26 October 2010
The Toronto Globe & Mail published a reasonable little piece on Gaspereau Press and its even-keeled, principled approach to the Giller madness in Monday’s paper. I think on the whole the article captured the story pretty well, though I wish it had tried to communicate the philosophical underpinnings of our approach. I talked a long time with the G&M’s Kate Taylor about the balance between local economy and global market forces, about the ecosystem of Canadian literary culture and the things literary publishing has in common with substance farming and the slow food movement. Newspaper articles infrequently have space for this sort of context, and reading the article may leave some readers asking “Why the heck would anyone want to do things this way?”
Perhaps the short quotation from Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience which we printed as a broadside during our weekend wayzgoose will begin to answer that question, though I’m anxious, once things quiet down again, to write more extensively about Gaspereau’s philosophical underpinnings and their pragmatic application to our day to day work:
How can a man be satisfied to entertain an opinion merely, & enjoy it? Is there any enjoyment in it, if his opinion is that he is aggrieved? […] Action from principle — the perception & the performance of right — changes things & relations; it is essentially revolutionary & does not consist wholly with any thing which was. It not only divided States & churches, it divides families; aye, it divides the individual, separating the diabolical in him from the divine.
Every time we make a book here, we change the world a little, not only because of what those books have to say, but because of what the way in which we make those books have to say too.
ANDREW STEEVES ¶ PRINTER & PUBLISHER