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Paraverse Press we foster creativity in nonfiction

The publisher holds that nonfiction, not having to reproduce reality, ought to be far more interesting than fiction, which, constrained by the need to be “convincing,” dares not be free.  Yet, truly creative, i.e., “literary,” nonfiction is hard to find.  Almost everything that calls itself such today is journalism or history.  No flair for fancy words or clever plotting can belie that sad fact.  Sei Shonagon or Oscar Wilde, not to mention the many good essayists of the 17-19 century, would be bored to death with Granta, the New Yorker and other supposedly literary journals that, in respect to their nonfiction, at least, are not.  The author-publisher of  Paraverse Press, robin d. gill – as might be expected of one who spent his entire adult life writing in Japanese – is by no means an accomplished writer of English.  Slick journalists and good novelists can write circles around him. If his books nevertheless entertain the bright and curious (please see the blurbs and reviews), it is because they pay attention to something such readers value above all else:  ideas.   

Bilingual  –  at a monolingual price

With the software available today, English language publishers should offer more multilingual books, but is this potential  fulfilled? As far as I know, no major publisher mixes Japanese into the body of their text, as Hokuseido Press has already done for a half-century with the work of R. H. Blyth;  and this, despite the fact that these long-selling books prove mixed text is a draw, and despite the fact that, technically speaking, there is nothing to it!  The few medium size presses that do include Japanese tend to either sell to the educational market (Tuttle for learning kanji) or the art-book market (Weatherhill has beautiful art and haiku collected by Stephen Addiss).  Academic presses are doing best, but the Japanese tends to be confined to indexes and not allowed into the text itself.  And, even considering the outrageous greed of the middleman that forces publishers to set artificially high prices,  academic presses have no excuse for their $50. and $100. books that amount to a class barrier, because they prevent all without money or academic affiliation  from accessing these books (public library privileges tend to be very limited, with the procedure for ordering via Worldcat very time-consuming, so independents cannot see many such books).   Paraverse Press will assault this seldom-noted discrimination with the most potent weapon in the world,  example.

Paraverse Press's first book  Rise, Ye Sea Slugs!  with multiple translations of 1000  haiku about holothurians (sea cucumbers) and essays in un/natural science, includes the original Japanese, yet even with 480  9.69 x 7.44 inch pages is inexpensively priced at $25.  Our third book, TOPSY-TURVY 1585, a translation of a 16c treatise (tratado) listing 611 ways the Europeans and Japanese are contrary, with ample explanation, has a sprinkling of Japanese, all the original Portuguese (in tiny font) and 740(!) equally large pages for only $33.33.  Our most recent book,  The Fifth Season -- Poems for the Re-creation of the World has almost 2000 haiku about the Japanese New Year, likewise including the Japanese,  is 468 pages and costs $28. So long as our printer and distributor cooperates, we will continue to publish good-looking bilingual books at a monolingual price.  To get an idea of the type of thing only Paraverse Press can do, please see the screen-shots of bilingual clusters of poetry, a new way of presenting multiple readings as composite translation ( here), or, better yet, visit Google Books where our books are 100% viewable!

Readers-to-Writers – participatory publishing

While the publisher was working as an acquisitions editor and writer in Japan, he was very favorably impressed by one Japanese publishing practice: the dokusha card.  This was a postcard for the reader included inside of every book.  Readers could give their impressions, good or bad, of the book – and of the publisher –  and point out errors or ask how to contact the author or request the publisher to notify them when another book by the same author was published, etc..  After becoming familiar with this system, I couldn’t imagine doing business in any other way.  At this point, we cannot afford to put a postcard in each book (and wonder what our printer/distributor would do!), but we will do the second best thing, open a live webpage (Reader-to-Writer).  As the publisher/writer, I am looking forward to participating with you on this page.  (At the same time, I must admit that I will miss the handwriting on the cards – maybe we will add a place for jpeg messages some day.)  SIX YEARS LATER.  I never figured out how to make the page a live one, so please visit me at Librarything, Redroom, or Facebook for the time being.

Open Books our transparent red & black ledger

The publisher believes that creativity does not need much money – it is a lie that CEO’s do better work because they earn(?) millions – and that the great inequality of income prevents truly creative people who happen to be poor from turning the products of their minds into reality.  Indeed, the publisher, himself, is one such person, unable to see a doctor, much less fund his many ideas, some of which might well have done the world some good had he only had  the funding to develop them.  He believes that income tax should be so progressive that no one can net over a million dollars of personal income a year. That is to say, we should have an income ceiling.   Corporations, on the other hand, should not be taxed at all (except for environmental damage).  They are, after all, adding to the common pie of goods and services.  Moreover, we should double the property tax on each additional house a person owns, for there is too much space being monopolized by too few.  You may disagree, but one thing is certain, we need to be honest about money.   Paraverse Press and its proprietor (for at this time they are identical) will have completely open books (Red & Black).  SIX YEARS LATER. Our sales, and therefor income, have remained so little that I have not kept up this page. If sales become high enough to be taxable I will resume reporting!

Our History from the longest day of 2003

Paraverse Press (d.b.a.) registered to do business in Miami-Dade County, Florida on 21 June, 2003.  At present, we – which is to say, I – have a backlog of dozens of books, no money to speak of and no employees whatsoever, so please do not send any inquiries or manuscripts, unless they are accompanied by a bilingual volunteer or the money to buy me the services of one!  With your support,  Paraverse Press will grow quickly and publish work by authors other than the publisher before long.  Unlike journalism, books of ideas, like Euclid’s proof of negative numbers, never grow old.   So, if you have a good manuscript, let us see it . . . in a few years!                                  

robin d gill,  publisher

Paraverse Press (dba) has a bona fide address on Key Biscayne, Florida, but family circumstances have taken the author-publisher elsewhere.  Out in the sticks of  Florida without public access to more than 23 bps telephone connections and, needless to say, no cable, he must upload from computer to dish to satellite to make this page. When one is a snail, it is hard to get snail-mail! So, please e-mail me at uncoolwabin [at] hotmail[dot] com or visit me at a social networking site (librarything, redroom or facebook, at present: 2010/1/5) about anything whatsoever.