For two or three years now there has been a bitter race for circulation among the weekend newspapers in Greece. Free CDs followed by free DVDs followed by DVD's plus magazines - escalation by the quarter. Some of the low end publications were - until very recently - offering 4 or 5 DVDs with their Sunday rag - and all for 2 euros. As might have been predicted things got slightly out of hand and the yellow press red tops escalated from grubby 'B' movies, to soft core porno movies, and most recently all the way down to hard core porno. At the last bank holiday weekend local police siezed 2 tons of hard core pornographic DVDs due for circulation with that weekend's newsprint.
Having reached this impasse - which saw us collect a six volume Best of Buster Keaton collection and a set of D W Griffiths silent classics - one of the up-market papers has made a surprise move. Last weekend I noticed that one of our regular Saturday papers carried a copy of Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose. The move from grubby DVD to classy canonical literature was confirmed this weekend when they announced their forthcoming offerings -
I shall be interested to see how this lateral and literal sidestep will serve them. I wonder also whether any of the UK rags wil follow suit. It would be nice to think that in this week of the Hay festival some British newspaper might put its faith in the taste of the British public. Maybe not.
There's a good game to be had here - check out the spines and see how many of the well known works you can identify - let me know in the comments section here.
Full size image here for the game - http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=516531451&size=l
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