Friday, June 05, 2009

Gollancz Perfection

Of course, I'm supposed to only be collecting yellow jacketed Gollancz books if they are science fiction. But I couldn't pass this by. Close to Gollancz perfection in all its frailty. This is a tiny 16pp, 12mo., booklet with the tell-tale yellow and magenta scheme on the front by Victor Gollancz himself, a life-long leftie and mortal opponent of the Nazis.

It's also interesting for being, as Gollancz says in the opening lines, not so much about Buchenwald but about the reaction to it. This includes a passage which must be one of the earliest pieces of writing to confront holocaust denial. His main argument however is that the anti-German sentiment stirred up by the revelations of concentration camp horror should not be directed at the German people as a whole but at those who perpetrated crimes. A noble sentiment but we have seen since how complicated the questions of social culpability, complicity and so on became over time.

All in all it's a wonderful little thing and a timely reminder that book collecting is as much about the little things...

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