“A Publisher as Salvager of Bygone Delights” August 17, 2015
We were pleased to see Larry Rohter’s profile of New York Review Books in a recent Saturday Arts section of The New York Times. Rohter describes NYRB’s editorial principles as providing a necessary counterpoint to prevailing tendencies in publishing: “New York Review Books was founded in 1999, when the mainstream American publishing houses [began] paying less attention to their back catalogs, sometimes allowing the rights to books that weren’t selling well to lapse, and also cutting back on literature in translation.”
Rohter commends NYRB Classics’s revival of “ignored or forgotten works,” including The Prank, Chekhov’s censor-suppressed debut collection of stories, and Walt Whitman’s Drum-Taps, available in its unexpurgated form for the first time since its original release in 1865.
“From the beginning, it was our intention to be resolutely eclectic,” NYRB Editorial Director Edwin Frank is quoted as saying. “We were picking low-hanging fruit, only no one knew the fruit was out there, hanging from the branches.”