As any long-term reader and watcher of Penguin Books knows, the company has always cultivated its own history, seizing the chance of an anniversary to make an exhibition or put out a book celebrating its own story. And, as with any history, a full account – one that takes in the downsides and the incoherencies and failures – is always more interesting, as well as truer, than a story that looks just at the high sunlit pastures. This more rounded account will also be more complimentary than the bland self-celebration: one sees the great achievements in the context of difficulties overcome.
On 15 November a presentation of the new ‘Historical-Critical Edition’ of Franz Kafka’s writings will take place at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, followed by a panel (and open) discussion. On display will be some of the manuscripts concerned. The occasion is convened by the Bodleian Library, which has key holdings of Kafka manuscripts. The edition itself is edited by Roland Reuß and Peter Staengle of the Institut für Textkritik at Heidelberg. For details of the event, see here and here.
The Zurich Bible was published in a new translation this year. This is the Bible in its Swiss-Protestant text, first published in 1531. Not only is it a bestseller (26,000 copies sold since June), but it must be one of the best-looking and best-made books published anywhere for some time. Some bare statistics of the edition shown here hint at its qualities: weighs 1 kg, page size is 20×13 cm, number of pages is 1,950. This edition sells for €13.80.