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Mosaic Press

in defense of literature: for John Calder
fifty years of publishing literature, politics and the arts
in defense of literature
by his friends and admirers
202 pages, 22.8 x 16 cm
Mosaic Press, Publishers
Cover photo by David Applefield
Cover design by Amy Land
In Defence of Literature is a Festschrift honouring John Calder's fifty years in publishing. It is a collection of essays, contributions and photos from those who know and understand the central role John Calder has played in the development of twentieth century literature.
John Calder celebrates fifty years in publishing in 1999. Since 1949, he has published eighteen Nobel Prize Winners and almost fifteen hundred books. He has published many of the major French, German and other European writers in English, almost single-handedly introducing European literature into the English language. His commitment to literary excellence has influenced two generations of authors, readers and publishers.

John Calder has also played an important role in the general cultural and artistic life of Britain and Europe. He has been a prominent advocate for the arts, he has run for elected office and the European Parliament in Scotland, he has been involved in many festivals, including his own Ledlanet Nights, he has promoted political causes, new literary currents, and cultural enlightenment.

In Defence 0f Literature is a documentary of John Calder, the man, his passion for literature and his achievements in the cultural and artistic life of his times. The volume also includes a fully annotated bibliography of the works he has published over the past fifty years.

"You have no equal in the history of British publishing and, I fear, alas, we are unlikely to see many, if any in the future. What you have done is genuinely unique, amazing: your services to literature and the circulation of ideas, your energetic battles against all attempts to trivialize the written word, or, purely and simply, commercialize it."

Jean Gueguinou, Ambassador of France to the UK

"I knew John Calder as a publisher who was musical and courageous as well as innovative... he went for what he believed in, which I thought was good, and that what he believed in was not always going to be best-selling material, for which I admired him."

Lord Harewood

"John fought, and he's still fighting of course, a marvellous cause. He never stops. Particularly if he's going to lose. The Net Book Agreement. Marches down Whitehall in protest about Arts funding. Wrestling his authors' books into resistant bookshops. Anything whatsoever in defence of a booktrade whose traditional values he loves, and which has not always been as cognisant as it should have been as to what John has done for us all. He's a true hero of mine. May he live forever."

Tim Waterstone, President, Waterstone's book chain

"John was the intellectual heavy-weight: almost universally looked up to in the publishing business as both inspired and inspiring. In the end of the day, the vast majority of us will be but minor footnotes in literary history. John will indubitably make it into a chapter heading."

Paul Harris, Publisher/Writer

©Mosaic Press 1999
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Mosaic Press: in defense of literature: for John Calder


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