a horrible book cover – “Platero y yo”


a18 Platero y yo - Icelandic

Juan Ramón Jiménez, Platero y yo – Icelandic

I recently visited the Casa Museo Zenobia y Juan Ramón Jiménez located in Moguer, a small city in the province of Huelva, Andalusia, Spain. The town was the birthplace and home (in his youth and early adulthood) of the poet Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881–1958).

Jiménez is best known for his prose poem about a writer and his donkey, Platero y yo (Platero and I). The book has been translated into innumerable languages.

Show above is a photograph of the Icelandic translation of Platero y yo, which is on display (with many other editions, in many languages) at the Casa Museo Zenobia y Juan Ramón Jiménez. The cover art of this edition baffles me. It shows what is possibly supposed to be (?) a donkey’s tail and a cockroach! A cockroach. Why? And how does this relate to the content of the book?

Platero and I is a wonderful book that leaves the reader with good, warm feelings. It is a popular book for children as well as adults. This cover leaves a distasteful residue — so to speak — in terms of the image and what it suggests.

I experience unpleasantness when I see a cockroach in our house, and this book cover gives me a similar feeling.


— Roger W. Smith

   June 2016

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