Saturday, September 5, 2009

Typos(es): The Sartorialist's New Book


I’ve long been an admirer of Scott Schuman’s photographs for The Sartorialist, and, when I saw his self-titled new book, I bought it.

Published by Penguin, the book boasts a strong selection of Schuman’s photos, each lovingly reproduced on thick, waxy paper. And that’s the $25 paperback edition, not the bespoke $175 version.

However . . .

(and this is a major *however*)

Who on earth copyedited and/or proofread this book? Penguins themselves?

For there is an unforgivable amount of typos in this work, which is, ironically, light on text.

Take page 98, for instance: there’s a comma needed after Brooklyn in the prose: (Somewhere close to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I spotted . . .)

Maybe that’s picky of me.

But then go to page 244, where Schuman compliments the young Swedish man’s “incredible high cheeckbones . . . .” His what-bones?

Maybe that’s minor, too, but please follow me to page 445, where Schuman photographs a reluctant, elegant Italian woman who protests, “Mi bruta”—(I’m ugly). Here is the first paragraph:

I saw this elegant woman on one of the most chic shopping street in Milan. I didn’t take me a moment to know I had to ask her if I could take her photo.

Shopping streets? It didn’t take me a moment?

. . .

I really, really, really like the careful treatment of the images in this book and what Schuman says about them.

The editing of the prose, however, is bruta.

Poses, oui; typos, non!

10 comments:

K.Line said...

OK, I laughed out loud at the penguins line. What an image! Or should I say imoge. :-)

I kind of loathe SS. His photos are brilliant but he's drunk his own koolaid. I mean KoolAde.

Liberty London Girl said...

There is nothing, NOTHING, more irritating that spotting typos in books from publishers that really should know better! LLGxx

Liberty London Girl said...

were we leaving comments simultaneously on each other's blogs? ! WEIRD! LLGxx

Belle de Ville said...

I'm the first to admit that I can't spell without spellcheck. Hell, I can't even spell with spellcheck. But I would expect a venerable book publisher, such as Penguin, to actually edit the books that they publish.
And I'm kinda with K.Line on Scott. He's a little high on himself.

Thumbelina Fashionista said...

I always find typos in books, and nothing irks me more than lazy copyediting. When I worked at a public school, a book company not only gave away the plot on the back but also did so with horrendous editing. That first one with no comma after "Brooklyn" doesn't surprise me though. Nobody cares about parenthetical boroughs anymore!

Alexandra said...

I am completely with you on this one. It annoys me no end to spot typos and sometimes simply bad grammar in books I actually pay money for - where does that money go? Why do they not spent some of that on an editor? Or, indeed, an ordinary spell check?!
I write for a living and I know how easy it is for a mistake to just slip by if you have no proof reader. Still, that simply should not happen.
But I think I could easily forgive that if they can prove their books are actually produced by penguins. Lovely mental image there :)

enc said...

I'm not surprised to read that there are typos in the book. There are typos all over his blog! But I suppose that's part of his . . . Everyman's Appeal? Alright, that was reaching.


I'm glad someone else pays attention to typos.

miss cavendish said...

ENC, you are very gentle. I'm sure that I have typos on my blog two ;-) but if I went through a rigorous publishing process, I'd make sure that I had a strong editor who would catch and eliminate them!

Or is this part of the problem? Fashion books are visual, so the prose is not taken seriously by publishing houses ? . . .

WendyB said...

That's irritating!

Glowing Doll said...

That's a real shame.