I hope you’ve had a good one. A good year, that is. I have, and I look forward to 2013 with anticipation.
The main bright lights for me this year have been two corporate entities: Edda and TraparT. Both managed to establish themselves in a far more convincing way than could be expected. The 2012 bullshit about e-books was an illusion and a hype, or at least not of any substance to publishing companies that still care about quality more than quantity.
I foresee 2013 as the year of the good book, meaning a tangible, physical object made to last and containing substantial and thought-provoking ideas. Already in 2012, several alternative publishers saw the light of day. I’ve mostly kept track of the occultural sphere but I’m sure there is a similar resurgence in fields of fiction. I hope so.
A definition of a good book might be in order: It is a book that gives more than it takes, and a book that contains substance and value beyond the utilitarian and the economic aspects. If you’re into manuals and are an economist, this definition has to be strectched, I know, but you get the drift. Also, it’s an item that is made to last.
Substantial thoughts and human wisdom are worth taking part of. And they’re worth preserving and returning to.
In my mind, the main problem of e-books is that they’re signaling that it’s OK to be sidetracked within the (technological) context. The ramifications of that on a larger scale are disastrous. The long term integration of human thoughts, emotions and learning through second hand sources has been absolutely crucial to our development. A digital replacement of swift rote ”access to information” is not the same thing. All it does is create a dependency on the technological ”platforms” and a fragmented search for saturation of immediate communication ”demands”. That’s not good enough. Far from it.
Edda released four books in 2012: Bulwer-Lytton’s Vril (with illustrations by Christine Ödlund), The Fenris Wolf 5, Fredrik Söderberg:Paintings 2008-2012 and the anthology Here To Go 2012. All sold well and continue to do so. Many thanks to our beloved network of sellers and buyers!
TraparT released FanzinEra – Photographs 1985-1988 which received very nice attention (like eight pages in the UK edition of VICE and six in the US edition) and is also a steady seller. Special thanks to Richard Kern, who wrote the introduction!
|Edda business partner Fredrik Söderberg and me in Brighton, July 2012. When we say book business, we mean book business! Photograph © by Renata Wieczorek|
The harvest of this year will be the seeds of 2013. Edda will publish approximately six new titles and TraparT approximately three new ones. We’re becoming a regular little cottage industry and it’s a great source of joy. (Please note: If you want to receive news directly from Edda, please sign up for the newsletter at edda.se)
Exactly one year ago, on New Year’s Eve 2011, just about an hour before midnight actually, I finished the work on my first ever novel. During 2012, I’ve let some trusted allies read it. I corrected some things and then I just let it rest for a while. In 2013, it will be published though, and that will be an exciting trip, I’m sure. If you are in any way interested in learning more about this project, please feel free to contact me.
”Some of us are so made that there is nothing else we can do. We do not write because we want to; we write because we must.” (Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up)
”... What is interesting about the novel is the obsessive repetitive need in true novelists to go on telling stories. We always have to be telling legends, myths, which very often try in some way to make the world more perfect. Obviously, there is some dim memory somewhere of a more perfect, happier, magical state, and we are all trying to get to that.” (John Fowles, Conversations with John Fowles)
There were also lectures, which I enjoy more and more. Brighton (a development of the Mega-Golem art project), Nyköping (an analysis of the concept of ”Babalon”, post-Crowley) and Trondheim (on the sorcery of fiction) stand out as themes and moments which have inspired me further during this year. I hope to do more of that in 2013. Also more liner notes for music albums (I’m currently looking forward to the Telecult Powers LP), art catalogues and similar things. Keep it coming and I will keep it going.
|Me and Joe Coleman, the brilliant Bruegel of our times, New York, 2012. Photograph by Michael Moynihan.|
Personal favourites of 2012 in a jumble: Fredrik Söderberg’s exhibition At the Feet of the Guru at Galleri Riis, The Soundtrack of Our Lives’ tear-jerking final (?) concert at Södra Teatern, the Michael Gira and Swans concerts at Debaser, The Hafler Trio at Pannan/Konsthall C, being at Paris Photo, L’Autre Livre and Offprint on the very same weekend in Paris, FanzinEra in general, The Fenris Wolf 5 release on very hallowed ground: The Atlantis Bookshop in London, opening day at Coney Island and New York in general, meeting up with Joe Coleman again after 25 years, the Bauhaus exhibition at the Barbican in London, the Here To Go symposium in Trondheim, and finally getting to Marrakesh and the Atlas mountains. Writing more! Plus each and every one of the Edda books: past, present and future.