Nerd Porn: Crime and Punishment on the A train

Posted by Margarita Korol

I watched a girl begin a crisp Crime and Punishment today on the A train. I’m sure she picked it up because the cover matched her post-Memorial Day outfit. I silently wished her luck through the utter suffering she would experience if her attention to aesthetics transferred to the 565 pages of angst she got herself into.
I’m all for this kind of propaganda. Nerd porn is a good spend for publishers that persuades the unconscious to the unexpected investment in fashionable self-improvement beyond Macy’s. This contrasts with my mother’s old country experience with Dostoyevsky, having to read it twice and recite excerpts in school without the help of Larissa Volokhonsky. The trendy book jacket becomes the English teacher that makes the classics accessible and digestible to the uninitiated. Through minimalist design, Dostoyevsky might rejoin the pop ranks of JK Rowling.
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