20 August 2006

Book fairs and publishing K

Book fairs around the world are a chance for people in the trade of publishing to meet in person and discuss business, as well as network and make new contacts. Many book fairs also have a public face, with the general public browsing publishers' stands and buying books. The Krishnamurti foundations attend book fairs both to meet individuals interested in K, and to promote the publishing of Krishnamurti's teachings, in English and translation around the world. Even in the world of emails, it is helpful to meet in person. And book fairs create contacts that would be unlikely to happen otherwise.

The K foundations regularly attend the following book fairs:
  • The London Book Fair
  • The Frankfurt Book Fair (World's most important book trade show)
  • The Guadalajara Book Fair (Latin America's most important trade/public show)
  • The Book Expo America
  • The Los Angeles Book Exhibit
  • The Miami Book Fair
This year, the K foundations will also be visiting another book fair for the first time: The Beijing International Book Fair, 29 August - 3 September. This will be an intersting story I think: how a recently closed society seems to be opening in some ways, while still censoring, for example, the internet. How do officials in China view Krishnamurti? What has people's experience been in China reading K in translation? Can people there meet without fear to hold dialogues? How do Chinese readers see K in relation to Buddhism or Confucianism, etc?

The decision to go to Beijing this year was largely informed by the sudden surge of openly publishing Krishnamurti in China. Previously, it's known that translation were made underground, or published outside of a contractual relation with the foundations. However in 2005-2006, the foundations partnered with 2 publishers in mainland China to bring out core titles of Krishnamurti's works: The First and Last Freedom, Think on These Things, Education and the Significance of Life, Commentaries on Living 1-3, and a recent compilation of extracts, The Book of Life.

Books published in Taiwan over the years also made their way into China; despite the difference in script between the two countries. As some readers may know, China has developed a simplified character system for writing with fewer strokes per character, while Taiwan uses the traditional Chinese script.

The return journey from Beijing will also include a stop in Tokyo to give 2 public presentations on Krishnamurti. Laura Wells, who has lived in Tokyo for several years as a translator and been a long-time reader of K, has helped us to organize and promote these events. I will be posting the flyer for the Tokyo event here in case anyone in the Tokyo area who reads this blog would like to attend.

Please return, or register for the Atom feed, to find out news of these journeys.

posted by Michael Lommel
Ojai, California

1 comment:

Rowan said...

Sounds like a pioneering movement is taking place in terms of going to China...