Today my colleague sent me an interesting article from Publishing Perspectives which asked, if Morrissey is a Penguin Classic, why not Elton John?
The article makes some interesting points about devaluing a respected brand to soothe a celebrity’s ego and you do have to wonder what the editor was thinking. Did Morrissey demand to have his autobiography published in the Penguin Classics series? Is the publication of Morrissey’s biography in the Penguin Classics some kind of stunt? Does it matter anyway?
Neither my colleague or I have read the Morrissey autobiography but it did lead to an interesting discussion about what can be considered a classic. I argued that a classic has to have gained some sort of critical praise from readers across a significant period of time, it’s not a label which can be instantly applied- in the same way that you can’t call a book which has yet to be released a bestseller. But that’s a pretty vague and fuzzy definition in itself.
What makes a book a classic for you?