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Bleeding Edge cover analysis

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Bleeding Edge
Cover design: Evan Gaffney
Jacket Image: Luis Martinez/LuisMMolina//Getty Images
Publication date: Sep 17, 2013
The dust jacket for the first American hardcover edition, although technically in grayscale, has a shiny finish that reflects light in shifting colors depending on the angle from which it's viewed. There's likely a name for this effect, but I don't know it! The effect (absent from the British first edition, published by Jonathan Cape) would seem to be consonant with the title of the novel which speaks of technology that is still so blazingly new that it is hard to pin down and shimmers just beyond the reach of ordinary people.

The image of the server farm, which is on both the front and back covers, evokes two of the main themes in Bleeding Edge — the Internet and the World Trade Center twin towers.

Image: Luis Martinez / Getty Images
The fact that the back cover shows this same image with no type over it, completely unadorned, really reinforces the twin towers connection. It wasn't until I saw the back cover that I made this connection.

Also, with its receding vanishing point perspective, the front and back cover image brings to mind the dust jacket design on the first American edition of V. (1963).

Furthermore, the cover image seems to resonate with this famous passage from the closing pages of The Crying of Lot 49, where Pynchon's first female sleuth, Oedipa Maas, imagines herself inside a great computer:

"For it was now like walking among matrices of a great digital computer, the zeroes and ones twinned above, hanging like balanced mobiles right and left ahead, thick, maybe endless" (p. 181)
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