AQ – Book Trade and Publishing
Geschichte der Buchkultur [History of the Culture of the Book]. Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt. 24 cm. [07-1-026]
Vol. 4. Romanik [Romanesque]. Ed. Andreas Fingernagel. 2 partial vols. 2007. 472, 443 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-201-01821-0 (vol. 4): EUR 110
The earlier volumes of this multi-part work on the culture of the book in the West dealt with antiquity (see IFB 02-2-251) and the early Middle Ages (see RREA 10:43) and were the work of a single author, Otto Mazal. This latest addition, covering the 12th and early 13th centuries, is the work of 12 authors under the editorship of Andreas Fingernagel, who is well known for his catalogs of illuminated manuscripts held in Vienna and Berlin. In contrast to the earlier volumes, this latest two-volume installment contains extensive footnotes and a thorough and current bibliography, and is both a solid introductory handbook and a reliable guide to further reading on the subject.
The first volume takes a systematic approach. The introduction sketches the cultural milieu of the period, while other contributions cover such topics as codicological, paleographical, and art-historical questions; material aspects of book culture; the scriptorium; 12th-century scripts; bookbinding; and illumination practice (initials and miniatures). Other essays discuss libraries and catalogs in the 12th century and their sources; literature and scholarship as reflected in manuscript transmission; liturgical manuscripts of the high Middle Ages and their decoration; and techniques of illumination, including the use of models and pattern books. The second volume contains descriptions of book culture by geographical region, covering Italy, France, Germany, Austria, England, Spain, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia.
The volumes are richly illustrated with black-and-white illustrations and color plates. The quality of the illustrations is generally excellent, and they are integrated with the text by skillful use of references in the margins. The index is thorough and accurate. The essays in this work are highly recommended as a reliable introduction to this subject for medievalists, historians, art historians, and everyone interested in the history of scholarship and education. One fervently hopes that additional volumes of equal quality will follow soon. [ch/jc]
Außen-Ansichten: Bucheinbände aus 1000 Jahren aus den Beständen der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München; Ausstellung anläßlich der Tagung des Arbeitskreises Einbandforschung 28. August bis 15. Dezember 2006 [Outside Views: 1,000 years of Bookbindings from the Holdings of the Bavarian State Library in Munich; Exhibition on the Occasion of the Meeting of the Working Group for Bookbinding Research, August 28 to December 15, 2006]. Ed. Bettina Wagner. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2006. 200 p. ill. 31 cm. ISBN 978-447-05434-8: EUR 38 [07-1-027]
This catalog documents an exhibition of 90 historical bookbindings from the holdings of the Bavarian State Library. The exhibition was held on the occasion of a meeting in Munich of the Arbeitskreis für die Erfassung, Erschließung und Erhaltung historischer Bucheinbände [Working Group for the Recording, Accessing, and Preservation of Historical Bookbindings]. The catalog contains full-page, full-color illustrations of each of the 90 items in the exhibition, which range from the 11th to the 20th century. The first item is a golden book chest in the form of a reliquary that houses the Uta-Codex, an 11th-century collection of gospel readings. The cover consists of a monumental Christ figure in worked gold within a frame of gold plate decorated with filigree and jewels.
Examples of other magnificent items include: an Ottonian worked-gold binding with pearls, jewels and repouseé portraying the triumph of the Cross; a worked-gold binding, in which an imbedded ivory relief portrays the crucifixion, deposition and burial of Christ; the cover of an evangelary from Wessobrunn Abbey that contains an opening for housing a relic; a 15th-century worked-gold binding in which the original relic is still present; a late 15th-century worked-gold binding with an embedded cameo dating from antiquity portraying the head of Medusa; and a rare Romanesque blind-tooled binding (produced by impressing dampened leather with a heated metal finishing tool) decorated with 14 different designs, including one portraying King David with his harp. There are also examples of “girdle books” in which the leather binding was extended into tapered strips that could be attached to a belt. In keeping with the library’s collection focus, most of the bindings are from the South German area, with specimens from Munich, Augsburg, and Nuremberg, as well as Bavarian monasteries. For the modern period, there are several examples of Renaissance bindings that originated in Munich, as well as modern bindings reflecting a 20th-century aesthetic. There is even an instance of a worked-gold binding acquired in 1917, originally believed to be the work of a 12th-century artist, but now known to be a 19th-century forgery.
The high quality full-color illustrations of each item are accompanied by extensive descriptions of the origins, transmission, technique, and décor of the bindings. There is an index of bookbinders and former owners. This catalog not only satisfies the requirements of scholarship but is also a delight to the eye. [er/jc]
Die Buchdrucker des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts im deutschen Sprachgebiet: auf der Grundlage des gleichnamigen Werkes von Josef Benzing [German Printers of the 16th and 17th Centuries: Based on Josef Benzing’s Work by the Same Title]. Christoph Reske. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2007. xxxi, 1,090 p. 26 cm. Beiträge zum Buch- und Bibliothekswesen, 51). ISBN 978-3-447-05450-8: EUR 198 [07-1-028]
Indispensible among Josef Benzing’s (1904-1981) many publications on printing in the 16th and 17th centuries are his Lutherbibliographie (see RREA 2:90) and Die Buchdrucker des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts im deutschen Sprachgebiet, (2d ed. Wiesbaden, 1982). Christoph Reske, who demonstrates his expertise in The Production of Schedel’s Nuremberg Chronicle (Mainz, 1999), presents a completely revised edition of the latter. The addition of new material is immediately apparent from the increase in size from 565 to 1,090 pages. The foreword indicates the addition of 21 new locations, 181 previously unknown printers, and 326 18th-century printers who took over the work of 17th-century print shops. The information about the printers is much expanded to include family members, acquaintances, financial position, possessions, workplace, and relations to rulers, colleagues, etc., with exact citation of sources. In addition, much information is given on printing projects, production, contents, languages, quantities and schedules, with exact reproductions of imprints and colophons. The work thus serves not only as a directory of printers and places, but provides insight into the working world of individual printers, dynasties, and entire branches of the profession, as well as into daily and intellectual life. According to the foreword, this revised edition includes some 2,000 new citations to publications on printing history, reflecting the progress in the national bibliographies of German printing of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Reske’s impressive work is comparable to other repertories of early printing such as the Répertoire d’imprimeurs/libraires XVIe-XVIIIe siècle (see RREA 5:64), available in a new edition entitled Répertoire d’imprimeurs/libraries: vers 1500-vers 1810 (Paris, 2004), Dizionario dei tipografi e degli editori italiani. Il Cinquecento (Milano, 1997), and Diccionario de impresores españoles (see RREA 5:65). Only a few improvements can be suggested. Because in this period it is not always easy to distinguish between printers and publishers, it would have made sense to update and integrate another of Benzing’s works, Die deutschen Verleger des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts (in Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens, 18, 1977, col.1077-1322.) Consistent inclusion of imaginary printing places would have been an improvement on Emil Weller’s Die falschen und fingierten Druckorte (Leipzig, 1864; Hildesheim, 1961-1963.) An Internet version of this work, integrated with the standard online bibliographies for this period, VD16 and VD17 and kept up-to-date with additional secondary literature would be ideal. [sh/ab]
Bücher, Drucker, Bibliotheken in Mitteldeutschland: neue Forschungen zur Kommunikations- und Mediengeschichte um 1500 [Books, Printers, and Libraries in Central Germany: New Research on the History of Communication and Media around 1500.] Ed. Enno Bünz. [Leipzig]: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2006. 495 p. ill. 24 cm. (Schriften zur sächsischen Geschichte und Volkskunde, 15). ISBN 978-3-6583-120-0: EUR 54 [07-1-029]
This work is the result of a conference held by the Dresden Institute for Saxon History and Folklore and the Department of Saxon Regional History of the University of Leipzig, 15-17 May 2003, in anticipation of the 600th anniversary of the University of Leipzig in 2009. In 17 essays, the authors trace the beginning and development of book printing in Sachsen, Thüringen, and Sachsen-Anhalt from the second half of the 15th century through the beginning of the Reformation. Three themes are pursued: the development of the new art of printing; books, libraries, and readers; and the effects of the new medium. In his introduction, Enno Bünz (Leipzig) emphasizes that one cannot speak of a cultural revolution through the printing press, because manuscript and book production existed side by side for some time. Volker Honemann (Münster) provides an overview of literary activities in central Germany, providing a framework for the following essays. Monika Lindner (Leipzig, now Berlin) describes the methods of verifying incunabula and early printings. She emphasizes the complementary functions of the several catalogs: the Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke (GW) in Berlin contains all the incunabula with the specifics of each impression; the Incunabula Short Title Catalog (ISTC) registers the holdings of individual libraries worldwide; the Inkunabelkatalog Deutscher Bibliotheken (INKA) records the incunabula of individual libraries with their item-specific data. Additional essays treat the transition from manuscripts to the reign of book printing with examples of specific library holdings and types of texts, and trace reader interests, communication practices, distribution methods, and business practices. [er/ab]
Boosey & Hawkes: The Publishing Story. Helen Wallace. London: Boosey & Hawkes, 2007. xi, 243 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 978-0-85162-514-0: EUR 22.95 [07-2-306]
Originally intending to write a short historical overview in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the music publisher Boosey & Hawkes’s founding in 1930, Helen Wallace took an extra two years to expand her work into a full-blown book. She begins with a biographical introduction to the two very different personalities of Leslie Boosey (dignified and devoted to family) and Ralph Hawkes (ambitious entrepreneur, oceanracing yachtsman). But then she focuses in 13 chronologically organized chapters on the history of the firm itself–an enterprise that acquired a global reach and an A-list of composers from Bartok and Richard Strauss to John Adams, Harrison Birtwistle, and Steve Reich. This work is recommended for large music libraries, in spite of what is, basically, a journalistic treatment of its subject. [mr/sl]
Der Kurt-Wolff-Verlag 1913-1930: Expressionismus als verlegerische Aufgabe, mit einer Bibliographie des Kurt-Wolff-Verlages und der ihm angeschlossenen Unternehmen 1910-1930 [The Kurt Wolff Publishing Company, 1913-1930: Expressionism as Publishing Undertaking, with a Bibliography of the Kurt Wolff Company and its Associated Enterprises, 1910-1930]. Wolfram Göbel. München: Allitera, 2007. Columns 521-1,456. ill. ISBN 978-3-86520-263-5: EUR 42 [07-2-311]
Kurt Wolff: ein Literat und Gentleman [Kurt Wolff: A Man of Letters and Gentleman]. Ed. Barbara Weidle. Bonn: Weidle Verlag, 2007. 298 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-938803-01-1: EUR 25 [07-2-312]
Zwischen Jüngstem Tag und Weltgericht: Karl Kraus und Kurt Wolff: Briefwechsel 1912-1921 [Between the End of the World and Judgment Day. Karl Kraus and Kurt Wolff: Correspondence, 1912-1921]. Ed. Friedrich Pfäfflin. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2007. 334 p. ill. 20 cm. (Bibliothek Janowitz, 14). ISBN 978-3-8353-0225-9: EUR 24 [07-2-313]
In 1975 Wolfram Göbel’s dissertation, Der Kurt-Wolff-Verlag 1913-1930, was accepted at the University of Munich and published in two parts in issues 15 (1975) and 16 (1976) of the Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens [Archive for the History of Book Publishing]; an offprint retaining the column pagination of the original issues was also published in 1977. It is here reprinted unchanged and without additional introductory remarks or the like. At the time of its original publication, Göbel’s work was uniformly praised by the critics, and indeed it has become a standard work of bibliographic research on the expressionist era publisher. Still, the bibliography could have benefited from relatively easy updating through online catalog searches to catch a number of imprints originally missed. This is not to take away anything from the substantial contribution made by Göbel.
Described as a book accompanying a travelling exhibition, Kurt Wolff: ein Literat und Gentleman comprises 15 varied contributions by 17 authors in a volume containing many high-quality black-and-white illustrations. Especially noteworthy are the documentation section, containing three contributions by Wolff (including one first published here), and the correspondence section containing largely unpublished letters of Masereel, Kollwitz, Hesse, Werfel, Arendt, et al. The personal name index is also valuable, serving as a sort of who’s who of 20th-century European intellectual history. The last essay, by Pfäfflin on Wolff and Kraus, leads into the third title under discussion here.
Disappointingly, the introduction to Zwischen Jüngstem Tag und Weltgericht is an almost verbatim transcription of the author’s essay in the aforementioned exhibition volume. Further, the subtitle word Briefwechsel [Correspondence] is misleading, because there are hardly any letters from Kraus here, but many inconsequential telegrams. The 290 numbered letters and documents, which include the utterances of authors and co-workers on both sides, reflect the ebb and flow of business relations in the abortive attempt by Wolff to bring on board this esteemed writer as a publishing partner of sorts. Also included in this volume is Wolff’s essay “Karl Kraus,” previously published in Autoren, Bücher, Abenteuer [Authors, Books, Adventures] (Berlin, 1965). Whereas publication of an incomplete, although previously unknown or little utilized, correspondence usually results in new knowledge, it can also create the illusion that everything has been learned relating to source materials on a particular nexus. Pfäfflin acknowledges this misconception in his unassuming Anmerkungen [Notes], which often contain more substantive content than the documents themselves. Nonetheless, this publication results in little new knowledge, and Kraus aficionados will be left wondering, as they sift through the commercial and technical details that predominate in most of this correspondence. [rf/rlk]
Der älteste Verlag Albaniens und sein Beitrag zu Nationalbewegung, Bildung und Kultur: Die Buchdruckerei der Unbefleckten Empfängnis zu Shkodra (1870-1945) [The Oldest Publisher in Albania and its Contribution to Albania’s National Identity, Education and Culture: The Printing Company of the Immaculate Conception of Shkodra (1870-1945)]. Markus W. E. Peters. Hamburg: Kovac, 2007. 700 p. ill. 21 cm. (Studien zur Kirchengeschichte, 6). ISBN 978-3-8300-3039-3: EUR 138 [01-1-030]
Catholics comprise only about 10 percent of Albania’s population (Muslims 70 percent and Orthodox 20 percent). But particularly in northern Albania, centered in the Archdiocese of Shkodra (or Shkodër), Catholicism, and Jesuit and Franciscan institutions, played a leading role in the national revival of the Albanian language and culture, as well in the development of lay education and the spiritual culture of the country up to 1945. One very important aspect of the Jesuit mission in Albania was the seminary and Franz-Xaver Collegium in Shkodra. Its Immaculate Conception Publishing House was founded in 1870, during the period of Ottoman rule, and played an important role in promoting the Albanian language.
The first half of Markus Peters’ work, originally his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Munich in 2006, is a historical survey of the Jesuits’ work in Albania and an account of the founding of their publishing house and its program. The second half is a useful reference work consisting of a detailed bio-bibliography of 54 Jesuit authors (p. 343529) and a chronological list of their 725 publications (p. 534-633). It concludes with a discussion of the Jesuits’ and the Franciscans’ presence in Albania, a detailed bibliography of secondary literature, and a name index.
The author unfairly ascribes the closing of the publishing house in 1945 to Muslim pressure, when in fact the Albanian communists and their hardline leader Enver Hohxa persecuted all religions equally. Nonetheless, congratulations go to the author for his detailed study of this publishing company, which closes a gap in the panorama of Albanian cultural history. [ks/ldl]
Verlagswirtschaft: ökonomische, rechtliche und organisatorische Grundlagen [The Publishing Industry: Economic, Legal, and Organizational Foundations]. Wulf D. von Lucius. Konstanz: UVK-Verlagsgesellschaft, 2005. 368 p. ill. 22 cm. (UTB, 2652: Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaften). ISBN 3-8252-2652-2 (UTB): EUR 19.90 [07-1-031]
This book looks at the publishing industry as the producer both of cultural property and of a product. The publishing industry operates in an economic environment but is not limited to that: thus the author begins with a description of the book in all its manifestations. There is a chapter on the German book market and its numerous submarkets, as well as important factors such as foreign trade licenses. Included here are statistical data, given in user-friendly diagrams and tabular overviews. Lucius devotes the main portion of his book to market trends, planning, organization and controlling, production, costs and calculation, magazine publishing, digital products, legal protection and contract practices, and marketing, that all-important factor central to the success of a publishing company. Periodicals and digital products are treated in a separate chapter. The author discusses business management under the heading of “cultural economy” and says that the publishing ethos and pure efficiency thinking quite often run counter to each other. One is reminded in the book that in 1962 the West German Bundestag took an official position on the matter, stating that the intellectual substance of a book nevertheless unavoidably becomes a marketable good in an exchange economy.
This is a comprehensive work readable by a lay audience as well as publishing businesspeople. A good appendix, a list of addresses, a bibliography, and an index complement the work, which is recommended for students of the book trade and of library science. [sm/sas]
Das BuchMarktBuch: der Literaturbetrieb in Grundbegriffen [The Book Market Book: Basic Concepts of the Literature Business]. Ed. Erhard Schütz and Silke Bittkow. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 2005. 428 p. 19 cm. (Rowohlts Enzyklopädie, 55672). ISBN 3-499-55672-3: EUR 14.90 [07-1-032]
This encyclopedia on the book market stresses that the way authors and publishers use the market place is central to the success of a book’s sales. It presents both new and historical viewpoints of the meeting of symbolic and economic capital (that is, culture and market), discussions of theory and concepts from such writers as Max Horkheimer, Lutz Winckler, Theodor Adorno, and Reinhard Wittmann, who for example see the 19th century as the beginning of the “culture industry.”
The 120 entries written by several authors from different perspectives are listed alphabetically and include standard words and some newer coined (German) words, such as [sic] Bestseller, Direktmarketing, or Portfolio-Analyse. While many entries are given only cursory treatment, the work achieves its goal of being comprehensive, detailed, current, and practice-oriented. For example, the work includes authors from all sectors of the industry: publishers, copy-editors, writers, literary agents, as well as critics, PR specialists, manufacturers, fundraisers, and many more roles.
Each article includes a bibliography and a list of related subject headings. The work concludes with a subject index and bibliography. This encyclopedia, with its comprehensive and fresh approach, is a must for everyone with books at the center of their (working) lives. [sm/sas]
Empor zum Licht!: 125 Jahre Verlag J. H. W. Dietz Nachf.; seine Geschichte und seine Bücher 1881-2006 [Upwards to the Light! 125 Years of the Publishing House J.H.W. Dietz and Successors: Its History and Its Books, 1881-2006]. Angela Graf, Horst Heidermann, and Rüdiger Zimmermann. Bonn: Dietz, 2006. 448,  p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 978-3-8012-0374-0: EUR 29.90 [07-1-033]
The bulk of this commemorative volume is devoted to a bibliography of the historically social-democratic firm’s publications. Somewhat surprisingly, the publisher opted for reproducing (with some structural modifications) the previous Dietz bibliography from 1981, rather than integrating it with the more recent entries (and correcting errors in the previous edition in the process). As a result, the “old” and “new” entries are constructed differently, though they share a single numbering sequence. About three-fourths of the references to bibliographical entries for other social-democratic publishers that were in the earlier bibliography have been removed, and other inconsistencies either remain from the earlier bibliography or have been added, making citation, in some cases, more difficult.
Even so, the bibliography, arranged by year and sub-arranged by author or title (when there are no or multiple authors), is for the most part easy to consult. While two sets of cataloging rules are used, they are applied consistently and with few errors. This is especially helpful when consulting works with multiple editions. An index to the bibliography (but sadly, not also to the article on the firm’s history) is another very useful feature. A history of the firm, in two parts by two different authors, covers the periods before and after the Third Reich (when the firm had to shut down), with an interesting article about the firm’s serpentine emblem in between. [rf/gw]
Der Carl-Hanser-Verlag 1928-2003: eine Verlagsgeschichte [The Carl Hanser Publishing House, 1928–2003: A Company History]. Reinhard Wittmann. München: Hanser, 2005. 389, 96 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 978-3-446-20403-4: EUR 42 [07-1-034]
This history of the Carl Hanser publishing house is presented in ten chapters followed by a names index and a list of 96 illustrations. The introduction chronicles the founding of the publishing house in 1928, its struggles under Fascist rule, and the rebuilding phase after World War II to 1954; five chapters trace Hanser’s literary program, and three chapters are devoted to the publisher’s non-fiction publications, each in chronological order. A concluding chapter provides a history of the company from the perspective of its internal organization and growth. The footnotes are numbered separately for each chapter, which can be confusing, but the comprehensive index of names provides an invaluable point of reference.
Carl Hanser (1901-1985) founded the publishing house in 1928, after completing his doctoral studies in philosophy and interning at the J.-F.-Lehmanns-Verlag and the scientific publisher of the Deutsche Polytechnische Gesellschaft [German Polytechnical Society]. Hanser had planned to publish literary classics and contemporary literature but was forced to refocus on publishing in scientific areas with journal titles such as Werkstatt und Betrieb about the machine industry and metal works, in order to avoid Nazi censorship and to sustain the company financially during National Socialist rule.
As soon as Hanser received a license from American authorities after WWII, the publishing house restarted its literary program with new editions of Nietzsche, Schiller, Goethe, und Lichtenberg, and with the foundation of the literary magazine Akzente, edited by Walter Höllerer and Hans Bender. Hanser devoted its efforts in contemporary fiction to republishing writers such as Emil Strauss and Gerd Gaiser, and then expanded its currency to include bestselling authors in German literature, for example, Eugen Roth. Hanser also became known for presenting emerging German and foreign writers: Reinhard Lettau, Botho Strauß, Elias Canetti, Umberto Eco, and many more. In 1993 Hanser added children’s literature to its program, and produced a number of awardwinning bestsellers in this category.
In 1954 Hanser established the non-fiction monographic series Literatur als Kunst [Literature as Art]; in 1968 the Reihe Hanser [Hanser Series] began. It delved into social- and cultural-critical themes in that eventful year. Later the ambitious series Hanser Anthropologie was begun. Contributors included such respected scholars as Wolf Lepenies, Hartmut von Hentig, and Eric Hobsbawm, who elevated this series to the same level as the highly regarded belletristic series. Hanser also expanded its scientific program with publications in the areas of plastics, natural science, and dentistry.
The history of the publishing house does not contain a detailed biography of Carl Hanser. How did Carl Hanser develop from championing a conservative literature program to advancing literature from the political left? What was his level of day-to-day involvement in choosing titles for his literature and non-fiction programs? These questions remain largely unanswered.
The interested reader will find a complete listing of Carl Hanser publications to 1998 in Der Carl-Hanser-Verlag: eine Bibliographie (see RREA 5:80). [rf/hm]
150 Jahre Langenscheidt 1856-2006: eine Verlagsgeschichte [150 Years of Langenscheidt, 1856-2006: A History of the Publishing Company]. Maria Ebert. Berlin; München: Langenscheidt, 2006. 124 p. ill. 27 cm. ISBN 978-3-468-44996-3: EUR 22.90 [07-1-035]
In 1856, Gustav Langenscheidt founded the publishing company that bears his name. The iconic symbol for the company, the blue L on a yellow background appeared only in 1956. The company started as a provider of foreign-language lesson plans for selfstudy and quickly made its name as a publisher for dictionaries and encyclopedias. The publisher has a reputation for self-promotion: there are commemorative volumes for the 50th, 75th, and 125th anniversaries, and a media blitz for the 150th included advertising materials on CD, a Web site, a DVD, and interviews with Andreas Langenscheidt, all of which received coverage in national newspapers.
The first chapter presents an illustrated company history from 1856 through 2006 in eight sections. Each section contains lists of Langenscheidt products by date, and the internationalization of the privately held company is illustrated by a list of acquisitions and mergers. The history of the Langenscheidt publishing house under Fascist rule is afforded a mere two pages, and there is only a brief mention that the company’s archives were partly destroyed in 1944.
The second chapter contains the biographies of four generations of Langenscheidt publishers: Gustav Langenscheidt (1832-1895), Carl Langenscheidt (1870-1952), Karl Ernst Tielebier-Langenscheidt (born 1921, son of Carl Langenscheidt’s daughter Edith Tielebier), and Andreas (Tielebier)-Langenscheidt (born 1952). The information is in chronological order and repeats much of that contained in the previous chapters. Gustav Langenscheidt (1890-1949), grandson of the founder of the company and part owner beginning in 1932, is not included in the chapter of biographies. Gustav Langenscheidt headed the company during the Nazi years, and had to resign his position in 1945 because of his membership in the NSDAP. His Nazi connections would have prevented the relicensing of the publisher by the Soviet and American authorities after the war.
The next four chapters provide yet another chronological list of published titles. Even though a lot of this information is repeated from the previous chapters, the illustrations add interesting detail to the history of books, products, technological innovation, and internationalization.
The Langenscheidt history, written by a cultural journalist, was conceived as a popular history rather than a scholarly monograph. Therefore, it does not delve into the publisher’s archive, nor does it include a comprehensive names index or a complete bibliography of Langenscheidt titles. Given the large number of Langenscheidt titles, and judging by the partial bibliographies that are already available, this would indeed have been too much for the scope of any company history.
The book delivers exactly what the high-tech hologram on the cover promises: a popular history of the Langenscheidt publishing group full of attractive illustrations and a manageable amount of historical detail. [rf&sh/hm]
Von Buch zu Buch: 50 Jahre Residenz-Verlag: 1956-2006 [From Book to Book: 50 Years Residenz Publishing Company, 1956-2006]. Ed. Astrid Graf-Wintersberger and Günther Eisenhuber. St. Pölten; Salzburg: Residenz-Verlag, 2006. 351 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 3-7017-1456-8: EUR 15 [07-1-037]
To commemorate 50 years of contributions to the literature of the German-speaking world, the Austrian publisher Residenz-Verlag has issued a volume that is part corporate history, part anthology and part bibliography. The history recounts the events and fortunes of a pioneering house that brought such authors as Thomas Bernhard, Peter Handke, and Barbara Frischmuth to international attention, persevering through several changes of ownership. The anthology is not a selection of excerpts from the house’s publications but rather a collection of 50 “reader’s appreciation” essays, each the response of one Residenz author to a book by another one. The bibliography appears to follow no recognizable rules of cataloging, but it hardly seems to matter; this book is a pleasure to pick up and open. [rf/gw]
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Last update: October 2010 [LC]
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