Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Chapter 39 - A Monkey On His Lap: Part 3 - The International Non-Aristotelian Library Publishing Company

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

As they continued to seek a publisher in the fall of 1931, Alfred and Mira also decided to reconstitute the old dream of the Library of Human Engineering under a different name. Alfred’s forthcoming book would be the first of a series of titles in The International Non-Aristotelian Library, which he would edit along with one or another of his interested friends. They also anticipated organizing (or having someone else organize) an International Non-Aristotelian Society, which could encompass a network of university and professionally-associated study groups they hoped to encourage. Along with the Library, such an organization might help to accelerate various non-aristotelian trends they could see developing in the U.S. and elsewhere. Of course, the Library would require an additional commitment from any publisher taking on Alfred’s book. He seems to have seen this as a selling point. But it’s not clear that any of the publishers he approached felt likewise. 

By the summer of 1932, although one or two publishers were still considering his manuscript, it was appearing less and less likely anyone would take on the book and the Library, as Alfred had wanted. A few publishers seemed willing to consider accepting the book if Korzybski could guarantee the production costs by means of advance sales. Under such terms the book would sell for as much as $10 (about $160 in 2010 terms).(22) This would surely have put off most potential readers, even without the severe economic depression that had 1932 in its grip. Since they wanted as wide a readership as possible, Alfred and Mira found the price unacceptable. Should they publish the book on their own?

Before deciding to do so, Alfred wrote for estimates from a number of book printers, as well as from publishers he knew who did their own printing. One of these, The Science Press Printing Company, owned by psychologist James McKeen Cattell and family, published the AAAS journal Science as well as a number of other publications and books. Korzybski had seen their work. James Cattell’s son Jaques, who managed the company, sent Korzybski a figure of a little over $3000 for printing 2000 copies of an estimated 800-page book. The company could also take care of distribution and shipping for a percentage of each book ordered. The Korzybskis weighed the possibilities before them. At the end of September 1932, they made a final decision to publish the book themselves under the rubric of The International Non-Aristotelian Library Publishing Company. The Science Press Printing Company would produce it. They had already chosen the title.

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 
22. Inflation Calculator, accessed on 6/5/2010 at coinnews.net/tools/cpi-inflation-calculator/

No comments: