From whether you can judge a book without its cover to a future of universal digitization, and from the most beautiful book ever printed to the elusive notion of quality, Calasso creates a vision of publishing as 'a literary work in itself, belonging to a genre all its own'.
'All the books published by a certain publisher could be seen as links in a single chain'
In this fascinating memoir and manifesto the author and publisher Roberto Calasso meditates on the art of book publishing. With his signature erudition and polemical flair, Calasso transcends Adelphi to look at the publishing industry as a whole, from the essential importance of graphics, jackets and cover flaps to the consequences of universal digitization. And he outlines what he describes as the 'most hazardous and ambitious' profile of what a publishing house can be: a book comprising many books, akin to that of other twentieth-century publishers, from Giulio Einaudi to Roger Straus, of whom the book offers brief portraits.