Digital, untraceable texts and the renaissance of literary criticism

An important and central publisher in Italian publishing history like Einaudi has recently created two new collections: the first, I Quanti, has an experimental character that connects it to the experience of incarceration; secondly, Unici demonstrates the firm’s desire to invest in first-time novelists and particularly texts”matchless» is unique in both style and content.

Quanti is a collection of electronic books. These are short, nimble texts, designed to be read all at once, perhaps from a mobile phone,”from personal essay to journalistic report, brochure to short story, from fiction to non-fiction, with the endless nuances that set them apart.» ( Il Libraio ).

Quanti, between the collection and the magazine

It is also a hybrid format between a magazine and a collection. In fact, this collection can be designed as a structureless and unified magazine» ( Il Libraio). Each reader can create their own table of contents, read the books in any order, and thus adapt to this new landscape.

Each “issue” of the magazine is devoted to a theme, a question (the first is the theme of hopes), a feeling that unites the various digital books, such as a common theme. Four or five Quantis will be published three times a year for each issue,” In order to save the historical spirit of the editorial workshop sought by Giulio Einaudi and imagine it projected into the digital future “.

An intermediate format

The directors of the collection (Francesco Guglieri, Andrea Mattacheo and Marco Peano) announce the birth of this project to everyone. Rivista Studio: “ During the quarantine we came across some very good texts that could be “exciting” for a publisher: but they were too short to make a book and too long to put online. There is an intermediate format that has traditionally escaped the networks of traditional publishing and is also not very suitable for Italian magazines. We could have settled for a collection of short digital books like other publishers do, but we also wanted something that was a way to reconnect, re-create a discussion between texts, authors, and readers: a magazine in a nutshell. “.

The web as a laboratory

It was important, therefore, to think about the format of these texts, which deserves to find a suitable container somewhere between the article and the short essay, and is also adapted for a discussion among readers: Some topics are expansions of texts originally designed for newspapers, radio, or conferences. “, to explain the publishers Rivista Studio In order to show how these texts are hybrid and fluid, they are destined to change form, to be changed.

Finally, it is important to highlight that digital technology is an important tool for hybrid and open projects such as: We like the idea of ​​the lab, a place where we can experiment. And for now, the web is the ideal place to do all this. . »

Among the authors of the first texts are Paolo Giordano and Antonella Lattanzi. Quanti’s format finally brings them closer to Adelphi’s Microgrammi collection, born in 2020 and embracing digital books.” miniature “.

Unici: texts of singular early novelists

Also, the Unici collection, launched in February 2022, represents the house’s search for a new space to accommodate texts that cannot find their place in other collections: ” We needed an additional space, a real space of freedom. And it’s an area to take risks. Maybe a space for writers who publish their first novel after publishing a few essays, short stories or poems. In other series Supercoralli, Coralli and Arcipelago we will continue to publish the starting authors, but at Unici we will have the opportunity to publish books that may not always find their natural place in other series. First of all, these are the novels that we like very much and want to announce to large audiences. Novels that impress us with their very special, very personal characters: unique, even ‘, explains ilLibraio.it Dalia Oggero, Italian fiction editor at Einaudi and manager of the new collection.

The Uniciler is indeed a previously formless place in our minds (…). He has siblings, of course, but they are all unique in their own way.“Again Dalia explains Oggero.

There will be three titles per year, usually certain texts written in a certain format, for exampleseamless tutteA book by Filippo Maria Battaglia, constructed from the documents in which twentieth-century women expressed themselves, aiming to reveal a profile of twentieth-century women by making women speak directly, without speaking with the author’s voice.

Inheriting the historic Gli Struzzi collection

In September 2021, Einaudi published some of the most famous authors of literature, also the 20th poem, created in 1970 and for more than thirty-eight years.

The last book in Einaudi’s famous collection was published in 2008. Broadcasts resumed in the fall of last year under Ernesto Franco, Einaudi’s editor-in-chief.

Republish untraceable books

Another publishing house became the protagonist of an important and innovative editorial venture. This is Minimum fax. The point is, ‘I haven’t been there for a long time.

Luca Briasco, creator of the collection, Alfredo Lavarini, editor-in-chief and curator of Asgari Fax, explains to the Dire press agency:We realized that we all have books that we lost on the way and can’t find anymore. The market produces thousands of books a year and is at an alarming rate of obsolescence, books are disappearing. The idea is to collect some and find out if they still make sense today. Books that told us nothing thirty years ago can now explain the present.. »

Engage readers

The collection includes Italian and foreign texts. The initiative is also interesting in terms of its connection with the reader community:The idea behind this collection is to involve the reader community as well. That’s why we’re creating a section on the website where readers, booksellers, everyone can tell us about their hard-to-find personal books.— Underlining Briasco again —.More than six hundred proposals have reached publishers so far (…).»

Here are the first two posts:La bocca del lupo(Wolf Mouth) Remigio Zena, a late verismo masterpiece set in Genoa, andLa veglia in Benicarlò(The Vigil in Benicarlò) Written by Manuel Azana in 1937.

Not to forget: Sellerio’s Promemoria

Palermo publishing house Sellerio, known worldwide for Camilleri’s books, created in July 2021 a new economic collection linked to the intentions of Introvabili of Asgari facsimile: Promemoria – a title evoking Sellerio’s famous La memoria collection. publisher’s intention,an aid, a suggestion, to remember and rediscover readings that are no longer available or hard to find“. Therefore, the aim is to republish the works of yesterday and today, which should not be forgotten.

The first titles are therefore reprints, for exampleuomini nudeBy Alicia Gimenez-Bartlettpeanutby Antonio Manzini orultima provinceLuisa Adorno’s photo.

The renaissance of literary criticism: The extreme rate

Finally, a collection that reinvents theory and literary criticism is the new proposal of Nottetempo, founded in 2002 by Ginevra Bompiani, Roberta Einaudi and Andrea Gessner, which publishes essays and fiction with a wide and diverse content. catalog. It is called the extreme ratio.

The publishers were so convinced of the necessity of their bold proposal: this collection was born “It is, in our view, a leap of faith in a discipline that can still carry a decisive weight in current cultural and political debates, and the belief that literary criticism and theory in general remains essential reading for any educated person (…). Therefore, we want to reproduce some of the most important texts on theory and criticism to emerge in the 20th century in a new format and with new introductions, as well as publish unpublished articles by leading figures in contemporary criticism and important works by young people. Researchers “Extrema ratio” was born from an act of trust in literature, the most glorious and deepest of the arts, as well as an act of trust in criticism.“.

The publishers describe their project to the important Italian cultural blog Minima e Moralia: republishing key texts of literary criticism and new authors.

Franco Moretti’s book,Fortune Movement, published in January; Text by Erich Auerbach,World Letters and MethodIt’s scheduled for March with an article by Guido Mazzoni.

photo credit: Drew Beamer/Unsplash