Valeria Bergalli: "The excess of new books hurts readers"

VALERIA BERGALLI. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1962. 20 years ago decided to go into the editing of books and rode Tiny, the smallest (in format, though a giant in

Valeria Bergalli:

VALERIA BERGALLI. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1962. 20 years ago decided to go into the editing of books and rode Tiny, the smallest (in format, though a giant in content) from our independent labels. And don't think stepping on the brake.

In 1999, independently, for its account and risk, founded the editorial Lowercase. What was the vocation of an editor or kamikaze?I started to read very soon. In my family, both by father and mother, the books have always occupied an important place. Part mother came to me the taste for good literature, to read for pleasure, and for the part of my father, who was a university professor, all related with the reflection, learning and knowledge.Do we still lived in Argentina when he began this literary adventure?More or less. Our family is very small, we were the grandparents, my parents and me. We began to travel very soon, because my father, before the age of 30 years, began to ask for research grants, and we get to Italy. My father is argentinean, and my mother Italian. I was raised between Argentina, Italy and Germany, and with both go and come, the books have also been a point of reference for me, to know where I am. They were always in my luggage. I was an only child and changed from school, and friends constantly, so the books gave way to my private space.What could take them from one city to another?No, but he was always coming into contact with new books. More, they helped me a lot to establish connection with the place that I was going a different way to the usual. The first thing I did when I changed my site was to read books about that city, or find out what read my new friends. That kind of stuff.When you arrive to Barcelona?I've been since mid -, or rather the end, of the years 80. Before mounting Tiny I had been dedicated to the research, to the cultural anthropology, I thought that I would devote myself to that, but not had too much conviction, and then happened a series of things that made me see more clearly that the books were my vocation, and that had always been there. One thing that I was curious in was how they made the books. 20 years ago I met people from the publishing world and I became interested in aspects such as translation. In addition, I liked to make lists of books and put them in common, creating associations disparate. It was already 19 or 20 years old, while I was reading and I ate an apple, and he didn't stop creating lists mental. By 1997 I was already doing a lot of thinking in "if...".And rode the editorial. I had an investor, savings, or launched into the adventure? People do not know how expensive it is to produce a book.The resources were resolved in part thanks to my grandfather, who had died some years before and had left us an inheritance. It was a capital small, not a big deal, but it was good to start with a certain peace of mind in the beginning.We always refer to start an independent publishing house as an act of romantic and brave, but certainly 20 years ago was not so risky: people would buy more and, above all, I had more time to read.That is true. When I started, which is now a reality, which is the abundance of small publishers, it was something that was already raised in the sector. It seems as if the boom of independent publishing began around 2008, before and after the crisis, but in 1999 had also appeared Pages of Foam and some other editorial more that has also survived. The future was already drawn, and had a space for this type of proposals.The big publishers eat up a lot market, but were leaving the quality literature and certain products minority of much value.Yes, I never spoke of margins. The independent publishers we are not marginal, but that we inserted in the chinks open that leave other. The large concentration of editorial had created a certain uniformity in the libraries, were competing with each other for another large portion of the market. That is where there were some free spaces for books to readers with concerns also demanded, and had the option to detect proposals that are escaping to the uniformity and feeling of saturation. There appeared to us. That would have publishing single-person craft and it was not uncommon, but were more specialized in poetry or theater.How were the first years?We didn't have the pretension of being the first, that would have been ridiculous. From the moment that our first books are put on sale, in October of 2000, we began to go very well, because they were already clear many of the dynamics that were going to affect the circulation of the books: there was a huge number of new features, the booksellers complained that they had not had space and time to take care of all those developments, and that brought interesting consequences.Sink in, please.There are publishers who choose very well what they publish, and have a scope well-defined, and there are also libraries that work with the same criterion. But the pace of movement is so rapid, there is such an avalanche of permanent innovations that are hitting the bookstores, that many books go unnoticed and end up being destroyed. The excess of new books a disservice to the reader, because the volume of pitches is not organized in line with what would be the time of actual reading. A book is not like any other cultural proposal, has a slower pace, and it takes a while until a reader can make it their own. The best way for a book to flow well, and beyond that appear in the media or receive good reviews, is that readers refer to each other.Do you have the feeling that, while it may be selling the same thing, yes that is read the least? In the subway, almost no one reads a newspaper or a book, all are looks inclined on the mobile screen. It is another kind of reading, but nothing to do with a book.If you think about it in historical terms, the people reading has always been relatively low, except at specific times as after the First World War, especially in England and in experiences such as the Penguin, that was a great attempt to make a library of fundamental texts within the reach of all the world, that, years later, wanted to make nato in Spain. When I lived in Germany and wanted to read it in Spanish, always asking me to bring books of Alliance. These moments have been glory days for the publishing industry, but in general, people who read little, or it seems to us that it is very little. There is a big difference between reading the books and have them near.What might change this? How scratch time having Netflix, social networking...?We are now in a time of great change, and yes, I think that we have a huge competition to fill the moments of leisure or pause, you can now do many other things apart from reading. Before, or read it, or looked at the ceiling, or you had to study in the pasajeros the same wagon in which were going. Now you can play solitaire, chat, see what happens in networks... Also you can read a book in the mobile, something that, with great surprise on my part, also occurs. Also in the metro there are people who read on tablet. What has changed is the time of the reading, and in Spain, it's a curious phenomenon, which is that there is an impressively high percentage of people that never reads, which is not open never a book, around 50%. And then there's a peak, at the other end, which is not large, of people who read a lot. I would say that, despite all the changes that has been, that has not changed: there has always been a lot of people who do not read ever, a small amount of people who read a lot and buy a lot, and a gray area very large of people who are pointing to read when there is a book of fashion. Among the people who read a lot and visit on a weekly basis the libraries, I don't detect many changes from when I started. The hard core demanding is still there, that that goes to what you are interested in and to which the marketing will matter a radish.

What gives me the most fear is that imposed by the kingdom of the lie,

But in order to grow, you need access to the grey area...Is where I want to go, is to that group that I want to seduce. But what happens? The publishing world has changed, and we are increasingly those that we turn to that group. We are always considering how to seduce him, but it is very difficult. Rather than questioning if they are published too many books, what we need to do as publishers is to work to expand the number of regular readers, and that does not happen by reducing the quality. It is quite a challenge, and it is not easy. We can't solve the reading problems that the country has, it has to work from long before, from the education, but also, publishers still have a role in that mission.How do you relate with the mobile?I'm now considers it essential, but I can interact with my environment and with a couple of people that without the mobile it would be complicated to do so, and then I would be worried if it didn't have news. My mom, for example. And then it is important for my work. Having a mobile is not so related with leisure, but with the work: if I don't have here e-mail or whatsapp, the reach of the hand, not I could away from my computer for a long time. Have you taken advantage of social networks?I'm in the networks, but in reality I am for the editorial, if I'm honest. It is a question that arose on all for Facebook: after a certain number of friends you have that have a page of editorial, business, to add more followers. But those pages do not come out to anyone if you do not put advertising, so I also have to have a personal profile, because then there are more chances of having more people that see what we are doing, and thus generate a certain degree of interaction. My profiles reinforce the presence of the publisher. On Twitter it took me more freedom to say any nonsense, but I do not lose of view that I'm there as the editor of the Tiny. If not editor and not deemed a must... I don't know if I would be in the networks, the truth.I explained that in Argentina the publishing market works in a different way, here we are obsessed with the news, and there what is sold is the background. There is No hurry to sell a book, or buy it.In our case, the titles that have sold best are those that have maintained their sales at the time, our best sellers are in reality long-sellers, such as the books of Shirley Jackson, the trial of Viktor Klemperer on the language of the Third Reich, Green water of Marisa Madieri... We have worked very well in the Chronicles berlin Joseph Roth. Are books that have a sale ongoing. That gives us security and reaffirms what you say, that is the publishing fund which, in the long run, gives you that confidence and that personality. They are books that people have read, they have generated enthusiasm, and a few readers to recommend to other readers, and you'll also create an identity as a publisher. Not a week goes by that a newspaper does not make a mention of the LTI of Klemperer... that kind of things make incorporation of new readers. Green water is what I published in 2000, and is still selling. There are people who now read the book because when it came out, or had ten years, or had not been born, and they have come when they could arrive. It is fortunate that a book does not disappear from circulation and the booksellers to follow recommending.Do you trust in the sale by chance?I think that, in the background, this is the key to many things. The model of the library fund remains for me a valid model. A model is expensive to implement, and more if you are still dragging the consequences of the crisis, but it is the model of a library with which I grew up, where you could miss and look on the shelves. Before, there were quite a few tables of new, you in reality were going to look at shelves and you kind of just get lost in them. You were going to find two or three specific things, and all the while you were giving with other things unexpected. The library is the thread that you strip and you come out things you did not know, and for that the background has to be rich. I think that is the best model of library. What I don't know is if it can be done on a smaller scale, and I fear that it may disappear.Can it be that certain publishers sell fewer than they should be because their potential audience has learned languages and read up on everything in English?I don't know, because English has never been my main interest. Of course, we have translated from English, is the language the most translated, and I must say that bothers me that is not reciprocal, as in Great Britain and the united States translates very little of other languages, and although lately they have gone independent publishers focused on the translation, do not reach even 3%, while here we translate the English 80%, almost the same as in Italy. When I started it was already like that, and I didn't go that side, because there are enough translations of the English. So we translate from the Italian, the German, the French...recently uncovered the case of the editorial Malpaso, which had a lot of money to their translators by default. The guild of translators is very mistreated.I have never forgotten the translators, we have always taken into great consideration and we paid accordingly. And then, we have also involved, provided that we have been able, in any act about the book: if we invite an author from outside, we can talk publicly with whom you've translated, and I have said on more than one occasion-something that is rather common, but that has its reflection in the material: without translation, there would be no world literature, which is something very different to the international literature. Has a lot to do with the circulation of knowledge, the true cultural exchange between peoples. Without the translation, all of this would not exist, we would live locked in the island of our own language. Or maybe you would happen otherwise, people would be more polyglot...Tiny and Cliff were born in the same year, 1999, and sharing the same idea: that european culture has close links, and is a political idea, social and intellectual care. Do you feel well?I worked in Quaderns Cream before founding Tiny, and therefore knew well to Jaume Vallcorba. For example, he always had an interest by Joseph Roth, but he was interested in Roth as a novelist, and to me as a chronicler, it seems to me that it is the Roth more significant. Cliff and Tiny we are publishing very different, there are matches in several geographic areas, but in terms of authors, periods particular, we do not share the same obsessions. Roth maybe, but I don't think that Cliff was published never to Imgard Keun. But we do share the idea of Europe, that to me every time it seems to me most important. The collection is dedicated to the translations of the German, Alexanderplatz, apart from a homage to Alfred Döblin, what that does is put the accent in the other heart of Europe: one is Paris, but the other is Berlin. What interests me about Berlin is that it is the centre of a network of interconnected cities beyond the borders, and that they were writers with an agenda, not only literary, but to participate in the public debate. Most wrote for the newspapers, were part of editorial projects, magazines,... forged a kind of sociability which seems to me extremely interesting, and that crystallized in the field of coffee. Another thing that interested me a lot is how to think the urban space. The idea of Europe that most interests me is the one that has to do with the cities. When I started to edit, here looked with interest the european project, Spain was the last to arrive between western countries and had an interest in being part of the project.And now the project is what generates concern and disaffection.Who cares now for Europe? No one. The Brexit, the rise of the extreme right, are all phenomena that arise against Europe, against the European project, which is the project of the bureaucrats and that I have never felt identified, but beyond that, to me, I was attracted to a federation of states that we could feel part of. All of this has resulted in dissatisfaction because the power is not well divided, and at the same time is leading to frustration. And yet, the project of Europe is more necessary than ever.As a half Italian, how would it affect the euroscepticism that has installed in power in Italy?It affects Me in the sense that I don't know what other options we have before the rise of these far-right movements. Because there are that oppose it in any way, there is that to stop them the car. The time is difficult, worrying, as Italian I'm terrified, and also as half German, I know what it is and I am prompted. Salvini is the result of many years of Berlusconi in the political and economic power, of the exhaustion that they have brought their televisions and the widespread corruption. Salvini always says that they are pure, that are exempt from the responsibility in that corruption, but do not forget that the Lega was financed illegally. It is a corrupt source, or a spawn of parties to corrupt. All the art of post-war Italian was on the rocks with Berlusconi, that fed on the ignorance of the people, of indifference to the public good. All of this comes from those years: I feel terror because they are passing ugly things, there have been attacks on gays, immigrants. What gives me more fear is being imposed on the kingdom of the lie, something very similar to what you are doing Trump: say outrageous things and repeat them to the people they are created.Let's go back to the books. It seems that lately, takes the little book, is something that sells well. What would be the explanation?Sold, but be careful, it is not for both, in commercial terms, the analysis is more complicated. I made little books because I come from a particular tradition, in Italy and Germany have published small books since forever. Since I'm 20 years old, always I have seen them in the bookstores, they are cheap, more or less beautiful. In Italy there were initiatives in which the books will cost a euro. When we publish the collection Landscapes Narrated, booksellers and distributors told us that they were too small and had doubts. But it could not be otherwise, because for me the book has always been an element of company, I like to take them over to any site, and the need within the bag. Therefore, I have always excluded the hard cover books. So, necessarily, the formatting in this collection had to be small enough to adapt to this concept book company. Then, after many years, we made the collection a Micron, which is smaller still. The format booklet, the editors have tended to use it as a catch-all, it was where they were the books that they did not know where to place: a conference, that sort of thing. But I'm not interested in that, I insist that the short texts, when they are good, have the same dignity that one of 400 pages. The challenge is to publish texts really good and prove that this theory works.One of the authors best-selling is being Shirley Jackson, the great lady of terror, and will shortly recover 'The curse of Hill House', that Netflix has transformed in series. Do you expect something out of it?Not much, I give terror of these things. Adaptations of books are not easy, but I am very curious to see what they have done, and how is Elisabeth Moss in the series. But I say that gives me panic because I think that Shirley Jackson has to be read. In the series have altered several things, the protagonists are brothers, unlike the book... I'd expect it to be a good series, which captivates the viewers and you then have the curiosity to approach the book. Any help to gain readers is welcome.Are you interested in the tv series as a new aspect of the narrative?Yes, as in everything, there are series and series. I am very forofa of The Sopranos, I was blown away when I saw it, despite the fact that I had many items that had already been seen before in the cinema, in One of ours in The Godfather... The great challenge was to transform that into a format a row, and did very well. The performances are sensational, and the construction of the story I liked very much. But then there are many series that interest me less, and if you end up turning into soap operas, they cease to be exceptional. Are converted in a format that is outdated, I get tired.

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Date Of Update: 14 November 2018, 20:01

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