In Defense of Literature for John Calder: Fifty Years of Publishing: Literature, Politics and the Arts

John Calder & Others

In Defense of Literature for John Calder: Fifty Years of Publishing: Literature, Politics and the Arts

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In Defense of Literature is a ‘Festchrift’ honouring John Calder’s fifty years in publishing. It is a collection of essays, contributions and photographs from those who know and understand the central role John Calder has played in the development of twentieth century literature.

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 U.K.

I knew John Calder as a publisher who was a 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 defense 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