Monday, February 07, 2005

Cover artists who read the book

"I have always had the wrong shape of head. It sticks out in awkward places, bulges whenever I think, is only sparsely covered with tufts of colourless hair, and collapses somewhere around the chin, scurrying for cover towards the collar. The ears reach out like large red satellite dishes, the cheeks are covered with lines and rashes caused by decades of overwork and overindulgence and if I dare to smile widely, it looks less like a friendly act than a record of bomb damage in the Blitz. Timothy Winters, teeth like splinters? The lad has nothing on me." -- Andrew Marr, My Trade.

You may wonder how, after a description like that, Mr Marr ended up here. But look closer: the angle, the crop and the careful focus address everything he dislikes about his face. Well, everything except the resemblence to Vladimir Putin he disavows later in the chapter. But the photographer may not have read that far.

[My Trade: A Short History of British Journalism, by Andrew Marr (Macmillan, 2004). Combines the more gossipy and less self-revelatory aspects of a memoir with the less strenuous aspects of popular scholarship. Taken as what it is, rather than what it says it is, great fun. But if you want the pop history of UK hackdom, it's still Matthew Engel's Tickle the Public that you need.]

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