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Re: Orphans, etc.

I confess I am a little puzzled by Mr. Holzman's reaction.

I am fully aware of the financial constraints under which 
university presses labour, and recognize the degree to which 
pragmatic imperatives may be imposing themselves a little too 
often. But one could still be "regretfully" pragmatic; one could 
still declare one's adherence to higher principles and justify 
adopting more practical strategies on particular, and hopefully 
temporary, situations. That, I would understand and I know many 
U. Presses are managed in precisely that spirit, for example at 
my university. But when I hear financial concerns expressed in 
such a way as to appear to trump everything else, I think it is 
time to point out the worrisome nature of such a behavioural 

As for lacking civility, I suspect the moderator would have put a 
stop to my message, had it reflected such insensitivity. I simply 
referred to values other than financial that appeared important 
to me. And saying that print transformed documents into 
commodities is a well-known and widely accepted thesis among 
historians of printing.  And, I should add, Joe Esposito's wit is 
indeed a welcomed relief. Sorry about Henry James, Joe... I 
simply did not know :-)

Jean-Claude Guedon
Professeur titulaire
Litterature comparee
Universite de Montreal

Le lundi 31 octobre 2011, Alex Holzman a ecrit :

> I confess, I'd drafted a somewhat dark statement of my own in
> response M. Guedon's characterization of an entire profession's
> humanity.  Joe's chosen a much more lighthearted and constructive
> path to which I gladly defer. The rest of us on this list should
> follow his example and return to our customary level of civility.
> Alex Holzman
> Director
> Temple University Press
> Email: aholzman@temple.edu
> http://www.temple.edu/tempress
> On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 8:31 PM, Joseph Esposito
> <espositoj@gmail.com> wrote:
> > What grim and dark mood has fallen on this thread?  Here we
> > have David Prosser:
> >
> > "It's interesting and maybe tells us something in addition to
> > list participants stating their opinions.  Of course, when such
> > studies reinforce our prejudices we cite them; when they don't,
> > we invent charming analogies to show why they can't possibly be
> > true."
> >
> > I think the proper response to this statement is "Speak for
> > yourself." I am astonished by this display of cynicism about
> > sources and citations on a list dedicated to librarianship and
> > scholarly communications.
> >
> > And here we have Jean-Claude:
> >
> > "It is true that print has transformed documents into
> > merchandise, into goods; that does not mean that other forms of
> > value are not present. Henry James' novels were sold less and
> > less as he grew older. By Joe Esposito's criterion, Henry
> > James' novels were worth nothing or little more than nothing
> > for a while before coming back to some (moderate) level of
> > (commercial) value more recently."
> >
> > Of course, I never said or thought any such thing.  And to use
> > my personal favorite, Henry James, as a shibboleth is cruel.
> > What I did say is that asking people to pay an economic price
> > when they themselves have no economic benefit is not realistic.
> >
> > Gentlemen, lighten up!  I am with Lambeth Strether:  "Live!
> > Live all you can!"
> >
> > Joe Esposito
> >
> > Joseph J. Esposito
> > Portable CEO