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Re: WOID #VII-1. Too Late the Philanthrope



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          CENTRAL NEW YORK BOOK ARTS: TRADITIONAL TO INNOVATIVE
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Happy Holidays, Paul, and thanks for your thoughtful writing
throughout the year; I always look forward to your columns.

Best, Bertha Rogers

Date sent:              Wed, 19 Dec 2001 16:28:47 -0500
Send reply to:          "Book_Arts-L: READ THE FAQ at http://www.philobiblon.com"              <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
From:                   Paul T Werner <paul.werner@NYU.EDU>
Subject:                WOID #VII-1. Too Late the Philanthrope
To:                     BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU

>              ***********************************************
>           CENTRAL NEW YORK BOOK ARTS: TRADITIONAL TO INNOVATIVE
>            See The Exhibition Online, And Order Your Catalog.
>                       <http://www.philobiblon.com>
>              ***********************************************
>
> [This is the last WOID of the dying year - or more accurately, the
> first of the year a-birthing. I will be away until January 10, checking
> out the Mayas and their writing system.]
>
> I)
> Two weeks ago some folks here held a Walk for Capitalism. I hope they
> find a cure some day...
>
> Capitalism is the new charity. Medieval rabbis used to argue that the
> best kind of giving was that in which neither the giver nor the givee
> knew the other. The worst was giving which was about making the giver
> feel good. We're moving from a) to b).
>
> In Christian Theology there is a distinction between the Gospel of
> Works and the Gospel of Faith. Gospel of Faith: you go up to the beggar
> and tell him you love him. It's the thought that counts. Gospel of
> Works: you give the beggar a buck because it's the right thing to do.
> Even if you don't like the beggar. Especially if you don't like the
> beggar. Follow the Gospel of Works: avoid gifts that serve only the
> giver.
>
> II)
> Passionate intensity is easy when you know where you're going, so long
> as where you're going is the same old same old. For decades leftists
> spoke of the Revolutionary Moment, the point where things lie in
> shambles, and opportunity comes. This is that moment, but it's a time
> for difficult decisions with long-term consequences, like a hundred-
> year chess game. "The best lack all convictions while the worst..."
>
> I heard recently that outraged librarians had posted a "wall of shame,"
> a list of publishers and their books that fall apart after one or two
> readings. I'm proud to say the Orange Press was not on that list. Of
> course, most American libraries buy from an approved list of books by
> an approved list of publishers working within an approved, antiquated
> system of production, reviewing and distribution which ensures that
> publishers have a market ready-made for them, so it's not about books
> at all, or about readers. On Orchard Street they tell you about the
> pants with three legs: those ain't pants you wear, those are pants you
> buy, you sell. In other parts of New York they call this "Jobs for
> White Folk". Actually, that's a name for the Welfare system. One hand
> giveth and another hand taketh. Avoid.
>
> III)
> Thirty years ago I started the Orange Press in order to produce and
> distribute a book - a Vietnamese folk-tale I'd translated to raise
> funds for the anti-war effort. At the time it seemed ridiculous to
> publish through the usual channels: I'd be raising more money for bombs
> than for bandages to fix the damage caused by the bombs in the first
> place, and where would that leave us?. Thirty years later it still
> looks like a good idea: probe the new technologies for a tear in the
> system of cultural distribution.
>
> And perhaps this would be charity enough: transcending the alienation
> of work, the separation between feeling good and doing good. Avoid the
> Welfare System, if you can. At either end of the trough.
>
> Happy Holidays!
>
> Paul T Werner, New York
> http://theorangepress.com
>
> WOID: A journal of visual language
>
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