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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, June 12

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On the Web Thu Jul 11 2013

What is the Business of Literature?

Richard Nash (former runner of Soft Skull Press, now a consultant/guru of sorts for Publishing At Large), has written an illuminating essay called "What is the Business of Literature?"

In the essay, Nash projects broad, provocative, conceptual contemplations across the history of one the strangest industries known to modern man: publishing. Among many revelations, Nash points us to how the invention of copyright law helped to rein in an otherwise unwieldy proliferation of texts; and how it, thus, helped to move control of the literature market into certain hands.

Nash's thinking should be at the forefront of many a small, formally ambitious publisher (of which Chicago has many) confused about how to proceed as the cost and means of dissemination are made ever easier in the hyper-digital age; as the public's love for text objects is reconsidered, and as productive, distributive, curatorial, and community models of literature must be thought of anew.

Read the essay here.

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