Publishing books is a process that’s connected to knowledge, to creation, to goals that are important for the formation of any society. And that doesn’t happen in crowds, like at fairs, but rather in agreements and cooperation between serious people, people who understand the essence of the world
Man likes to be in a crowd. Fairs are the best places to satisfy that primal desire. Book fairs are both fairs and supermarkets, the purpose of which is to turn a quick profit, but also to sell poor quality goods. As with any fair – like the one in Šabac for example – it is an opportunity for people to meet, to brag, to swindle one another, to whinge about the situation in the state and society, to gossip about other people and dissenting voices, to drink something and to kill time. It’s a nonsensical, glittering place of instantly forgettable miracles. That’s why I don’t like those places.
I’ve given book fairs a wide berth, because they don’t have any special connection with culture. Due to the things that I’ve stated, they’re usually a form of false culture or nonculture. They are a meeting place for a crowd gathered from impaling stakes and nooses. One who is seeking something serious won’t find it there – except, of course, some serious and significant books. That’s simply because publishing books is a process that’s connected to knowledge, to creation, to goals that are important for the formation of any society. And that doesn’t happen in crowds, but rather in agreements and cooperation between serious people, people who understand the essence of the world, people who speak critically about our problems, weaknesses, failures, misconceptions, flaws and foolishness. Miroslav Krleža put it nicely: “It’s stinky in a crowd, but it’s warm”.
There are ever more editors lacking vision and aesthetic discipline. That’s why there are ever fewer good writers, because there are fewer great role models, and because of all that there are ever fewer sophisticated readers of literature
Serious creators and publishers should use their books – artistic, scientific and all other kinds – to navigate the world in the direction of the most significant thing man is able to create. That’s because books are instruments that prevent us from becoming slaves to stupidity and superficiality, though books contain most of that. If important topics are turned into “light pieces” in a nation, state and society, then the meaning of everything is lost, impotence in establishing a value system prevails, we are left unaware of who our role models are, our foundations and guides towards meaning, elegance and bravery.
A large quantity of books are published in our country today. But a question arises as to the quality of those books. The quality of published books is dependent on the level of education and creativity of editors in publishing houses. This is the number one problem and issue in publishing. There are ever more editors lacking vision and aesthetic discipline. That’s why there are ever fewer good writers, because there are fewer great role models, and because of all that there are ever fewer sophisticated readers of literature. This sequence and progression is considered ever less today, because a high-quality reader creates a new high-quality reader. That’s the only route to enduring values. Culture is the golden chain of meaning that connects us, and not the chains that restrain us. This is discussed ever less in our country and around the world today, because the book has become a consumable product and not a spirit over the waters of a transitory world. A time will come when the greatest works of literature are longer read. And man’s taste will thus be corrupted, criteria will decay, and the world will be in the hands of insignificance and banality. And then man, as a former creative being, will lose the meaning of his existence. Those will be “hollow people” who trapse around the bazaars and fairs of a foreign world.