Has Penguin Classics 'chucked 67 years of editorial rigour and learning out of the corporate window and kowtow to the whims of a petulant pop icon' or is it that 'a single, fixed idea no longer suffices in the modern business'.
My sense is that the latter is closer to correct.
While the release of Morrissey's 'Autobiography' on the Penguin Classic label appears to have offended the sensibilities of certain elements of the literati one can't help wondering if this is a splendid demonstration of a kind of arch detournement from the Mozfather and further fuel to the notion that the quest for, or perhaps preservation of authenticity is but status-seeking/maintaining.
Presumably, for those disgruntled authenticateurs Morrissey is less authentic than Linton Kwesi Johnson, who collected poems have also been published via the Classic moniker.
But for Morrissey it's something of a marketing masterstroke.
Talk about salient, noticeable and refreshing existing memory structures.
Of course his book had to come out on the same 'label' as Wilde et al.
The Penguin Classic in hand or in back pocket is as distinctive a Mozzer brand asset as the hearing aid or gladioli.
And Penguin its growing their brand, attracting those new/lighter buyers again, for whom this tome will partner that other Penguin Classic - the copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray - that they already own.