Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr and E.B. White

I was first introduced to The Elements of Style as a college freshman by my writing teacher, who referred to it as "Strunk and White*" (as in, "Refer to your Strunk and White"). At the time I had the plain old small paperback edition, which served its purpose just fine.

Then this beautiful clothbound edition came out, with illustrations by Maira Kalman, and I somehow found myself buying a fancy version of a grammar guide. I'm curious as to how this all came about, as it seems a bit of an unlikely project, or at least unexpected. I certainly would have been surprised to hear of it back when I was being instructed to refer to my Strunk and White.

From the outset you can tell that this time it's going to be a little different.

(the corresponding "and goodbye" comes at the last two pages)

I love the box tied up with string to signify "contents." The juxtaposition of imagery with text is quite poetic--they evoke a feeling that I can't quite pinpoint just now.

I'm not sure if this is supposed to be the Philip Johnson glass house (which I have still not been to--every summer I try to buy tickets only to find that every tour is already sold out), but it is certainly what I think of when I see this.

I love the semi-colon embossed into the back (to match the colon on the front).

*That's White as in E. B. White, as in the author of Charlotte's Web. Just in case you didn't know.

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