Louis Esterhuizen. Wie is Jill Schoolman?

 

Alle mense het ‘gunstelinge’ volgens hul spesifieke belangstellings. So ook boekhandelaars. Behalwe dat boekhandelaars dikwels ook oor uitgewers opgewonde raak; iets waaroor die meeste mense nou nie juis om die braaivleisvure gaan staan en ginnegaap nie … En wanneer jy as boekhandelaar só ‘n nuwe gunsteling ontdek wat jou vanweë die kwaliteit van hul publikasies, en ook die diens wat hulle lewer, beïndruk, kan jy dit gewoon nie verhelp om tromme te slaan en op alle fluite te blaas nie.

So ‘n persoon is Jill Schoolman (foto), hoofuitgewer en besturende direkteur van Archipelago Press, wat ek einde verlede jaar danksy my soeke na ‘n oorsese verskaffer vir Imagine Africa (waaroor vantevore op dié webblad geskryf is) en met Breyten Breytenbach as bemiddelaar, leer ken het.  Na ons aanvanklike onderhandelinge het me. Schoolman hul katalogus deurgestuur en ek het bestel.  Dié boeke het nou gearriveer en ek staan stomgeslaan oor die gehalte van hierdie pragtige publikasies. Waar begin ‘n mens?! Want elke boek is nie net ‘n uitsonderlike (en rare) publikasie met tekste van dikwels minder bekende, dog vername skrywers in die wêreldletterkunde nie; nee, elke boek getuig van toegewyde en kundige vakmanskap ten opsigte van kwaliteit papier, bindwerk en omslag. Pronkwerk, iedereen. Boonop teen uiters billike pryse …

Maar wie ís Jill Schoolman en wat is dit wat Archipelago Press so besonders maak?

Wel, ek het gaan goegeloer (Joan Hambidge se term!) en ‘n onderhoud gevind wat ‘n Koreaanse  joernalis, Kim Meekyung, met Schoolman gevoer het oor ‘n uitsonderlike Koreaanse teks wat deur Archipelago Press vertaal en internasionaal uitgegee is.

Op die vraag hoekom haar uitgewery spesifiek (en uitsluitlik) op vertaalde tekste fokus, het Schoolman soos volg geantwoord:  “Archipelago Books was founded in 2003 as a non-profit press supported by individuals and foundations. I founded this company with the goal of increasing awareness of literary voices from around the world. There is an urgent need to make international literature available to American readers. According to a recent NEA study, of the 10,000 books of fiction and poetry annually published in this country, only 300 are works in translation. America has grown into an empire that prefers to export rather than import, even when it comes to literature. Our goal is to discover what’s out there, and it is a labor of love. In part, I started Archipelago because there seemed to be an urgent need. So many important international writers, both living and dead, are simply not being introduced and read here. But, I must admit, it was more out of love than duty. I’m naturally drawn toward literature beyond our borders. It’s what I love to read. Reading is a voyage, and for me it can be as eye-opening (and moving) as traveling abroad.”

Uiteraard lig ‘n mens se wenkbroue ietwat wanneer jy hoor dat sy haar uitgewery as ‘n nie-winsgewende instansie bedryf. Sy verduidelik: “All the profits that come in from book sales or foreign rights sales, we put back into the company to publish our next books. One-third of our income comes from our book sales, and the other third comes from government support: the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts), NYCulture (New York City Department of Cultural Affairs), the New York State Council on the Arts, and from private foundations. The final third comes from private donors and contributors […] I feel that one of the reasons we’re still afloat today is because we decided to establish ourselves as a not-for-profit company rather than for-profit. It gives us more freedom to publish the books we feel are valuable.”

Maar gaan lees gerus die volledige onderhoud. Ek het veral haar sieninge rondom die kwessie van vertaalde tekste en die kopersweerstand daarteen besonder insiggewend gevind.

Twee aanhalings waarmee ek egter dié blog wil afsluit, is iets wat sy oor die kwessie van vertaling gesê het, en ten slotte dit wat sy met haar uitgewery wens om te bereik:

“I believe it is absolutely vital for the translator to have a feeling for the nuances of both languages in order to do justice to the original. I don’t believe it is possible to capture the spirit of a work without not only being able to understand the words but also feel the tone and the silences of a text. A translator needs to listen with all of his or her senses, and I don’t feel that this can happen as powerfully or beautifully or magically with a middleman involved.”

“My dream is that our books will open people’s minds and speak to their hearts, that they might chisel away at stereotypes and awaken curiosity about other cultures and ways of seeing and being. I hope that our books might touch people deeply and serve as catalysts for social change and that they might bring people together.”

Amen. En soos Frederik de Jager van Umuzi Uitgewers gesê het na aanleiding van die gesprek oor die sluiting van Corina van der Spoel se Boekehuis in Aucklandpark: “(Wees jy dan) self die verandering wat jy verlang …”

En dít doen Jill Schoolman in die besonder.

Ter wille van volledigheid plaas ek die gegewens van die Archipelago Press-publikasies wat nou by Protea Boekwinkel op Stellenbosch beskikbaar is.

***

Poësie

 

Meng Hao-jan: The Mountain Poems of Meng Hao-jan (2004, 81 ble. R189.50)

João Cabral de Melo Neto: Education by Stone (2005, 273 ble. R209.50)

Francis Ponge: Mute Objects of Expression (2008, 165 ble. R209.50)

Tadeusz Różewics: New Poems (2007, 260 ble. R209.50)

Miltos Sactouris: Poems 1945 – 1971 (2006, 235 ble. R209.50)

 

Prosa

 

Georg Büchner: Lenz (2004, 199 ble., R189.50)

Breyten Breytenbach: All One Horse (2008, 115 ble., R225.00)

Breyten Breytenbach: Intimate Stranger (2009, 248 ble., R170.00)

Eric Chevillard: Palafox (2004, 136 ble., R199.50)

Julio Cortázar: Autonauts of the Cosmoroute (2007, 354 ble., R249.50)

Julio Cortázar:  From the Observatory (2011, 84 ble., R180.00)

Mahmoud Darwish: In the Presence of Absence (2011, 171 ble., R209.50)

Mahmoud Darwish: Journal of an Ordinary Grief (2010, 177 ble., R209.50)

Jean Giono: The Serpent of Stars (2004, 117 ble., R199.50)

Joseph Roth: Job (2010, 211 ble., R209.50)

Various: Imagine Africa (2011, 232 ble., R180.00)

 

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