26 October 2010

Globe & Mail Visits Gaspereau

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.



Anonymous said...

You are very lucky that your author is so understanding - or that she has either no agent or a very placid one. I still can't comprehend why you wouldn't allow the demand for her book to be met with a larger edition throught a larger publisher while still retaining the rights and making your edition beautiful handcrafted books for those who value them.

Argo Bookshop said...

I am the owner and operator of the 200 square foot, almost 50 year old Argo Bookshop. I complain and hear many complaints about the low quality of book construction. This is becoming ever more important as e-books take their share of the market. I just wanted to leave a note to congratulate you for your steadfast adherence to quality.

Thank you,

Unknown said...

I have just completed my first book, a self-coaching book with exercises and tools to help people lead a more authentic and fulfilled life (Book title is Life Lessons You Never Learned at School.)
The Globe and Mail article seemed like a gift that fell into my lap! I want the kind of quality and attention to detail that Gaspereau Press is devoted to. I will be looking no further for the printers of my book!!!!
Laila Beaudoin

Ilyssa said...

Thanks for staying true to your principles - even some of us in the business appreciate that, and we know it isn't easy!