The Many Faces of Julian

Sweden, 1970
Spain, 1983
Slovenia, 1971
Bulgaria, 1970
Romania, 1993

Virtually every foreign edition of Julian features an image of the young emperor, some in full body, and some in profile. The most classical-looking edition here is the Bulgarian hardcover, which contains numerous glossy pages with images of antiquity, including some busts of Julian. But the stunning cover of the 2001 Russian edition shows Julian in full body and in motion, hence the blur of color in which he appears. The 1994 Russian edition merely pictures a traditional bust of the emperor. This novel has enjoyed great popularity around the world: It's Vidal's most translated work and has appeared in at least 18 foreign languages, perhaps because its tale of power and antiquity tells - in one way or another - the story of many nations' histories, or perhaps simply because it's so well-written, well-researched and entertaining to read. Those 18 languages, by the way, are: German, Polish, Italian, Swedish, Czech, Hungarian, French, Dutch, Russian, Portuguese (two translation - Portugal and Brazil), Bulgarian, Slovene, Spanish, Romanian, Persian, Catalan, Green and Turkish (three editions from three different translators).

FEATURED PAGE: A slide show of even more Julian covers

In Germany alone, there were four different hardcover editions published between 1965 and 1970, and a new hardcover edition published in 1988 - as well as three different German paperback editions since the late 1980s. The book has gone into at least eight hardcover printings in Spain over the past 18 years, and yet, despite the abundance of editions published in Spain, there is a unique Argentine edition of the book, although the Argentine text is the one translated for the book's first edition Spain. Plus there's also a handsome Catalan edition of Julian published in Barcelona, despite the fact that surely every Catalan speaker in Spain can also read and speak Spanish. At left below is a 2000 paperback edition of Julian from Turkey, one of two new Turkish editions of the novel. In Iran, the Persian edition comes in a two-volume set, and pictured here is the cover of volume two. The handsome Czech edition has a series of beautiful blue-tinted illustrations inside that appear about every 20 pages. The French paperback simply shows Julian sketched in profile, while the 1999 German paperback shows Julian consoling a friend. The covers of Creation also abound in images of ancient history.

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Turkey, 2000
Iran, 1992
Czech, 1992
France, 1987
Germany, 1999

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