So this month I published a book. It was an incredible experience, especially because it was with a talented author and about a fascinating topic. The book is called A Little Circle Of Kindred Minds: Joyce in Paris and it’s written by Conor Fennell. As you might imagine, it is about James Joyce and the group of friends he built up during the twenty years he spent in Paris. All of which serves as precursor to the article below from The Times Literary Supplement yesterday:
“There Joyce continued to retreat from formal Irish identity. At the end of 1931, when his father died in Dublin, he would not go to Ireland for the funeral, as he felt he would not be safe from prosecution. In 1932, he declined an invitation to a St Patrick’s Day party in Paris when told the Irish ambassador would be there; he feared his presence might imply an endorsement of the new Free State. That same year he refused an invitation from W. B. Yeats to become a member of the new Irish Academy of Letters as “I see no reason why my name should have arisen at all in connection with such an academy” (though he wished it success). Indeed, as he was writing Finnegans Wake, he asked Miss Weaver, “Why go on writing about a place I did not dare to go to at such a moment, where not three persons know me or understand me . . ?”.
via The British James Joyce by Brenda Maddox – TLS. I wanted to suggest that what Maddox is saying is just not plausible. Especially when you consider just how obsessed with Dublin Joyce was. Just as an example I thought I’d share a little of Conor’s excellent book:
Austin Clarke got similar treatment when, in the winter of
1923, he used to meet Joyce promptly at 6pm outside the
church of St Sulpice. The two would adjourn to a quiet café
where, after a long silence, Joyce would ask: ‘Is Mulvaney’s
shop still there at the corner?’ – the first of many
When Kenneth Reddin arrived at Joyce’s apartment in
Square Robiac he found it full of Irish newspapers, including
provincial ones. He was impressed that Joyce was able to
recall the smart remarks by witnesses at Kilmainham
District Court over which Reddin presided.
At dinner at the Trianons Joyce challenged him and the
artist Patrick Tuohy to name the shops from Amiens
Street station (now Connolly station) to Nelson’s Pillar,
first on one side then back on the other. ‘Mostly he was
three or four shops in front of us,’ said Reddin. ‘When
Tuohy and I left a gap, he filled it. When he named a new
proprietor, he named, and remembered the passing of, the
When you read about the man in that way it becomes impossible to believe he was anything but Irish in the true sense. Yes he might have, at times, had issues with the state and even some of the people, but there was no way he could be described a s British as Maddox seems to claim. I could say you should read more of Conor’s book to uncover the truth and I really do think that would help, but perhaps that might be just a little self-serving!
Interesting stuff from Macmillan. Looks like folks at the higher levels are seeing potential for backlist, frontlist and all kinds of digital lists. I guess it’s never too late:
Pan Macmillan has launched a new imprint to bring backlist titles to readers as digital editions or print on demand titles.
Macmillan Compass will be managed by fiction publisher Jeremy Trevathan and digital director Sara Lloyd. The publisher said the imprint will establish exclusive publishing partnerships with agents, literary estates and other rights holders. It said digital pricing across all formats will be “competitive”.
via Pan Mac launches Compass for digital backlist | The Bookseller.
A really excellent piece on navigating the murky waters of piracy in academic publishing [HT Joe Esposito]
A popular file-sharing Web site was offering pirated electronic copies of the book. Someone had stolen a copy of the e-book version and uploaded it to the file-sharing site. Now it could be downloaded free by anyone.
I was startled for several reasons. First, the retail price of a print copy of the book is $90, and the official e-book version is $74, so its free availability online seemed an obvious disincentive for anyone to buy it. Second, as I described in another column, I have mixed feelings about open-access scholarship. Several years earlier, an open-access project of mine had been plagiarized and printed in a commercial “closed access” book, and now my commercial closed-access book was in some sense made open-access to everybody—again without my consent. Third, even I—the editor—didn’t possess a copy of the official e-book version, yet there it was for everyone else.
But was the piracy my problem? And was it really a problem?
via My Battle With E-Pirates – Advice – The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Interesting piece on WH Smith Travel on Publishing Perspectives today, well worth reading:
It seems that despite the cost of promotions and shelf space, publishers love WHSmith Travel. Philip Gwyn Jones, Publisher at Portobello, says. “They’re capable of making books that their rivals aren’t touching. We had a difficult, debut novel in February -– Max Schaefer’s Children of the Sun, which deals with skinhead culture -– and they took it, backed it and believed in it. They put in their chart and we had a bigger subscription from them than from Waterstone’s, although you might think this was more of a Waterstone’s book.
“I don’t think WHSmith Travel is celebrated enough. Yes, they take a narrow range, but within that you will see some surprises, in a way you wouldn’t in the supermarkets.”
via Is WHSmith Travel the UKs Best Bookseller? | Publishing Perspectives.
So here’s some cool news and it comes in two parts.
The first is that I leave on Sunday for UNESCO’s World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries, Focus 2011: The Book Tomorrow: the Future of the Written Word in Villa Reale di Monza, Lombardia, Italy. I’m very much looking forward to it. I’ll be rapporteur for a panel on Blog Vs Newspaper.
The second thing is that the same event marks the kick off of my association with The Frankfurt Bookfair’s English language blog. Starting after the conference when I’ll be blogging about copyright in the digital age (a major topic of discussion at the event), I’ll be adding blogs on the topics of rights, licensing and digitization, key concerns of the Fair.
I’m really excited by the link up and I hope folks will join me over there when I post.
In the meantime, it’s the Friday of a bank holiday weekend in Ireland and I’m leaving Dublin for the evening, heading to Athlone to watch Clockwork Noise.
If you are going, I’ll see you in Monza, if you are not, I’ll write all about it over here.
Enjoy the weekend,
PS: Yes, that picture IS of the building where the forum happens!
PPS: Here’s a night-time shot just for fun!
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