The Book Society

Paraguay Press. A publisher always works with more than one catalogue of titles

The Book Society is a project devoted to the most experimental forms of production in publishing, which Peep-Hole is organizing in collaboration with the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce in Genova. The second reading room is dedicated to Paraguay Press, which will present a selection of their publications.

A publisher always works with more than one catalogue of titles.
In the 1969 short film «Les Mots ont un sens» (Words have meaning) by Chris Marker, French publisher François Maspero – who was running the bookshop «La Joie de Lire in Paris» and the imprint Editions Maspero as channels of distribution of far-left ideas from around the world – explained that a publisher has three catalogues of titles. The first one, which is the most obvious one, is made of the complete list of books he has published so far. The second one is the catalogue of titles he didn’t published – books he was particularly proud to have not published. The third catalogue Maspero described consisted of books that he didn’t publish, but could have, and more so, would have never been published if hadn’t been existing and publishing the same kind of books before, inspiring thus other publishers to start their own imprint. Not every publisher can claim to have a catalogue of this kind. We, at Paraguay Press, certainly can’t. But Maspero suggested that a fourth type of catalogue exists for every publisher: the catalogue of books that inspire, open a space for a publisher to become one, or give reasons to continue being one. When we were invited to take part in the project The Book Society at the Villa Croce, we thought it was particularly relevant to the project to present next to the complete catalogue of books we have published since we created Paraguay Press, a list of titles from the catalogue of books that have motivated, or keep stimulating our venture in the publishing world by: The Audio Foundation / Etablissement d’en Face / Dexter Sinister / DopePress / Metronome / May / Publication Studio / Provence / Primary Information / Roma Publications / Torpedo Press / Veneer.

Paraguay Press is the publishing house of castillo/corrales, the Paris co-operatively run exhibition and bookstore space. Paraguay Press was created by the group who works here to reclaim control of the means of creation, production and distribution of the books in which appear their work as artists, writers, curators and graphic designers. Just as much, and yet less selfishly so, Paraguay Press is meant to be a framework for producing publications with a growing number of artists, writers, and institutions whose work we admire.

On September 18, Paraguay Press will present to the public its activity, focusing on two specific projects: Revolution: A Reader, a 1000-page anthology annotated by Matthew Stadler and Lisa Robertson, and The Social Life of the Book, a collection of commissioned texts dealing with books.

On September 18 and 19, Paraguay Press will organize a two-day workshop titled Along the grain. During the workshop, participants will discuss the means of production, and how production is an act of publishing.

The reading room is set up with original recently restored furnitures designed in 1934-1935 by rationalist architect Mario Labò for the University Library in Genova. The Book Society is part of a bigger project, “Shrinking World”, conducted with the contribution of the Fondazione Cariplo.