolpe by comparing it with alternative covers of Crow and Hughes’s earlier publications. It will demonstrate how the result shaped and presented the poet to the public, extending the premise of a simple informative book cover – which essentially just labels the contents – to the creation of an image which became representative of the poet himself. Looking in detail at the choices that Wolpe made in order to match the qualities suggested by the title, as well as the qualities which were inherent in Baskin’s drawing, this talk will explore the ways in which the final design acquired the sense of inevitability that it now possesses. Normal 0 false false false EN-GB JA X-NONE

Publication metadata

Author(s): Turnbull A

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: A Dream as Deep as England. An International Ted Hughes Conference

Year of Conference: 2015

Acceptance date: 13/08/2015