Calling Publishers, looking for a book or two to print in hard copy?
So here we are in the ‘Modern Era’ – the ‘Digital Age’ of publishing –
But first, for communication and ‘publishing’, we had word-of-mouth-memorized, then, following thereon, tablets of stone, (‘in their apogee’ in the ‘Rosetta’); then, the long procession of other forms of ‘publication’; the clay cuneiform tablet, papyrus, wax-tablet, Scriptoria books, Guttenberg and Caxton Presses; and so on, up to the ‘lately’ Modern Age of printed books, as a physical item to be held in one’s hands – the greatest of those publishers probably being Macmillan, as it was touched by the altruism of a great man.
All these publications, howsoever they were, or were produced, would be called , in modern parlance, ‘hard copy’.
We have leaped, almost ‘unawares’ into the digital age – all is now, more and more, in the Library of ‘the ether’ – and we are exhorted ‘to save the planet’ by not printing off any into hard copy!
In my youth, professionally and for leisure, life was ‘all books’ – in some cases, these would be huge tomes, even great sets of tomes.
The hugeness of all this as was set before me was very discouraging!
So it was that, for myself, I never aspired to be a writer.
In fact, I vowed never to write a book – I saw the piles of them at Foyle’s, in all the Law Libraries and elsewhere – everyone was apparently scribbling away … as, I considered, mostly repetitively – I was not going to add to that – further, I could not envision that I had any real originality to justify doing so.
But I broke that promise to myself and wrote a Monograph on the works of Wilfred Owen – I excused myself, ‘Oh, well, that is a really research paper and does not count as a book; at least in the sense of the prohibition I had imposed on myself!’
But the Novel – the biographical Novel – about Wilfred Owen – was, however, clearly in breach of that prohibition – and no lawyer’s argument, sophistry or otherwise excuse, could exculpate me!
Anyway, whatever, it was written.
It was written gradually and grew ‘organically’ – depending on circumstances, lucky happenings, visits to places, material enabling ‘originations’ and the vaguest pursuit of ‘wishing to know’ – there was otherwise little, actually conscious, ‘pursuit’ of the subject or its purpose.
The aim, if there ever was one, was to enquire into the creative process – how and why it occurs – and, this, despite the very conscious conviction that such an enquiry could never be fully resolved by any sort of final an definitive answer.
As to its ‘publication’, this was only ever a vague and misty vision in the purpose of its writing – there were no dead-lines, as was always otherwise overshadowing all in my professional life as a lawyer; and, certainly, no financial purpose … in fact, no purpose at all; except the apparent compulsion to create something that was seemingly elusive and, as yet, unseen.
And elusive, it certainly was.
In the course of its being written, it seemed always to treat of the inner mind of the subject – hence, what has been written is a representation of the internalization of a creative personality – and it is with that internalization that the narrative seems always to begin and to which it seems always to return.
Digital publication much more easily enables publication of texts, which have not been subjected to editing – as such editing may be dictated for commercial, or other, reasons.
Such commercial editing inevitably stamps some ‘conventionality’ on the work concerned; and, further, this will remove much, if not all, of the originality and authenticity of the work as it was first composed.
My youthful strictures against ever ‘writing a book’ were because of a perceived lack of originality of what was being written and written, seemingly over and over again – ‘that there was nothing new under the sun’.
Even so, here is this biographical novel, now published digitally, for better or worse, on its original text, in full without any editing – that is, without any editing at all, for any purpose, such as commerciality or acceptability or other.
This done – (and although one regularly sees paperbacks approaching, or exceeding, 1000 pages!) – one may be open to suggestions as to whether a ‘hard copy’ of this novel should be published and in what form – edited or otherwise. I would welcome feedback on this from publishers via the contact page!
But, notwithstanding what may yet happen in this connection in the future, this digital version – (whether ‘vanity publishing’ or not!) – is the echt version of the whole, as a whole; and it will ever remain so.
It is thus irreversibly ‘out there’ – and those who may thus come to it are free to make of it howsoever their minds wander within it.
And as such minds may wander through facts, intuited fact-fictionalizations, idealisms and the awesome sweep of history.
For, as the great Einstein said …
‘ Imagination is more important than knowledge … ’