Global Entrepreneurship Week

You may not know that this is Global Entrepreneurship Week, so as the British Library cajoles us into growth, innovation and of course scaling-up, we have belatedly decided to come out with our own mission statement:

  • We promise never to take our end-users into account, as we have little idea of who they are, and can only rely on our entirely fallible judgements;

  • We promise never to use the word “end-user” again; it was a momentary slip of the tongue as we were carried away with our new-found entrepreneurial zeal;

  • We’ll continue not to care about growth, as over the last ten years it has been remarkably elusive; we think that, like happiness, it doesn’t come to those who chase it too fiercely;

  • It never was the case that artistic movements of any worth had a high opinion of themselves, starting with the Renaissance whose name was invented a century and a half later. They were desperately trying to emulate classical art and literature, whilst in antiquity itself, the Romans had an inferiority complex in relation to the Greeks, and the Greeks in relation to the Egyptians – and no doubt the Egyptians in relation to somebody else; so we’ll refrain from boasting about how wonderful we are, which is quite easy as accolades and prizes reliably avoid us – and besides the grapes were sour;

  • Like Yevgeny Zamyatin, who we quote on this website, we believe that literature is not so much a calling as a function of our dysfunctionality. We get involved because we have no choice, and whether we add or subtract is for people in a hundred and fifty years to decide, and there is little reason to believe that they’ll be wiser than we are now;

  • What we can achieve is very little because we have very few resources, and the financial and moral support we’ve received has been limited compared with other publishers; whether this was justified or not is also not for us to say, but we promise our readers that we’ll continue to choose the best, most innovative, weird and wonderful books not in the world, which is too wide for us, but from the pool happenchance has happened to float down the ditch where the Vagabond likes to go fishing.