Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blockheaded Publishing : "OPEN ACCESS" in all senses

It is a telling example of our debased (and post-religious) moral culture that no reputable reviewer today would ever review a book that was made available free as a 'tract for our time'.

'Review a book offered up free by an author merely to contribute to the collective public debate on important issues, without any thought of personal gain or fame ?'

You're joking aren't you ---- even Thomas Paine charged for his pamphlets !

People who self consciously call themselves "Book Reviewers" - whether professional or amateur - pride themselves on considering all books written without thought of personal gain as likely to be the rambling rantings of almost lunatics, unworthy of serious attention.

(Add here, in defence of their response, the well known words of Samuel Johnson who said anyone who wrote not for money was a blockhead.)

No doubt these "Reviewers"  might even consider the actions of a doctor who freely gives his life to better others' lives, without any thought to personal gain or fame, as also bordering upon the lunatic.

So a serious book freely offered up to tell the tale of a doctor who willing offers up his life for general humanity is somewhat doubly cursed - if it seeks to be seriously reviewed by serious reviewers.

And a serious book, on serious issues, published in serial fashion - as a series of tracts or pamphlets -stands even further outside today's book trade.

For tracts and pamphlets are usually published by being shoved through someone's letter slot and reviewed, it at all, by the person behind that door.

But in George Orwell's day, pamphlets were the 'containers' for almost all the serious thought about the serious issues thrown up by the crisis of the Great Depression - which is why he collected them to stimulate his own writing.

But new young pamphleteers and tractarians are today probably all bloggers ; globally-minded digital pamphleteers no longer content to merely push a few paper pamphlets into mail slots along their own street.

I am not young, but I certainly am one such blogger.

Because I want my tracts read by everybody in the world, of every income group, any hour of the day, and in any language that Google Translator will handle.

I will make printable versions of longer blog posts available to suit those who still prefer print - just as I will do likewise for those who prefer to read longer E-Pub files offline.

But really I think the web browser-based book or pamphlet (aka "the Blog") is the true wave of the present ....

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