Thursday, 15 October 2009

Penguin Classics WTF?

Well this shits me no end. The Sydney Morning Herald says Penguin classics prove too risque for Australia Post. Apparently Lolita is a little to controversial for Australia Post so they've removed it and a couple of other titles from sale. The article ends with this, Penguin Australasia's sales director, Peter Blake, said: ''I guess there have been complaints from customers and they have reacted by removing them from sale. Retailers can do what they like.''
If that is the case it is pretty weak of Australia Post to cave to the defenders of public virtue in this instance and ignore problems with their own staff like the treatment of injured workers.

It also does the SMH no credit to use
this picture (left) of one of the "banned"
books to illustrate the article when the
actual cover for Anais Nin's Delta of Venus,
formerly on sale in Australia Post,
is this one (right).
Way to provoke a response SMH. Not that there is anything wrong with the original cover by the way. The whole range of Popular Penguins use the plain orange cover. It is part of their $9.95 paperback promotion. They blurb it as Popular Penguins At A Perfect Price. Which makes it doubley stupid of Australia Post to remove the books based on title or theme alone. The covers are certainly inoffensive. What is next Australia Post? The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? It does use the "N" word after all. Lady Chatterley's Lover? Sexy times. Junky? Tsk tsk drugs. Dracula? Ooh scarey. The Mind of God? How dare a scientist talk about the search for meaning in the universe.
We're not talking fringe or avant-garde or below the counter porn books. We're talking Penguin fracking Classics. You know, literature. Maybe these wowser whingers should go out a read a book some time. No, not just that one.
By the way I've read Lolita and it is a great book. True, a distasteful topic but it is handled supremely well and in no way does it glorify the protagonist or his crimes. So there.

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