Teenagers are still reading the classics. They just don’t want them to look so, well, classic.
That is the theory of publishers who are wrapping books like “Emma” and “Jane Eyre” in new covers: provocative, modern jackets in bold shades of scarlet and lime green that are explicitly aimed at teenagers raised on “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games.”
这也是出版商的理论，他们正把《爱玛》(Emma)、《简爱》(Jane Eyre)等名著重新设计换上崭新封面：富有挑逗性、具有现代气质的封面使用大胆的绯红色和石灰绿色等深浅变幻的色调，其目的很明确，就是要吸引阅读《暮光之城》(Twilight)、《饥饿游戏》(The Hunger Games)等这一类青春文学长大的一代。
The new versions are cutting edge replacements for the traditional (read: stuffy, boring) covers that have been a trademark of the classics for decades, those familiar, dour depictions of women wearing frilly clothing. In their place are images like the one of Romeo in stubble and a tight white tank top on a new Penguin edition of “Romeo and Juliet.”
重新设计的经典文学名著时尚潮流，代替了传统（也可解读为：古板、无趣）经典书籍封面几十年不变的风格，封面上那些穿着镶褶边衣服的女人们，再让人熟悉不过了。现在新版本的封面则是另一番调调：罗密欧一脸胡茬儿，穿着紧身无袖背心出现在企鹅出版社最新版《罗密欧与朱丽叶》(Romeo and Juliet)的封皮上。
The covers are intended to tap into the soaring popularity of the young-adult genre, the most robustly growing category in publishing. In the last decade, publishers have poured energy and resources into books for teenagers, releasing more titles each year. Bookstores have followed suit, creating and expanding spe-cial sections devoted to them.
After the “Twilight” books by Stephenie Meyer became a sensation, paranormal romances boomed. In the last several years, the “Hunger Games” trilogy has inspired dozens of dystopian novels.
Some of the redesigned jackets are clearly inspired by the “Twilight” series. HarperCollins released a cover for “Wuthering Heights” with a stark black background, a close-up of a red rose and an inscription that reads, “Bella & Edward’s favorite book.” (Critics sneered that it was a “Twilight” rip-off.)
重新包装设计的经典文学作品封面显然受到《暮光之城》系列的启发。同样，哈珀·柯林斯(Harper Collins)出版集团也发行了新版《呼啸山庄》(Wuthering Heights)，封面以单调的黑色为背景，放上一只鲜红玫瑰花的特写，并赋上一行题字：“贝拉和爱德华最爱的书”。批评者们嘲笑这样的设计完全山寨《暮光之城》。（贝拉和爱德华是《暮光之城》系列的主人公——译注。）
In a new series published by Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, a cover of the Gothic vampire novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker features a ghostly woman floating in the center, her platinum hair flying in the air. The title and author are scrawled in cursive over a large pool of blood, rivulets of red dripping down the page.
布拉姆·斯托克(Bram Stoker)的哥特式吸血鬼小说《德拉库拉》(Dracula)由美国企鹅旗下海雀图书(Puffin Books)重新出版。小说封面中央飘浮着一个鬼气森森的女人，银灰色的头发在空中飞舞着。书名和作者名潦草地印在一大片血泊上，一道道红色血水滴了下来。
“We didn’t want to go with a muted approach,” said Eileen Kreit, the president and publisher of Puffin. “We had that Urban Outfitters customer in mind. We wanted to appeal to that teenager and give a fresh look to these stories that have been around a very long time.”
Sales of some young-adult versions have been strong. The HarperCollins edition of “Wuthering Heights” has sold 125,000 copies since it was released in 2009, an extraordinary number that sent the book back to the best-seller lists.
Because titles like “Pride and Prejudice” and “Persuasion” are in the public domain, any publisher can release a version, leaving the text inside the books untouched while redesigning the cover. And for the young-adult reader, publishers are scooping up all the material they can find.
《傲慢与编见》(Pride and Prejudice)和《劝导》(Persuasion)这类书属于公有领域图书，可以由任何一家出版公司再版发行，书籍内容不能变，封面可以随意设计。出版公司为了吸引青少年读者，想尽办法到处搜罗这种类型的公版图书。
Now the new versions of the classics are fighting for space on the young-adult shelves of bookstores. In a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan last week, a display featured four new editions of novels by Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters alongside more contemporary offerings of paranormal romances. (Upstairs in the adult-fiction section, more traditional versions of the classics were lined up on the shelves.)
现在出版商正在努力，希望新版经典文学能在青少年读者的书架上争得一席之地。上周，曼哈顿一家巴诺(Barnes & Noble)书店里，在同一个展台上既能看到四部新版的简·奥斯丁和勃朗特姐妹经典著作，也能看到更多的当代超自然爱情小说。（楼上成人区的书架上摆放着更多传统版本图书。）
At the Book Revue bookstore in Huntington, N.Y., new versions of the classics have sold briskly, surprising the store’s owner, Julie Klein.
在纽约亨廷顿的Book Revue 书店里，新版经典文学销售极旺，这让店主茱丽·克莱因(Julie Klein)感到很惊讶。
“I wasn’t sure they would sell at all, to be honest,” she said. “As a bookseller, I appreciate the classics and I love when I can sell them to a new generation. Anything that gets kids to look at them.”
In March, Splinter, an imprint of Sterling Publishing, began releasing its Classic Lines series, paperback editions of classic novels with French flaps and delicate illustrations on the jackets that have the appearance of watercolors. For the artwork, the publisher hired Sara Singh, a Manhattan-based fashion illustrator.
三月份，斯特林出版公司(Sterling Publishing)旗下斯普雷特(Splinter)开始发行其“经典台词”(Classic Lines)系列读本。这套平装经典文学系列使用法式勒口封面设计，封面上绘有精美水彩插图，公司特别请来曼哈顿时装插图画家莎拉·辛格(Sara Singh)来做封面插图。
“My challenge was to make something that’s classic look appealing to tweens,” she said. Referring to the covers, she added, “We wanted to make them fashionable and beautiful, with bright colors and handwritten text.”
Alli Brydon, the editor of the series, dismissed more traditional covers as too “Victorian” and “old-fashioned” for teenagers. On the jacket of a classic edition of “Jane Eyre” in Barnes & Noble, for instance, a woman is staring mournfully into the distance, her skin nearly the same yellowish hue as the wall behind her, a black coat hiding her neck.
“It doesn’t show her brazen qualities, and it doesn’t show her bravery,” said Ms. Brydon, who oversaw a Classic Lines cover for the novel featuring a bright purple sketch of the book’s heroine with her chin held up jauntily. “A lot of the old covers don’t convey some of the feminist ideas that the books hold.”
The traditional covers also make young protagonists look much older than their true age, while the newer ones portray characters like Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice” as the young adults they actually are, making them more appealing to young readers.
在传统封面上，女主角看起来比实际年龄要大很多，而在新版封面更能准确反映女主角的真实年龄，如《傲慢与偏见》(Pride and Prejudice)中的伊丽莎白·班纳特(Elizabeth Bennet)就被描绘为一位与目标读者同龄的少女，这样对年轻读者更有吸引力。
Nevertheless, some teenagers have rejected the new editions. At Book Passage, a store with two outlets in the San Francisco Bay Area, a display of repackaged classics did not sell well, said the store’s owner, Elaine Petrocelli.
然而，还是有一些小读者不喜欢新版经典名著。在旧金山港湾区拥有两家直销店的Book Passage书城里，据店主伊莱恩·帕特西里(Elaine Petrocelli)介绍，重新设计的经典图书销售并不好。
“If kids want to read ‘Emma,’ they want to buy it in the adult section, not the teen section,” she said. “Kids don’t want to feel like they’re being manipulated.”
Tess Jagger-Wells, a 15-year-old high school sophomore from San Rafael, Calif., said she counted “Jane Eyre” among her favorite books, a story she loved for its old-fashioned, “charming” moments that “you had to wait for — they weren’t just handed to you.”
For classics like that and “Pride and Prejudice,” Tess said she preferred her hardcover editions with their flowery covers to the more modern versions.
“It’s fun to have the originals in your house to look at and show people,” she said. “It kind of goes with the feeling of the classic as something that’s treasured, something that you want to keep. The new covers make the books look like cheap romance novels.”