The Art of the Publisher - Roberto Calasso (tr. Richard Dixon)
An interior look at Roberto Calasso's work as a publisher and his reflections on the art of book publishing
In this illuminating volume, Roberto Calasso reflects on more than half a century of distinguished literary publishing at Adelphi Edizioni in Milan. "Part merchant, part circus impresario, the publisher has always been considered with a certain mistrust, like a clever huckster," Calasso writes, and yet "publisher" may also be one of the most prestigious titles around.
Recalling the beginnings of Adelphi in the 1960s, Calasso touches on the house's defining qualities and its strategy of publishing a wide range of authors of high literary quality. Stepping back, he then considers the publishing industry as a whole, bringing his signature erudition and grasp of literary history to bear on various aspects of the enterprise. From the vital importance of jackets, design, and cover flaps to the consequences of universal digitization, Calasso offers a penetrating study of the industry and an essential survey of twentieth-century literature.
A daring defense of an industry in flux and an ode to publishers who devote themselves to "good books," The Art of the Publisher makes an insider’s case for publishing as a singular artistic form. An essential collection for writers, readers, and editors, it is a tribute to the age-old art of making books.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2015. First American Edition. 160 pages. Hardback.