04 Disember, 2006

Wang dan Moral dalam Penerbitan Buku

Satu artikel dalam American Thinker menarik perhatian saya, dengan tajuk Money and Morals in book publishing.


Distilling and developing insight, literature, philosophy, social commentary, what we now like to call ‘intellectual capital,' was the chief role of publishers. The profession was refined, gentile, a self-imposed meritocracy which, in serving primarily the literate upper classes, had as its unspoken mandate to identify works of quality and enable them to be enshrined and preserved in book form.

But those days, despite their sentimental appeal, are clearly gone: in 2005, for instance, R.R. Bowker, who compiles publishing statistics, tallied over 172,000 new books generated on the presses of some 70,000 publishers. That means that editors can no longer languish attentively over the works of their promising authors; not only that, but the intense competition and risk in a marketplace of conglomerates, mass market titles, cavernous national book chains, and a highly segmented reading audience means that book publishing's core role of facilitating the creation of quality literature and non-fiction has itself been radically altered. Increasingly, as has been made clear in three significant publishing ‘conflicts of conscience' this year, that new role is now shaped by the economic imperatives of the market, a state in which commerce drives culture rather than being pulled along behind it.

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