SnakConsensus Press

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sep 1, 2022, 2:26 pm

The proposals are only visible to our record-keeper Byron until the end of the month. However, please feel free to share your proposal here for some early feedback (before or after submitting it)!

sep 1, 2022, 3:21 pm

I proposed Flatland by Abbott. A classic work that is out of copyright, and that is less than 100 pages. The only fine press version I can see is from the Arion press of 1980.

sep 1, 2022, 3:30 pm

My suggestion is The Beetle - Richard Marsh, published in 1897

Published along with Dracula in 1897, initially more popular outselling Dracula 6 times over. A supernatural thriller about a shapeshifting ancient Egyptian entity. Marsh’s best-known work from a prolific career, yet to have a quality fine press edition. The work has garnered much scholarly interest in particular in areas of postcolonial studies, women’s studies, post-structuralism and more. Research on the novel is abundant and diverse, making it an ideal candidate as a first choice. An early silent film released on the book in 1909 is now considered lost. Marsh is also the grandfather of author Richard Aickman.

sep 1, 2022, 3:57 pm

>2 DMulvee: >3 rocklands: Both easy +1 votes for me.

sep 1, 2022, 9:10 pm

>2 DMulvee: I came so close to proposing the same thing lol But instead I opted for The Remains of the Day.

sep 1, 2022, 10:13 pm

As I expected, we'll be having to choose from among some very worthy projects! My own suggestion was The Tale of Sinuhe, the anonymous author of which has been referred to as "the Shakespeare of Ancient Egypt."

sep 2, 2022, 1:23 am

You’ve seen Seven Samuri and The Magnificent Seven now read the book upon which they’re based, Seven Against Thebes. My proposal is a bilingual (Latin/English) edition of the Thebiad.

sep 2, 2022, 8:52 am

I proposed Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov.

Looks like some fantastic variety in the proposals so far, no idea where this is going to end up!

sep 2, 2022, 9:12 am

>8 EdmundRodriguez: That is a great pick! I did think of some of Nabokov’s writing that were done in Russian, but hoped that as No Reply does a number of translations that they might pick a Nabokov for their next longer work

sep 2, 2022, 11:33 am

Oh, it looks like I'll be voting for all of these proposals...

The Thebiad and Sinuhe are amazing choices for ancient literature (and not represented in fine press I think) and Laughter in the Dark and Remains of the Day are amazing choices for contemporary literature. So much to choose from already...

sep 2, 2022, 1:06 pm

I haven't decided on my own proposal yet, but I had a thought about a feature to include in proposals that might help support the uptake of final purchases.

Many of the earliest private presses released books with a choice of either fancy or plain (generally "holland" cloth) bindings, with the text block being the same. While this approach varied by publisher, it seems relatively common for this variation to not be considered completely different states, as is often done now (such as between standard and numbered, or whatever, with many other attribute differences). You got the "same" book, just choosing one of two bindings. Full vellum versus holland was a common option.

With ~170 members, there's not huge scope for variation while maintaining economy of scale, but if the text block remains the same and the only variation is, say, half leather versus quarter cloth (or something like that), it might be a good compromise.

What do the professionals with business experience in this area think?

sep 2, 2022, 1:56 pm

Some folks are getting very specific in their proposals including design details (typeface, materials, etc.). I would have run out of room, being limited to 100 words or less. Members are understandably excited about this project. It should prove interesting. I look forward to the first vote.

sep 2, 2022, 6:25 pm

When it comes to voting, would it be sensible to ban members from voting for their own book. It is possible that the voting could end up with one vote for every proposal as everyone votes for their own book.

sep 2, 2022, 6:39 pm

>13 wcarter: Possible, but not likely. Personally, I would abstain from voting on my own proposal and I suspect most of us will do so as well.

sep 2, 2022, 7:06 pm

>13 wcarter: In round 1, everyone gets to vote "yay" or "nay" on every proposal, and in round 2 there are only 10 proposals to vote for. So I don't think it makes much of a difference whether you ban people from voting on their own proposals, or assume everyone will simply vote in favor of theirs and have the votes cancel out.

sep 2, 2022, 7:48 pm

>15 NathanOv: Good point.

sep 3, 2022, 12:55 am

My proposal was RK Narayan's The Mahabharata: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic. I love his writings and his version of Mahabharata is short enough for fine press printing (200 plus pages) and still covers the most important details of the story. I've read 3 translations so far and liked his best.

Redigeret: sep 3, 2022, 10:09 am

A 176-way tie in the first round seems awfully unlikely, and I expect there will be proposals forthcoming from other members that I’m even more interested in than my own (Bashō’s Narrow Road to the Deep North). Many members of the press are among the most knowledgeable and thoughtful bibliophiles I know, and I expect great things.

In the second round you’ve got 166 disinterested voters and a ranked ballot, so even if it gets irresistible to the 10 members whose proposals go forward there’s no realistic way to game the system beyond widespread bribery.

I’ll be prepared to consider offers when the time comes, I’m sure, but I’m optimistic about the whole process, and think something fantastic is in the offing here.

sep 3, 2022, 12:23 pm

My proposal:

Augustus, Res Gestae Divi Augusti, full vellum or quarter cloth

Octavo. Mould-made paper. Latin on verso, English translation on recto. Illustrated with reproductions of Latin inscriptions from Monumentum Ancyranum and frontispiece engraving of marble statue of Augustus from Livia's Villa. Introduced by contemporary professor of classics if practical. All text blocks identical, but members may choose between full vellum and quarter cloth (with hand-marbled paper over boards) bindings. Solander box. If practical, additional illustrations (engravings) depicting various elements of the text (Gates of Janus, etc.). Engravings may be high-quality reproductions of existing historical artworks rather than newly commissioned. Latin text plus English translation runs ~6500 words.

sep 3, 2022, 12:45 pm

I went with a more contemporary choice, understanding the attendant copyright challenges: Lev Grossman’s The Magicians. Great and under-appreciated.

sep 3, 2022, 12:58 pm

Love the diversity!

Redigeret: sep 3, 2022, 1:04 pm

>19 abysswalker: That’s an impressive amount of detail! I don’t think I mentioned a a single specific design detail in mine. Perhaps a mistake on my part, though it seems like there is a very wide range of specificity.

I’m curious to see what level of detail voters end up preferring.

sep 3, 2022, 4:05 pm

>19 abysswalker: Wow that is very detailed. Impressive

sep 3, 2022, 4:08 pm

>22 NathanOv: I didn't either except to say silk screen printed illustrations which I felt was apt for an Indian epic. Now I feel I should have been more specific too :) I think people might prefer those that are more detailed as it is easy to envision the end product.

sep 3, 2022, 4:39 pm

>24 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: On the other hand, for me the interest in the initial round is in the literary work itself. Production details come later, in the second round, I should think. I myself made only a few suggestions for production/design as I was concentrating on justifying my proposed work. While I'm sure >19 abysswalker:'s proposal (Augustus, Res Gestae Divi Augusti) is worthwhile, I am utterly unfamiliar with it and so am unable to determine whether it is worth voting for without doing some research and I am not going to research 175 titles to determine that. I am sure I will be familiar with some of the titles proposed, but considering the breadth of interests held by members of this group, I can't be certain! You folks wander in many areas that are utterly foreign to me, especially when you get into contemporary literary works. Consequently, I deem it of greater importance to justify your choice rather than get specific regarding design details at this stage. Put it this way, if I don't know a work and you haven't told me its significance, I'm not going to vote for it.

sep 3, 2022, 4:47 pm

>25 Glacierman: >24 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: I do wonder what the chances are of several titles that are light on details up front making it to the 2nd round, and then having totally unfeasible long proposals. In general, I have a lot of confidence in most members being practical though.

sep 4, 2022, 12:01 pm

Some excellent suggestions. I'm especially partial to the proposals for classical texts (looking at you >19 abysswalker:). I'm still mulling over my own proposal, vacillating between a classical text and a medieval one.

Redigeret: sep 4, 2022, 4:12 pm

Great proposals here. Will definitely back Seven Against Thebes, it's one of my favorites and one I've hoped for a fine press edition of for a long while. Flatland and The Beetle will also get my vote.

My proposal is one I've talked about before elsewhere on LT - The Kalevala. I can think of so many different ways that illustrations, typefaces, and layouts could work for this. And it's an enchanting work all on its own.

sep 4, 2022, 5:12 pm

>28 Shadekeep: Yes, that would be nice, but it is rather long.

sep 4, 2022, 6:52 pm

>29 Glacierman: Aye, it's an ambitious one alright. But the heart wants what it wants. ^_^

I'm intrigued by your proposal as well, and that's another I'd be comfortable voting for. I'm glad to see ancient works getting such support during the first round.

sep 4, 2022, 7:56 pm

I've been maintaining several "fine press candidates" notes on my phone for years. This is some of the contents, along with my notes on why I didn't propose some of the other options (but would certainly still support them).

Too poetry:

Leopardi poems

Too religious:

Kierkegaard, Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing
Book of Enoch

Too genre:

Harrison, Viriconium (The Pastel City)
Stewart, The Crystal Cave
Clarke, Piranesi
Algernon Blackwood, The Willows

Too long:

Milan Kundera, anything
Orlando Furioso
Nietzsche, anything translated by Hollingdale

I want all of them, but gotta prioritize. Also I think the genre options have better chances being done by existing presses. I kind of like the idea of Consensus Press publishing titles that are a bit more esoteric. But we will see how it goes! So far, I think I would support a majority of proposals that I have seen shared by others.

sep 4, 2022, 8:38 pm

I went with a completely different approach than the proposals I’ve seen so far. My proposal is for an anthology of famous American speeches. The rationale is that while a lot of the time people may know the pull quote from a speech, rarely do you see the full context of the speech to understand what made it so memorable beyond the sound bite. I don’t believe anything like this has ever been done in fine press, although I know Grabhorn press did print a collection of Churchill’s 1940 speeches. I recognize that limiting it to American speeches may limit the audience, but without knowing the demographic makeup of the membership base, I figured it was worth the risk. I think it’d be nice to have each speech accompanied by a portrait of the speaker, and a short introduction to provide some context. To spice it up a little, I’d think the pull quote could be set off from the text somehow - larger/different font, different color, etc.

Here’s what I’m thinking of in terms of a preliminary list:

Washington’s Farewell Address
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
William Jennings Bryan’s Cross of Gold Speech
Darrow’s Plea for Mercy from the Leopold and Loeb trial
FDR’s First Inaugural
FDR’s Four Freedoms
FDR’s Day of Infamy speech
FDR’s Arsenal of Democracy speech or the first Fireside Chat
Lou Gehrig’s Farewell speech
Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech
Nixon’s Checkers speech
Kennedy’s Inaugural Address
Reagan’s Tear Down this Wall speech
Reagan’s Challenger speech
Elie Wiesel’s Perils of Indifference speech
Obama’s 2004 DNC Keynote Speech

sep 5, 2022, 3:32 am

>31 abysswalker: I could definitely get behind Algernon Blackwood - The Willows

sep 5, 2022, 6:58 am

I also went for a different kind of proposal – an anthology of poetry selected by the members, which each one of us selecting one poem for the book (e.g. the one poem dearest to our hearts or one that has changed our lives in a meaningful way).

Unillustrated, but concentrating on exquisite typography, layout and printing, akin to Tallone Editore’s Poems by Emily Dickinson.

Length and language limitations (or their lack) can also be agreed by consensus.

The idea is that in the way, each one of us will find a piece of themselves in this first edition, and as a collection, it will be a reflection of us as a group.

sep 5, 2022, 11:00 am

>34 BorisG: Now that might be a copyright nightmare...I'm not sure if printing one poem requires copyright permission, but if so, that might mean reaching out to 100s of rights holders. But I love the idea.

sep 5, 2022, 1:47 pm

I have added Oedipus the King to the list of proposals. Perhaps a bit ordinary in comparison to the other suggestions here but still an incredibly important and wonderful piece of literature that has been neglected by the fine press world. The Officina Bodoni edition commands several thousand dollars on the secondary market and the LEC edition is a very unsatisfactory attempt.
I would love to see an edition filling this gap, perhaps with a scholarly afterword and woodcuts or photogravures for illustration.

sep 5, 2022, 4:06 pm

One I almost suggested is The Fly by George Langelann. It's a short story horror classic that really hasn't gotten the reprinting it deserves. Perhaps for round two.

Redigeret: sep 5, 2022, 8:56 pm

I took advantage of 2023 being the 200th anniversary of Valperga by Mary Shelley. I haven't found it in fine press yet.

sep 6, 2022, 11:23 am

>31 abysswalker: and >33 rocklands: There will almost certainly be a fine press edition of Blackwood's The Willows in the foreseeable future from a nascent fine press.

sep 6, 2022, 2:00 pm

>39 ultrarightist: I hope so, that's one I'd like to add to the collection.

sep 7, 2022, 9:58 pm

I proposed the works of Hesiod: Theogony, Works & Days, and Shield of Heracles, with the original Greek and English translation on facing pages.

sep 8, 2022, 10:23 am

As many of you know, LT user Hellbent2 suggested getting The Life of Merlin nicely done. I think that initiative was a great one, but sadly it didn't come through. So, to make sure that this can still be an option, I propose that we revisit this project and publish The Life of Merlin as Consensus Press' first title.

See: Getting "The Life of Merlin" nicely done

sep 8, 2022, 11:00 am

>41 ultrarightist: >42 Dr.Fiddy: I could easily get behind both of those as well.

sep 11, 2022, 9:57 am

How do people feel about excerpts of larger texts published as a fine press edition? You'd have to pick a chapter/section that stands on its own, but I think it could work out all right.

I'm terribly fond of Robert Caro's political biographies/histories, but I wouldn't suggest any of them to be given the fine press treatment in full, since they're just absurdly long - but there's chapters within some of his larger books that are just perfect.

Redigeret: sep 11, 2022, 10:25 am

>44 jcucc: I think doing this is great. Excerpting is an important part of publishing.

In this vein, Caro removed two standalone chapters from "The Power Broker" at the request of his editor. I've tried (so far in vein) to get the rights to publish these. Still trying! But the excised chapters are just typescripts in a box somewhere, so it likely won't be until Caro's papers are catalogued that they're available for publication.

Caro: “There are two entire chapters that were cut out that I’m sorry about. One was on Jane Jacobs stopping the Lower Manhattan Expressway. And one was why the New York City Planning Commission has no power so that someone like Robert Moses could run over the Planning Commission. Those are very significant things. Today I get asked a lot about both those subjects, and then I always have a pang of regret that they’re not in The Power Broker.”

sep 11, 2022, 10:38 am

>44 jcucc: I would be a fan if this in general, as well as Robert Caro in particular

sep 11, 2022, 11:00 am

>45 grifgon: This would be an instant buy for me.

sep 11, 2022, 11:11 am

>45 grifgon:
I love that book - would be a keen buyer!

sep 11, 2022, 1:40 pm

I am now tempted to change my proposal to a selection from Jane Jacobs, speaking of people who’ve never been published in fine press. Hm.

sep 12, 2022, 12:18 pm

>49 ambyrglow: Members can change their proposals simply by resubmitting! We'll use the last submitted proposal for each member.

sep 12, 2022, 12:20 pm

>50 consensuspress: Thanks! If the consensus (ha!) is that Kalevala is too long to be practical, I will likely submit something else. Not like I have a shortage of suggestions.

sep 12, 2022, 3:10 pm

>51 Shadekeep: I think Kalevala would be possible but quite a few things would need to go right, it would need near-universal support from the membership, and the timeline for the first edition would certainly need to be extended. This might be a project on the scale (for example) of Thornwillow's centennial Ulysses.

For the proposals, I say "Dream on!" but I suspect it will receive a very cautious evaluation from the Advisory Board if it makes it to round two. Another proposal might be a better bet in that regard. That said, I think Glacierman is right: "I see a lot of over-thinking here. Just pick a work you'd like to see done and submit your proposal." The membership can sort out the rest!

sep 12, 2022, 7:50 pm

>52 grifgon: Makes sense. I'll pull together a more practical suggestion. Perhaps something from the Dada or Oulipo movements?

sep 13, 2022, 1:42 am

>53 Shadekeep: Yeah, especially if they are short on the letter 'e' in their typecases, ha ha...

sep 13, 2022, 8:43 am

Okay, updated my proposal finally. Went with a potentially difficult one to source, but it's a medieval tale I've long cherished - The Voyage of Máel Dúin's Boat.

sep 13, 2022, 9:11 am

>41 ultrarightist: You beat me to it.

I went with my second choice - the Agricola and Germania of Tacitus.

sep 13, 2022, 3:04 pm

>55 Shadekeep: Now, that's an interesting choice. I like it.

sep 13, 2022, 3:47 pm

Fantastic proposals everyone!

Management will be voting for the 37 Volume "All-of-the-Above" proposal.

sep 13, 2022, 3:52 pm

>58 consensuspress: the 37 Volume "All-of-the-Above" proposal

Will that be in a solander?

sep 13, 2022, 5:28 pm

I attempted something different in terms of the proposal. They are under the banner of ' Terribly Tiny Tales'. All the tales under this banner are just 4-5 lines and has moved me at a very deep level. I think it is perfect for a letterpress format book and the members will really enjoy this unique form of writing and it deserves to be published as a fine press book. Few examples are on their website below:

They have published them in a book. The book in Amazon India:

sep 13, 2022, 5:56 pm

>59 Shadekeep: No, that would make things infeasible.

sep 14, 2022, 1:42 pm

>60 venkysuniverse: I really like this idea. I've been working on a book of Franz Kafka's short short stories (usually between 100 and 300 words long), which has been very rewarding. "Flash fiction" (don't love the term, but it's what people use) is a really fun form.

sep 14, 2022, 1:52 pm

>63 grifgon: Fredric Brown was a king of this format as well. Look for his book Nightmares & Geezenstacks, it's chock full of very brief fiction.

Redigeret: sep 16, 2022, 1:10 pm

>2 DMulvee: This is one of the suggestions I put in too!!

sep 17, 2022, 6:48 am

>65 marceloanciano: It is good to see other support for Flatland, but I have been surprised at how wide ranging (and previously neglected) the proposals are. I would happily support the vast majority of them so I am excited no matter which work does ultimately succeed!

sep 18, 2022, 8:14 am

>66 DMulvee: I think Flatland would be good to experiment with the art, someone like Sean Scully or Shawn Stipling (a minimalist artist) would be really interesting. The book, over the last few years, has been a secret story for many abstract artists, so many have mentioned it to me. I think Arion's version is really innovative, I'd love to see another version push the boundaries too. What interests me about this Press endeavour is that it need not be ruled by market considerations but can push what could be done with an imaginative approach.

sep 18, 2022, 12:05 pm

I have to say I'm really not seeing the diversity of proposals I was hoping for. Of course this could all change once I see all 60+ proposals that have been submitted so far, including the vast majority that have not been shared publicly.

There are so many deserving writers in underrepresented groups out there. Let's break out of the white male canon that publishing is stuck in. For some data on private/fine press, see my post on The Whole Book Experience. Or just check any publishing data to see the size of the disparity.

For example: 60 proposals. 2% women writers according to my count. Mary Shelley and mine. Come on now.

Redigeret: sep 18, 2022, 12:27 pm

>68 jveezer: I do agree that more diversity would be welcome. My submission, and some others, are by unknown (but probably male) authors. Two of the pieces by female authors that I would have been most likely to submit (The Yellow Wall-Paper and Goblin Market) have both been well covered by fine press lately. I came very close to proposing Mule Bone by Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, but was not optimistic that the rights could be secured. A similar issue kept me from suggesting Silvina Ocampo, only in her case the trouble would likely be in licensing a translation.

Ultimately my passion for medieval writing won out, though in hindsight I could have gone for Christine de Pizan or Margery Kempe. Perhaps next time.

sep 18, 2022, 2:09 pm

>68 jveezer: given that most of the proposals are not public as of now, I think it is misleading to cite percentages at this point.

That said, I suspect you are right that there will be an imbalance.

Make the case in your proposal and maybe your submission will be the winner.

sep 18, 2022, 8:05 pm

>69 Shadekeep: Margery Kempe....good idea! Folio did a nice edition of her writing, not exactly fine press, but still worthy.

sep 19, 2022, 7:40 am

>71 Glacierman: Thank you, I wasn't aware of that volume. I would love to see FS reissue this, alongside The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon. Or even better, a fine press tackle both.

Redigeret: sep 19, 2022, 3:09 pm

>72 Shadekeep: Sei Shōnagon...ah, yes, but I fear I have that work only in a Penguin paperback. Are you saying that FS published it?

Why stop there? If one does Sei Shōnagon, one must certainly do Lady Murasaki, no? The Tale of Genji is certainly worthy of such treatment.

Redigeret: sep 19, 2022, 3:15 pm

>73 Glacierman: Yes, they released a rather nice edition that I am still on the hunt for. I fear my requirements on its condition may be too stringent, however, for a book of this vintage.

And I definitely concur on Murasaki, she and Shonagon should be together on the shelf.

sep 19, 2022, 3:22 pm

>74 Shadekeep: I literally just picked up the FS Pillow Book at a used bookstore in Eugene OR. Great condition but no slipcase. $25. Score!

sep 19, 2022, 3:30 pm

>75 jveezer: Wow, congratulations!

sep 20, 2022, 3:37 am

>73 Glacierman: >74 Shadekeep: Lady Murasaki's Tale of Genji would be at the top of my Fine Press dream list. Considering that my two-volume, first edition of the Royall Tyler translation is about 1,200 pages with minuscule type, I can only imagine how big a letterpress edition would need to be--certainly on par with something like Lord of the Rings. That said, I will dream, and if anyone submits it as a proposal, I'll be voting for it.

Redigeret: sep 20, 2022, 11:30 am

>77 mnmcdwl: The audience might be limited to those who already know and appreciate The Tale of Genji, but the final 9 chapters are essentially their own story, and publishing them in a stand-alone volume as The Tale of Uji could make a nice edition.

sep 20, 2022, 4:34 pm

>78 NathanOv: Good point!

sep 20, 2022, 5:48 pm

>79 Glacierman: Anyone who needs a proposal idea is welcome to steal that one!

sep 23, 2022, 5:05 pm

I've now submitted a proposal for "Downtown Is for People," the 1958 Jane Jacobs essay that led directly to her publishing The Death and Life of Great American Cities. I would love to have The Death and Life in a fine edition, but at approximately 140,000 words it seemed excessively ambitious! "Downtown Is for People," at a mere 4,000, seemed more feasible, and it's an interesting piece in its own right, both for its historical role in Jacobs's intellectual development (it's the first time she took aim at Moses in print) and for its still-timely analysis of how planners sometimes misunderstand what attracts people to cities.

sep 23, 2022, 5:13 pm

>81 ambyrglow: Nice. We just read The Death and Life of Great American Cities in our family book club.

sep 23, 2022, 6:36 pm

>81 ambyrglow: That's what I'm talking about!!! Now we're up to 5% for women writers, based on known data. Still pitiful but trending up. Someone get that Murasaki and Sei Shōnagon in there!

sep 23, 2022, 6:40 pm

>81 ambyrglow: Good selection! I enjoy great writing on civic and architectural matters. Dark Age Ahead was potent, too, but you've drawn on her core with this choice. Will be happy to back it too!

sep 23, 2022, 9:07 pm

>83 jveezer: Another author who has some great short fiction that might qualify is Yoko Tawada. She's still living and writing, and her work is translated from Japanese, so it may require different steps to acquire. But she would be a fascinating addition. I'd go with The Bridegroom Was A Dog.

sep 24, 2022, 11:02 am

>83 jveezer: Other women writers I considered nominating included Nella Larsen, Jan Morris, Naomi Mitchison, and James Tiptree Jr. (aka Alice B. Sheldon). Perhaps for future rounds!

sep 24, 2022, 2:12 pm

>86 ambyrglow: Naomi Mitchison and James Tiptree Jr.

Also strong agreement here for these authors. I almost suggested Tiptree as well for a couple of stories. I know Mitchison mostly from her longer work, have been very surprised that Solution Three hasn't gotten a reissue lately.

sep 24, 2022, 2:36 pm

>87 Shadekeep: Yes, coming up with something the right length by Mitchison was one of the main blocks there.

sep 24, 2022, 8:32 pm

Proposal submitted! Not sure if the copyright is too difficult, but couldn't resist.

*A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller Jr.*

A Canticle for Leibowitz is an ode to the preservation of knowledge and humanity in the face of ruin. I'd love to preserve it with a beautiful fine press edition that captures this spirit. The book itself will resemble a tattered and worn leather-bound, gilded, religious text. The three main sections and chapter headings will mimic an illuminated script from the middle ages. Inside you'll find Leibowitz's fateful illuminated blueprint, done in "gold leaf" with beautiful lettering. Bonus, if amenable, to include an introduction by Adrian Tchaikovsky - whose 'Children of Time' series touches on many of the same themes.

sep 24, 2022, 8:55 pm

I have some questions about feasibility, but conceptually I’m enthused by the idea of Canticle, and Tchaikovsky would make a great introducer.

sep 24, 2022, 11:09 pm

>90 ambyrglow: Thanks! Yeah I plead complete ignorance when it comes to making this thing. It’s mostly the spirit of the idea that matters hopefully; I’m completely fine with the experts having to modify for feasibility.

sep 25, 2022, 12:06 am

>89 caszius: Oy — I just submitted a proposal for the Blessed Leibowitz too!

sep 25, 2022, 12:48 am

I just submitted my proposal, too.

Those word limits are serious challenges! I wasn't sure exactly where the title was to go, so just used the Short Description for the title (which was more than 10 words anyway, yikes) and then used the Long Description for my proposal.

sep 25, 2022, 12:55 am

>92 kermaier: Nice great minds! Although now I do wonder… will they combine votes on similar proposals? Would be a shame if votes get split across the same book.

sep 25, 2022, 1:00 am

>94 caszius: Hmm, yes. Maybe I’ll think of a different book to propose.

sep 25, 2022, 3:24 am

>94 caszius: Votes won't be combined or altered by management. No two proposals will truly be the same, even if they propose the same title. For example, your excellent proposal goes into a little more detail about design.

The two rounds of voting should be able to manage multiple proposals of the same titles.

In the first round, every proposal is given an up or down vote, meaning that votes won't be split between two similar proposals.

If two similar proposals advance to the second round, their proposers will be asked to expand the long description to up to 1,000 words. This will necessarily add more detail which will make the proposals more unalike. Even if they remain fairly similar, members will have to rank them based on whatever differences do exist.

sep 25, 2022, 10:39 am

>96 consensuspress: Nice sounds like you guys got it all figured out! I’ll have to reread the voting process; excited for that.

sep 27, 2022, 10:18 am

Voting's narly upon us, but I have to say that I'm delighted by the array of proposals I've seen here. Whatever book emerges out of this process is going to be wonderful.

sep 29, 2022, 6:09 pm

>75 jveezer: Just a quick follow up on our side chat, I received The Pillow Book today. It was actually still in shrinkwrap, as it's a later reprint (it has a black slipcase instead of mauve). The silk cover is so nice, and the interior work is beautiful. Was able to get a perfect edition of The Book of Margery Kempe as well from the same seller, it's gorgeous too. Thanks to Glacierman for that one!

Back to the topic at hand, I'm really jazzed that we'll be seeing all the submissions soon! Just based on what's been shared, it's going to be a cornucopia of brilliance.

sep 30, 2022, 4:27 pm

Bit of a slowpoke on this, but my proposal:

Short: The Devil in the Flesh, Raymond Radiguet; with new translation.


Radiguet was considered a writing prodigy of his time by luminaries such as Aldous Huxley, François Mauriac, and Pablo Picasso. His writing style is sober and piercing, confronting the reader with hard, cold truths through a therapeutic clarity. His debut novel sent shockwaves through France, but has proved itself over time to be an astute read.

The book shall be bound in red morocco, printed on mouldmade paper with a sharp bite. The typesetting shall allow for the words to breathe to augment Radiguet’s writing style. Illustrations, if included, shall be haunting. A novel translation will better convey the pain.

sep 30, 2022, 6:16 pm

>100 PatsChoice: Another under-served author. I'm curious if you read the translation put out under Melville House's Neversink line. That was a select series of books containing some very excellent choices.

Redigeret: sep 30, 2022, 8:15 pm

>101 Shadekeep: I have not! To be honest, I had Valeria - Griffin's significant other who I believe speaks French - in mind as a potential translator since I fully align with NRP's ethos, i.e., translate the soul, not just the words. If a great translation already exists and is cheaper to incorporate than composing ground-up, then saved costs could be put to other uses (Incorporate vellum into the binding? Hand-tooled gilding? Handmade pages? Copious ornamental page design?).

Very excited to peruse all suggestions come next week.

sep 30, 2022, 11:36 pm

I'm another one who submitted my proposal on the last day. I've been extremely busy over the past 3 weeks or so. I finally wrote my proposal a few days ago, but right before submitting I found out it was done once before by the Golden Cockerel Press. I considered coming up with a new suggestion, but in the end I decided to submit my original one because:

1) the Golden Cockerel Press edition was only 275 copies printed almost a century ago in 1927
2) I find the typographical layout of that edition unpleasant
3) most importantly, while I didn't specify a preferred translation, I did write that it should NOT be one particular translation, and it turned out Golden Cockerel used the one I specified not to use! So I felt safe submitting my proposal today.

I haven't had a chance to check LT over the last 3 weeks at least, so I must be way behind. Looking forward to seeing what everyone came up with. Here is my proposal:

A True Story by Lucian of Samosata (NOT Francis Hickes translation)

Extraterrestrial lifeforms? Robots? Interplanetary warfare and colonization? Before rolling your eyes and downvoting, please consider this is a satire from 2nd century! Written almost two millennia before Douglas Adams, 16 centuries before Gulliver's Travels - and a much easier read, dashingly Munchausen-esque book of tall tales by Syrian satirist Lucian is one of the earliest precursors to... too much to list here! Just one example: 12 centuries before Dante descended into Hell, Lucian visited Isles of the Blessed meeting Ancient Heroes and watching sinners being punished, particularly writers like Herodotus and Ctesias who included unreliable/fantastical information in their books.

okt 1, 2022, 5:15 pm

>102 PatsChoice: I agree, if Valeria is up for translating it, that would be the ideal version. Just wanted to mention the Neversink edition to get your impressions if you had read it, or otherwise let you know it's out there if you hadn't. ^_^

Redigeret: okt 2, 2022, 1:11 pm

>83 jveezer:
Good push.
(Edited to address jveezer’s post as intended - and also to add that perhaps we can hope that voting will differ from proposing.)

okt 3, 2022, 12:53 pm

>96 consensuspress: I am curious what the final proposal count was? It seems that a lot of members really did wait until the final days, but it looks like the last count was less than half.

okt 4, 2022, 12:02 pm

>106 NathanOv: The final count is 125 proposals. (Also, twenty proposals were submitted and then changed by members.) Because proposals are mandatory, this reduces the number of our membership from 176 to 125. As demonstrated already on this discussion thread, there's a lot to choose from. We're looking forward to voting beginning Friday.

okt 4, 2022, 10:49 pm

>107 consensuspress: I did not receive an email confirming receipt of my proposal. Are we supposed to receive one?

okt 4, 2022, 11:10 pm

>108 ultrarightist: No. (The website form didn't have this feature.) You will receive an emailed copy of your submitted ballots, however.

okt 7, 2022, 9:31 am

A great many terrific proposals. I didn’t vote yes with respect to my own; I felt 0 votes would be preferable to 1 if it came to that…

okt 7, 2022, 9:41 am

On an initial skim, I see proposals that make me go "why didn't I think of that??," proposals for things I almost nominated myself, proposals for things I've never heard of and am now intrigued to Google, and, okay, yes, a fair share of proposals that I have no interest in at all, but that's to be expected. It's a pleasantly diverse mix. The only thing that surprises me is how little nonfiction made the cut.

okt 7, 2022, 10:13 am

To the person who proposed The Grand Inquisitor, I would like to call your attention to this edition, just in case you're not already familiar with it: (That's not to say a second fine press version of it isn't worth pursuing if you dislike that one for some reason.)

Redigeret: okt 7, 2022, 10:32 am

Redigeret: okt 7, 2022, 10:40 am

I wasn't sure what to expect, but what an interesting mix of suggestions. Some suggestions I like more than even my own, some don't pass the "do I want to read this test", and some will require more research. I was pleasantly surprised to see In Praise of Shadows, a slim volume that I've read half a dozen times and never expected to show up. All in all, a good experiment so far.

okt 7, 2022, 11:02 am

>114 mnmcdwl: In Praise of Shadows was one I considered and was pleased to see someone else suggest. I have some opinions on the sort of preface it would benefit from, but I'll save those for if it makes the top ten!

okt 7, 2022, 11:03 am

It was really a great experience going through all the proposals. I had to look up quite a few that I didn't know from before. Ended up with "yes" to 38 proposals 😊

Redigeret: okt 7, 2022, 11:13 am

Some truly creative proposals! There are a few ambitious ones like The Curse of Chalion, Piranesi and The Satanic Verses that I doubt would be feasible for the press, but really hope get fine press treatments soon.

I think out of this list, The Voyage of Máel Dúin's Boat would be my favorite to see done creatively in a private press edition that takes advantage of the shorter, copywrite-free text to spare no expense on illustration, printing and presentation. Bashō's Narrow Road to the Deep North would be a close second in the same vein.

On the flipside, I'm surprised to see so many recent or upcoming fine press titles reappearing on this list! I wonder if it's lack of awareness, or recent disappointment and wanting to see them done right?

okt 7, 2022, 11:19 am

Some great suggestions there but much less classic and mediaeval literature than I expected.

Anyone else experiencing issues with the confirmation e-mail? I haven’t received one…

okt 7, 2022, 11:28 am

>118 SebRinelli: Hi — It looks like we have received two ballots from you. We'll toss the first and keep the second, unless you say otherwise.

okt 7, 2022, 11:33 am

A lot of excellent ideas, and a few I couldn't resist tossing a "yes" to even if I do think, in the cold light of day, that they'd be hard to execute (looking at you in particular, Wuthering Heights).

I did limit myself pretty strictly to proposals with no existing fine edition. Not because there couldn't be another excellent and worthwhile Frankenstein, Heart of Darkness, etc, but just too many others that would be breaking new ground, and it was an easy heuristic to keep the number of yes votes at a level where I thought each was meaningful.

okt 7, 2022, 11:41 am

>119 consensuspress:
Totally fine and sorry for the duplication. I wasn't sure if the first one went through since I didn't get a confirmation e-mail. I thought something went wrong and didn't want to lose my membership.
Good to know it went through. Thanks!

Redigeret: okt 7, 2022, 2:43 pm

Congratulations to all! What wonderful ideas! Every proposal is interesting and deserving a nice edition. I will be generous with my "yeses" and regretful about every "no".
Edited to add that it transpired I was familiar with a vast majority of the proposed works (ended up needing to research less than 10), so I confess that the process went much faster for me than I anticipated.

okt 7, 2022, 2:03 pm

I assume early voters don't need to recast their votes after participating in the testing?

okt 7, 2022, 2:07 pm

My favorite ten:

The Tale of Sinuhe, tr. R. B. Parkinson. With/without illustrations.

The Awakening - Kate Chopin

A Flower for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Bashō - The Narrow Road to the Deep North

The Dwarf by Par Lagerkvist

The Voyage of Máel Dúin's Boat

On the Shortness of Life by Seneca; profound philosophical meditations

Jane Jacobs's 1958 essay "Downtown Is for People"

In Praise of Shadows - Tanizaki Jun'ichiro

“The Little Trilogy” by Anton Chekhov, illustrated with linocut artwork

okt 7, 2022, 2:49 pm

>124 grifgon: I’d love to see a press like No Reply do Máel Dúin or Bashō if they don’t make it as Consensus titles

okt 7, 2022, 2:55 pm

>125 NathanOv: Yeah, if one of the proposals comes with an Advisory Board comment like "Uhhh don't pick this one, Jason/James/David/Griffin wants it!" does that count as corruption?

okt 7, 2022, 4:46 pm

>124 grifgon:
Basho -- cool idea, I loved that book (in the Donald Keene translation)!

okt 8, 2022, 12:28 pm

A question for people who proposed collections of short stories: if the full collection comes back with a rating of minimal feasibility due to cost/length, are you open to revising your proposal to publish only a subset of the stories instead? (I’m thinking here particularly of Wharton’s Ghosts, which is fairly long, but there are other collections in the list this applies to as well.)

Redigeret: okt 8, 2022, 1:01 pm

>128 ambyrglow: I suggested a set of stories simply because I wanted one in particular published and did not see the members jumping for a 14 page booklet.

I’d be thrilled if it made it far enough and got the feedback that members would prefer a single story, but I highly doubt it will.

okt 8, 2022, 2:51 pm

>128 ambyrglow:
My proposal is a collection, and I would be willing to revise it to make it shorter/more affordable if it gets to the final group of 10.

okt 9, 2022, 12:56 pm

Quite an interesting list of proposals. It has made me aware of worthy books of which I had no knowledge or only a passing awareness. Even though I voted no on a fine press publication, some proposals prompted me to purchase the e-book to read. This includes titles outside of my preferred voting paradigm.

The comment that "I say this as an indoorsman" in the proposal for environmental thrillers by Peter Heller made me laugh out loud.

dec 2, 2022, 10:13 am

>73 Glacierman: >74 Shadekeep: >77 mnmcdwl:
FS actually did publish The Tale of Genji in Royall Tyler's translation. It was a 2-volume Fine edition, see brochure below.

It's not one of their top Fine Editions in my opinion, i.e. it's no Beowulf or 2012 Rubaiyat, but with so many pages having thick paper is pretty much out of question. But it's a nice edition nevertheless, profusely illustrated: 54 color plates reproducing paintings from the Harvard Album - the early 16th century Japanese cycle of paintings illustrating every Genji chapter, plus almost 200 in-text b&w illustrations. It has numerous useful footnotes, which is great (I hate flipping pages back and forth to see endnotes), and there are various addendums at the back of the second volume: a pretty extensive glossary broken down by themes (general, office and titles, clothing and color), list of characters, chronology of events, maps of the city and palaces, etc.

This is THE Genji edition to get to keep company to your Pillow Book.

dec 2, 2022, 11:35 am

>132 elladan0891: Nice, thanks! There's a couple out there in fine condition, price isn't completely ridiculous either.

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