Saturday, February 19, 2005

The subtitle debate

A pretty funny essay from Ben Yagoda on the metastasizing book subtitle plague.
I miss the time, not so long ago, when it was possible for a book to go out into the world with only a strong title followed by a few hundred pages of outstanding writing. That was certainly the tack taken by most mid-20th-century nonfiction classics: ''Hiroshima,'' ''All the President's Men,'' ''The American Way of Death,'' ''The White Album,'' ''Elvis,'' ''Dispatches,'' ''Joe Gould's Secret,'' ''The Executioner's Song,'' Lillian Ross's ''Picture,'' ''The Right Stuff,'' ''The Soul of a New Machine,'' ''The Kingdom and the Power...'

I'm looking at my 1st edition copy of "The Kingdom and the Power" and wondering whether it fits into some other category in the subtitle debate. Here's what it says on the cover
The Kingdom and the Power
The Story of the Men Who Influence the Institution That Influences the World
The New York Times

If it's on the cover, but not on title page does that still make it a subtitle?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:10 PM

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