Thursday 27 January 2011

Name and Shame

Great night at the Pushkin House in Bloomsbury Square yesterday, to celebrate our Pushkin in English project – the publication of Pushkin's complete works in paperback by Oneworld Classics – as well as the recent publication of Pushkin's Boris Godunov and The Little Tragedies.

The tube journey to and from Holborn station was marked by a very weird occurrence. On the way to Holborn I stood in a corner of a particular carriage, and on the way back, late at night, I realized I was standing in exactly the same spot of exactly the same carriage, as I noticed the same peeled emergency sticker, the same scratches on the door glass etc. It felt like a scene from Tsutsui's Hell – and there were some strange passengers too: an old woman rolling fags, a boy staring at me threateningly, a man laughing and talking to himself, etc. Spooky.

* * *

Eleonora, our eldest (age 7), keeps coming to me to show me typos in her reading books. This has prompted me to start a name-and-shame campaign. As I mentioned before, we all make mistakes, and I am sure the books we publish have also mistakes – but if someone points out a mistake we are keen to correct it immediately, so that it won't appear at the next printing. In this case we are talking about a 32-page educational book for kids, less than a thousand words long, that has been in print for fifteen years and gone through at least 9 editions judging from the copyright page. So there have been plenty of opportunities (and time) to put this right.

Here we go: Treetops, Stage 10, More Stories A, published by Oxford University Press - 9780199179640.
Purple Buttons by Angela Bull.

Page 30, three lines from the bottom: "It's rim was carved like a shell."

I hope someone is listening at OUP.

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