2010年4月30日 星期五

What Does the Drooping Book Business Need? How About a Jolt of Espresso?

What Does the Drooping Book Business Need? How About a Jolt of Espresso?

Published: April 28, 2010 in Knowledge@Wharton
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What if you could print a perfect-bound volume for as little time as it takes to brew a cup of coffee? That is the premise behind the Espresso book machine, which turns digital PDF files into paperbacks in minutes. Jason Epstein and Dane Neller, chairman and CEO respectively of On Demand Books in New York, the company behind the Espresso book machine, believe their technology has the potential to transform book publishing. Epstein, who was editorial director of Random House for 40 years, recently wrote a widely read essay in The New York Review of Books about the impact of digital technology on publishing. In an interview with Stephen J. Kobrin, editor of Wharton School Publishing, and Knowledge@Wharton, Epstein and Neller discuss their views on where the publishing business is headed.

Epstein will speak at a conference on The Future of Publishing in New York on April 30. The conference is being organized by the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative, Wharton School Publishing, and Knowledge@Wharton.

An edited version of the discussion appears below:

Stephen J. Kobrin: Mr. Epstein, I was fascinated by your article in The New York Review of Books. My first question is what will a book be in the digital age? Will it simply be a traditional book digitalized? Will it take new forms? Will the term "book" still be relevant?

Jason Epstein: We are talking about two different things -- content and format. As far as content is concerned, that has been extraordinarily stable over centuries. A book will remain a book in that sense, no matter what the technology is. That doesn't mean there won't be innovations. For instance, there may be short books that people can read on cell phones, the way they do in Tokyo, but basically content will remain what it always has been.

Authorship, too, will remain what it always has been. There is a lot of talk about community publishing, about groups getting together to write books. That's impossible. Authors don't encourage collaboration of that sort unless they are writing books that require collaboration, as historians sometimes do.

Eventually all the content in the world will be digitized and available everywhere in the world in that format. It will be downloaded in one way or another -- either to be read online or to be printed in book form by Espresso or similar devices. What the proportion will be is impossible to say at this point. My guess is that the dominant format will be the traditional codex [the format used for modern books], which is convenient, durable and portable. At least in America, when you buy a physical book in the bookstore, you own it; you can do what you want with it. When you download a digital file onto your Kindle, you don't own it for fear that it will get loose. It could become viral and then the copyright would be lost, so publishers have to protect that.

Dane Neller: The Financial Times recently published an article about e-books based on a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. In the U.S. in 2008 -- just for consumer books -- e-books were a little sliver of the overall market. This is estimated to grow by 2013 to about 3% worldwide, which leaves print at around 97% of the market.

Now this is the key statistic. The print market is broken down between offset and toner based -- or digital and offset. The toner based market, which is what we are in, represents about 6% of the books market in the U.S. right now. It's twice as big as the e-book market and estimated to grow to 15% in the next three to five years. What is often not understood is that the toner-based, digital print on-demand market is larger than e-books and is experiencing a growth curve that is higher than e-books.

Knowledge@Wharton: Book publishing is witnessing a shift from physical inventory to digital distribution. How do you see the implications for the different players in the value chain -- authors, publishers, retailers and customers?

Epstein: When this all settles down in four or five years, much of the publishing infrastructure will have been eliminated. Digital files can go from the publisher to the end user in one step with no intervening process. To the extent that this becomes possible, obviously the price of a book to the consumer will be lower because there will be less cost involved. The reward to the writer will be greater for the same reason. The possibility of profit to publishers will also be greater. They won't be investing in inventory and the infrastructure that goes with creating an inventory. In other words, the publisher's risk and cost will be lower.

In the digital future, those three conditions will prevail. Books will be cheaper; more [money] will go to the author; and the publisher will get a better break. But those are the ultimate effects; there will be a lot of static between now and then.

Knowledge@Wharton: How do you find publishers responding to these changes? What is right and wrong about the way they are reacting?

Epstein: Let me tell you an anecdote. When I first joined the publishing business, I was 21 years old. It was in 1951. I worked at Doubleday, and it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to take some of the books that my colleagues in graduate school -- where I had just come from -- weren't able to afford because they were only available in hardcover and put them out in paperback.

There was a new market because of the GI Bill; millions of people who had never gone to college before were now going to college to study. By some miraculous effect, the man I worked for said, "Okay, we'll try that." So we printed 12 of those books in that format. It was a permanent paperback format that would be sold in bookstores, not like paperbacks sold in newsstands. To make a long story short, it revolutionized the book trade.

Now, none of my colleagues -- none of the people who had been in the book business all their lives -- noticed that opportunity. In fact, when I suggested it, they said, "Oh, this will never work. What does he know about anything?" There is a lot of inertia in the publishing industry, and it hasn't changed since 1951. Publishers are loath to see the next step.

I can talk about other innovations that ought to have come out of the book business but didn't. For example, Amazon should have come out of the book business. The publishers should have seen that. In fact, I did see that when I created my Reader's Catalog [during the 1980s], which in effect became Amazon.

The digitization process [of books] also should have begun with the publishers. They should have seized this opportunity. They should have taken the initiative and not left it up to Google. Eventually they will come around, whichever of them are left. This change is going to be revolutionary.

Look at China. University towns there have 2 million students. We just signed a deal with the China Publishing Group, the country's largest publishing company. Their goal is to make available Espresso book machines throughout China and reprint Chinese books, English books, French books and others. Their focus now is mainly on scientific and professional volumes, but over time that will change. You are talking about 1.6 billion people, some of whom have never seen books before. Pakistan has 2 million people who go to Islamabad University. This is a phenomenon of enormous worldwide growth.

Knowledge@Wharton: Consider another aspect of books going digital. If all books exist essentially as single droplets in a vast digital cloud, how will each book be found? What implications does this have for the marketing of books?

Neller: There are multiple answers to your question. Let us take the university setting and consider library books. That is an enormous growth area. What will happen? One way these books will be found is through the library's electronic catalog systems. If you are a student, you will have access to the entire database of the library as well as have the ability to choose new acquisitions. These could either be in e-book form or print form. So you will discover books through that mechanism.

Outside the library systems, books will be made accessible through companies like Google who will make them discoverable. Readers will find books through Google, Amazon or websites of special interest. These mechanisms of discovery are already in place.

Kobrin: You are talking basically about accessibility and availability. But what about awareness? Right now a lot of people become aware of books in a bookstore. They pick the book up on the shelf and leaf through it. When books are part of a vast digital cloud, how will people become aware of them? How will they know they exist?

Neller: Word-of-mouth has always been the best way to sell a book -- and the web represents the word-of-mouth medium in spades. There's never been anything like it. There will be countless opportunities for books to get viral publicity on YouTube and its successors. That is something we never had before. Amazon does a very good job of building awareness about books. Believe me, Google will as well.

Knowledge@Wharton: What role do you see for the Espresso book machine in this brave new world of digital publishing? Can you give us some background about how you came up with the idea for the machine?

Epstein: For my entire career I have been concerned about backlists. Backlists keep publishers in business. They are like annuities; these are books you sell year after year with no effort and at very little expense. Our civilization resides in our backlists.

As I wrote in my article in the New York Review, in the mid 1970s I noticed that backlists had begun to deteriorate rapidly -- 60,000 or 70,000 titles a year or more and growing. There were two reasons for this. One was a change in the tax law that made it no longer possible to write off unsold inventory as a business expense. The other was the demographic shift from cities to the suburbs. The large independent bookstores that depended upon city markets were closing down and being replaced by smaller shopping mall stores that couldn't carry backlists. They had to depend upon current books.

I tried to offset this problem by starting a project called the Reader's Catalog back in the mid 1980s. This was a telephone-size directory of some 40,000 backlist titles that you could order through an 800 number. The Internet wasn't yet commercialized. The Reader's Catalog was a huge success, but we were losing money on shipping. It was very complicated, and I decided to give it up. Then Amazon picked it up and put it online -- and it became Amazon.

That didn't solve the backlist problem, though. When digitization came in, I started to see there was an opportunity to solve it on a grander scale. With digitization you can restore every book ever printed to print. You can have a vast -- almost infinite -- inventory at very little expense -- and you can deliver a book anywhere in the world on demand.

I discussed all this in a series of lectures I gave at the New York Public Library in 1999. One of the things I said was what's necessary to complete this technology is a device, like an ATM, that can receive a digital file on demand anywhere in the world and print it out as a library quality paperback book. That lecture was printed -- and soon someone called me and said, "I know where there is such a machine." I went to see it -- and that's how it all began.

Knowledge@Wharton: How has the rise of e-readers like the Kindle and the Sony e-reader redefined the book business? What impact will the iPad have?

Epstein: It is hard to predict how that will sort itself out. I think eventually one-purpose machines like the Kindle and Sony e-reader will be replaced by multi-purpose machines such as the iPad. People who like to read books on screens will read their books on those devices along with their newspapers. But as I said before, most people in most parts of the world will prefer physical books.

Kobrin: What will happen to territorial rights? If you have an Espresso machine, you can download and print a digital book from any place in the world. As the business is structured now, the rights are regulated by territory -- English rights, Dutch rights, American rights, Canadian rights, etc.

Epstein: That will have to change. Territorial rights become superfluous when content is in a digital cloud and can be downloaded anywhere instantly. There will have to be another understanding. Territorial rights are an artifact of the old Gutenberg system and like so many of those artifacts, they will have to change. How is that going to happen, when will it happen, who is going to make it happen...who knows? It has to happen.

Kobrin: Have you run into that problem with Espresso machines in other countries downloading U.S. books?

Neller: We deal with it every day. Our Espressnet software product filters territorial rights. Many times we have rights in the U.S., sometimes we have rights in Australia. But we have to filter them. Even with public domain books, not every country has the same rules so we have to filter those.

Epstein: Eventually that aspect of traditional infrastructure will give way and there will be a more convenient system, just the way that copyright rules will have to become universal and simplified. We can't have different copyright conventions everywhere in the world.

Knowledge@Wharton: As the publishing business is transformed, how will the structure of the industry evolve? Will there be a few large global monopolies or smaller companies?

Epstein: It won't evolve; it will devolve. It will become the way it was before these conglomerates were put together. You have to understand that these conglomerates were not rationally assembled. That happened out of necessity because of certain kinks in the way the system worked.

Fifty years ago, publishing was essentially a cottage industry. Each company was run by, effectively, a handful of editors with minimal management. Many services were farmed out. That's how Random House worked; that's how Simon & Schuster worked; that's how they all did. But when the marketplace changed from one based on large independent bookstores that could carry extensive backlists to one with stores in shopping malls, where the backlist didn't figure, bestsellers became a necessity. Publishers had to provide bestsellers for these shopping mall stores to remain in business.

The rights to potential bestsellers were then put up for auction. Smaller publishers could no longer afford to compete so they joined hands with larger publishers. Random House picked up a number of imprints -- Knopf, Pantheon and so on. Even that didn't work because even those proto-conglomerates -- like Random House and Simon & Schuster back in the 1990s -- couldn't compete. They couldn't put up these $1 million- or $2 million-, $5 million-, or $10 million-risks, so they collapsed into the present conglomerates.

Conglomerates were not rationally assembled as the most efficient way of publishing books. They were assembled because someone had to be able to fund these auctions -- these gambling situations -- we got ourselves into. But these conglomerates don't function. There's much too much overhead and complexity. There's too much unnecessary management. Lawyers get in the way of everything. That can't last. Digitization I think will inevitably have to replace it.

Neller: Let me add one more nuance. This is not so much about the publishing house as it is about the supply of content. It is true that the consumption of content will be massively decentralized either through Espresso book machines or e-readers or whatever. The supply of content, though, is a different matter. There is growing concern about control over supply exercised by companies like Google and Amazon in the U.S. or the Gallica digital library in Europe [which claims to have more than 1 million digital titles]. These organizations are developing very large digital discovery mechanisms and digital warehouses. As such, though some parts of the publishing business such as consumption may return to a decentralized model, there also a trend towards centralized digital hosting and discovery.

Kobrin: With digitization and print on demand, do you believe we will move away from a focus on bestsellers and have a much larger number of books that sell far fewer copies?

Epstein: I think that's true. Of course, there will still be bestsellers. There will still be Stephen King and John Grisham, but that is a separate activity from mainline bookselling. All John Grisham needs is a printing company and a truck. That's all the publishing work that has to be done, because those books are presold. You just ship them to Costco and other distributors and there you have it. That's a different arrangement than what it takes to publish a real book of substance. I don't mean to say those aren't real books. They are just different than the books we are talking about.

2010年4月29日 星期四

A. N. Whitehead Lectures :教育与科学 / 理性的功能

教育与科学 理性的功能
(英)A. N. 怀特海



The Aims of Education -- A Pleas for Reform

(Presidential Address to the Mathematical Association, January, 1916.)

When I had the honour of being made President of the Mathematical Association, I did not foresee the unusual responsibility which it entailed. It was my intention to take as the theme of a presidential address the consideration of some aspect of those special subjects to which my own researches have principally been directed. Events have forced me to abandon that intention. It is useless to discuss abstract questions in the midst of dominant practical preoccupation. We cannot disregard the present crisis in European civilization. It affects every function of life. In the harder struggle for existence which lies before the nation, all departments of national effort will be reviewed for judgment. The mere necessity for economy of resources will provoke this reformation.

We are concerned with education. This Association, so rich in its membership of educationalists, with the conception of reform as the very reason of its being, is among those bodies which must take the lead in guiding that educational reconstruction which by a sociological law follows every social revolution. We do not want impracticable ideals, only to be realisrd beyond the clouds in

"Some wild, weird clime,
Out of Space, and out of Time." 出自 DREAM-LAND.Edgar Allan Poe,


BY a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule —
From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of SPACE — out of TIME.

We require to know what is possible now in England, a ntion conscious of its high achievements, and of great failures, shaken to its foundations, distrustful of the old ways, and dreading fantastic novelties.

I will take my courage in both hands, and put before you an outline of educational principles. What I am going to say is of course entirely without your authority, and does not pledge or prejudge any action of the Association. We are primarily concerned only with the intellectual side of education, and, as mathematicians, are naturally concerned to illustrate details more particularly by reference to mathematics. Thus much to explain deliberate omissions in what follows.

Consider now the general and special education of two types of boys, namely those in secondary schools who in after life must form the professional and directing classes in commerce, industry, and public administration, and again those in junior technical schools and later in advanced continuation classes, who are going to form the class of skilled artisans and foremen of workshops. These two sets compose the education strength of the nation. We must form no ideals which include less than these entire classes within their scope. What I shall say, will in phraseology apply more directly to the secondary schools, but with unessential changes it will apply equally to the other group.

What is the first commandment to be obeyed in any educational scheme? It is this: Do not teach too many subjects. The second command is this: What you teach, teach thoroughly. The devil in the scholastic world assumed the form of a general education consisting of scraps of a large number of disconnected subjects; and with the artfulness of the serpent, he has entrenched himself behind the matriculation examination of the University of London, with a wire entanglement formed by the Oxford and Cambridge schools' examination.

Culture is activity of thought, and receptiveness to beauty and humane feeling. Scraps of information have nothing to do with it. A merely well-informed man is the most useless bore on God's earth. What we should aim at producing is men who possess both culture and expert knowledge in some special direction. Their expert knowledge will give them the ground to start from, and their culture will lead them as deep as philosophy and as high as art. We have to remember that the valuable intellectual development is self development, and that it mostly takes place between the ages of sixteen and thirty. As to training, the most important part is given by mothers before the age of twelve. A saying due to Archbishop Temple illustrates my meaning. Surprise was expressed at the success in after-life of a man, who as a boy at Rugby had been somewhat undistinguished. He answered, "It is not what they are at eighteen, it is what they become afterwards that matters."

In training a child to activity of thought, above all things we must beware of what I will call "inert ideas" -- that is to say, ideas that are merely received into the mind without being utilised, or tested, or thrown into fresh combinations.

In the history of education, the most striking phenomenon is that schools of learning, which at one epoch are alive with a ferment of genius, in a succeeding generation exhibit merely pedantry and routine. The reason is, that they are overladen with inert ideas. Education with inert ideas is not only useless: it is, above all things, harmful -- Corruptio optimi, pessima. Except at rare intervals of intellectual ferment, education in the past has been radically infected with inert ideas. That is the reason why uneducated clever women, who have seen much of the world, are in middle life so much the most cultured part of the community. They have been saved from this horrible burden of inert ideas. Every intellectual revolution which has ever stirred humanity into greatness has been a passionate protest against inert ideas. Then, alas, with pathetic ignorance of human psychology, it has proceeded by some educational scheme to bind humanity afresh with inert ideas of its own fashioning.

Let us now ask how in our system of education we are to guard against this mental dryrot. We recur to our two educational commandments, "Do not teach too many subjects," and again, "What you teach, teach thoroughly."

The result of teaching small parts of a large number of subjects is the passive reception of disconnected ideas, not illumined with any spark of vitality. Let the main ideas which are introduced into a child's education be few and important, and let them be thrown into every combination possible. The child should make them his own, and should unclerstand their application here and now in the circumstances of his actual life. From the very beginning of his education, the child should experience the joy of discovery. The discovery which he has to make, is that general ideas give an understanding of that stream of events which pours through his life, which is his life. By understanding I mean more than a mere logical analysis, though that is included. I mean "understanding' in the sense in which it is used in the French proverb, "To understand all, is to forgive all." Pedants sneer at an education which is useful. But if education is not useful, what is it? Is it a talent, to be hidden away in a napkin? Of course, education should be useful, whatever your aim in life. It was useful to Saint Augustine and it was useful to Napoleon. It is useful, because understanding is useful.

I pass lightly over that understanding which should be given by the literary side of education. Nor do I wish to be supposed to pronounce on the relative merits of a classical or a modern curriculum. I would only remark that the understanding which we want is an understanding of an insistent present. The only use of a knowledge of the past is to equip us for the present. No more deadly harm can be done to young minds than by depreciation of the present. The present contains all that there is. It is holy ground; for it is the past, and it is the future. At the same time it must be observed that an age is no less past if it existed two hundred years ago than if it existed two thousand years ago. Do not be deceived by the pedantry of dates. The ages of Shakespeare and of Moliere are no less past than are the ages of Sophocles and of Virgil. The communion of saints is a great and inspiring assemblage, but it has only one possible hall of meeting, and that is, the present, and the mere lapse of time through which any particular group of saints must travel to reach that meeting-place, makes very little difference.

Passing now to the scientific and logical side of education, we remember that here also ideas which are not utilised are positively harmful. By utilising an idea, I mean relating it to that stream, compounded of sense perceptions, feelings, hopes, desires, and of mental activities adjusting thought to thought, which forms our life. I can imagine a set of beings which might fortify their souls by passively reviewing disconnected ideas. Humanity is not built that way -- except perhaps some editors of newspapers.

In scientific training, the first thing to do with an idea is to prove it. But allow me for one moment to extend the meaning of "prove"; I mean -- to prove its worth. Now an idea is not worth much unless the propositions in which it is embodied are true. Accordingly an essential part of the proof of an idea is the proof, either by experiment or by logic, of the truth of the propositions. But it is not essential that this proof of the truth should constitute the first introduction to the idea. After all, its assertion by the authority of respectable teachers is sufficient evidence to begin with. In our first contact with a set of propositions, we commence by appreciating their importance. That is what we all do in after-life. We do not attempt, in the strict sense, to prove or to disprove anything, unless its importance makes it worthy of that honour. These two processes of proof, in the narrow sense, and of appreciation, do not require a rigid separation in time. Both can be proceeded with nearly concurrently. But in so far as either process must have the priority, it should be that of appreciation by use.

Furthermore, we should not endeavour to use propositions in isolation. Emphatically I do not mean, a neat little set of experiments to illustrate Proposition I and then the proof of Proposition I, a neat little set of experiments to illustrate Proposition II and then the proof of Proposition II, and so on to the end of the book. Nothing could be more boring. Interrelated truths are utilised en bloc, and the various propositions are employed in any order, and with any reiteration. Choose some important applications of your theoretical subject; and study them concurrently with the systematic theoretical exposition. Keep the theoretical exposition short and simple, but let it be strict and rigid so far as it goes. It should not be too long for it to be easily known with thoroughness and accuracy. The consequences of a plethora of half-digested theoretical knowledge are deplorable. Also the theory should not be muddled up with the practice. The child should have no doubt when it is proving and when it is utilising. My point is that what is proved should be utilised, and that what is utilised should -- so far, as is practicable -- be proved. I am far from asserting that proof and utilisation are the same thing.

At this point of my discourse, I can most directly carry forward my argument in the outward form of a digression. We are only just realising that the art and science of education require a genius and a study of their own; and that this genius and this science are more than a bare knowledge of some branch of science or of literature. This truth was partially perceived in the past generation; and headmasters, somewhat crudely, were apt to supersede learning in their colleagues by requiring left-hand bowling and a taste for football. But culture is more than cricket, and more than football, and more than extent of knowledge.

Education is the acquisition of the art of the utilisation of knowledge. This is an art very difficult to impart. Whenever a textbook is written of real educational worth, you may be quite certain that some reviewer will say that it will be difficult to teach from it. Of course it will be difficult to teach from it. If it were easy, the book ought to be burned; for it cannot be educational. In education, as elsewhere, the broad primrose path leads to a nasty place. This evil path is represented by a book or a set of lectures which will practically enable the student to learn by heart all the questions likely to be asked at the next external examination. And I may say in passing that no educational system is possible unless every question directly asked of a pupil at any examination is either framed or modified by the actual teacher of that pupil in that subject. The external assessor may report on the curriculum or on the performance of the pupils, but never should be allowed to ask the pupil a question which has not been strictly supervised by the actual teacher, or at least inspired by a long conference with him. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they are exceptions, and could easily be allowed for under the general rule.

We now return to my previous point, that theoretical ideas should always find important applications within the pupil's curriculum. This is not an easy doctrine to apply, but a very hard one. It contains within itself the problem of keeping knowledge alive, of preventing it from becoming inert, which is the central problem of all education.

The best procedure will depend on several factors, none of which can be neglected, namely, the genius of the teacher, the intellectual type of the pupils, their prospects in life, the opportunities offered by the immediate surroundings of the school and allied factors of this sort. It is for this reason that the uniform external examination is so deadly. We do not denounce it because we are cranks, and like denouncing established things. We are not so childish. Also, of course, such examinations have their use in testing slackness. Our reason of dislike is very definite and very practical. It kills the best part of culture. When you analyse in the light of experience the central task of education, you find that its successful accomplishment depends on a delicate adjustment of many variable factors. The reason is that we are dealing with human minds, and not with dead matter. The evocation of curiosity, of judgment, of the power of mastering a complicated tangle of circumstances, the use of theory in giving foresight in special cases all these powers are not to be imparted by a set rule embodied in one schedule of examination subjects.

I appeal to you, as practical teachers. With good discipline, it is always possible to pump into the minds of a class a certain quantity of inert knowledge. You take a text-book and make them learn it. So far, so good. The child then knows how to solve a quadratic equation. But what is the point of teaching a child to solve a quadratic equation? There is a traditional answer to this question. It runs thus: The mind is an instrument, you first sharpen it, and then use it; the acquisition of the power of solving a quadratic equation is part of the process of sharpening the mind. Now there is just enough truth in this answer to have made it live through the ages. But for all its half-truth, it embodies a radical error which bids fair to stifle the genius of the modern world. I do not know who was first responsible for this analogy of the mind to a dead instrument. For aught I know, it may have been one of the seven wise men of Greece, or a committee of the whole lot of them. Whoever was the originator, there can be no doubt of the authority which it has acquired by the continuous approval bestowed upon it by eminent persons. But whatever its weight of authority, whatever the high approval which it can quote, I have no hesitation in denouncing it as one of the most fatal, erroneous, and dangerous conceptions ever introduced into the theory of education. The mind is never passive; it is a perpetual activity, delicate, receptive, responsive to stimulus. You cannot postpone its life until you have sharpened it. Whatever interest attaches to your subject-matter must be evoked here and now; whatever powers you are strengthening in the pupil, must be exercised here and now; whatever possibilities of mental life your teaching should impart, must be exhibited here and now. That is the golden rule of education, and a very difficult rule to follow.

The difficulty is just this: the apprehension of general ideas, intellectual habits of mind, and pleasurable interest in mental achievement can be evoked by no form of words, however accurately adjusted. All practical teachers know that education is a patient process of the mastery of details, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. There is no royal road to learning through an airy path of brilliant generalisations. There is a proverb about the difficulty of seeing the wood because of the trees. That difficulty is exactly the point which I am enforcing. The problem of education is to make the pupil see the wood by means of the trees.

The solution which I am urging, is to eradicate the fatal disconnection of subjects which kills the vitality of our modern curriculum. There is only one subject-matter for education, and that is Life in all its manifestations. Instead of this single unity, we offer children -- Algebra, from which nothing follows; Geometry, from which nothing follows; Science, from which nothing follows; History, from which nothing follows; a Couple of Languages, never mastered; and lastly, most dreary of all, Literature, represented by plays of Shakespeare, with philological notes and short analyses of plot and character to be in substance committed to memory. Can such a list be said to represent Life, as it is known in the midst of the living of it? The best that can be said of it is, that it is a rapid table of contents which a deity might run over in his mind while he was thinking of creating a world, and has not yet determined how to put it together.

Let us now return to quadratic equations. We still have on hand the unanswered question. Why should children be taught their solution? Unless quadratic equations fit into a connected curriculum, of course there is no reason to teach anything about them. Furthermore, extensive as should be the place of mathematics in a complete culture, I am a little doubtful whether for many types of boys algebraic solutions of quadratic equations do not lie on the specialist side of mathematics. I may here remind you that as yet I have not said anything of the psychology or the content of the specialism, which is so necessary a part of an ideal education. But all that is an evasion of our real question, and I merely state it in order to avoid being misunderstood in my answer.

Quadratic equations are part of algebra, and algebra is the intellectual instrument which has been created for rendering clear the quantitative aspects of the world. There is no getting out of it. Through and through the world is infected with quantity. To talk sense, is to talk in quantities. It is no use saying that the nation is large, -- How large? It is no use saying that radium is scarce, -- How scarce? You cannot evade quantity. You may fly to poetry and to music, and quantity and number will face you in your rhythms and your octaves. Elegant intellects which despise the theory of quantity, are but half developed. They are more to be pitied than blamed, The scraps of gibberish, which in their school-days were taught to them in the name of algebra, deserve some contempt.

This question of the degeneration of algebra into gibberish, both in word and in fact, affords a pathetic instance of the uselessness of reforming educational schedules without a clear conception of the attributes which you wish to evoke in the living minds of the children. A few years ago there was an outcry that school algebra, was in need of reform, but there was a general agreement that graphs would put everything right. So all sorts of things were extruded, and graphs were introduced. So far as I can see, with no sort of idea behind them, but just graphs. Now every examination paper has one or two questions on graphs. Personally I am an enthusiastic adherent of graphs. But I wonder whether as yet we have gained very much. You cannot put life into any schedule of general education unless you succeed in exhibiting its relation to some essential characteristic of all intelligent or emotional perception. lt is a hard saying, but it is true; and I do not see how to make it any easier. In making these little formal alterations you are beaten by the very nature of things. You are pitted against too skilful an adversary, who will see to it that the pea is always under the other thimble.

Reformation must begin at the other end. First, you must make up your mind as to those quantitative aspects of the world which are simple enough to be introduced into general education; then a schedule of algebra should be framed which will about find its exemplification in these applications. We need not fear for our pet graphs, they will be there in plenty when we once begin to treat algebra as a serious means of studying the world. Some of the simplest applications will be found in the quantities which occur in the simplest study of society. The curves of history are more vivid and more informing than the dry catalogues of names and dates which comprise the greater part of that arid school study. What purpose is effected by a catalogue of undistinguished kings and queens? Tom, Dick, or Harry, they are all dead. General resurrections are failures, and are better postponed. The quantitative flux of the forces of modern society is capable of very simple exhihition. Meanwhile, the idea of the variable, of the function, of rate of change, of equations and their solution, of elimination, are being studied as an abstract science for their own sake. Not, of course, in the pompous phrases with which I am alluding to them here, but with that iteration of simple special cases proper to teaching.

If this course be followed, the route from Chaucer to the Black Death, from the Black Death to modern Labour troubles, will connect the tales of the mediaeval pilgrims with the abstract science of algebra, both yielding diverse aspects of that single theme, Life. I know what most of you are thinking at this point. It is that the exact course which I have sketched out is not the particular one which you would have chosen, or even see how to work. I quite agree. I am not claiming that I could do it myself. But your objection is the precise reason why a common external examination system is fatal to education. The process of exhibiting the applications of knowledge must, for its success, essentially depend on the character of the pupils and the genius of the teacher. Of course I have left out the easiest applications with which most of us are more at home. I mean the quantitative sides of sciences, such as mechanics and physics.

My meaning can be illustrated by looking more closely into a special case of this type of application. In my rough catalogue of the sort of subjects which should form the schedule for algebra, I mentioned Elimination. It was not put there by accident, for it covers a very important body of thought.

In the first place, there is the abstract process of algebraic elimination for suitable simple cases. The pupil acquires a firm grasp of this by the process, inevitable in education, of working an adequate number of examples. Again, there are the graphical solutions of the same problem. Then we consider the significance in the external world. We consider the velocity, time, space, acceleration diagrams. We take uniform acceleration; we eliminate "t" between

v = u + ft, and s = ut + 1/2 ft2,
and eliminate "s" between
v2 = u2 +2fs, and s = ut + 1/2 ft2.
Then we remember that constant acceleraion is a very special case, and we consider graphical solutions or empirically given variations of v or of f. In preference, we use those empirical formulae which occur in the pupil's experimental work. We compare the strong and weak points of the algebraic and graphical solutions.

Again, in the same connection we plot the statistics of social phenomena against the time. We then eliminate the time between suitable pairs. We can speculate how far we have exhibited a real causal connection, or how far a mere temporal coincidence. We notice that we might have plotted against the time one set of statistics for one country and another set for another country, and thus, with suitable choice of subjects, have obtained graphs which certainly exhibited mere coincidence. Also other graphs exhibit obvious causal connections. We wonder how to discriminate. And so are drawn on as far as we will.

But in considering this description, I must beg you to remember what I have been insisting on above. In the first place, one train of thought will not suit all groups of children. For example, I should expect that artisan children will want something more concrete and, in a sense, swifter than I have set down here. Perhaps I am wrong, but that is what I should guess. In the second place, I am not contemplating one beautiful lecture stimulating, once and for all, an admiring class. That is not the way in which education proceeds. No; all the time the pupils are hard at work solving examples drawing graphs, and making experiments, until they have a thorough hold on the whole subject. I am describing the interspersed explanations, the directions which should be given to their thoughts. The pupils have got to be made to feel that they are studying something, and are not merely executing intellectual minuets.

In this connction the excellence of some of the most recent text-books on elementary algebra emanating from members of this Association, should create an epoch in the teaching of the subject.

Finally, if you are teaching pupils for some general examination, the problem of sound teaching is greatly complicated. Have you ever noticed the zig-zag moulding round a Norman arch? The ancient work is beautiful, the modern work is hideous. The reason is, that the modern work is done to exact measure, the ancient work is varied according to the idiosyncrasy of the workman. Here it is crowded, and there it is expanded. Now the essence of getting pupils through examinations is to give equal weight to all parts of the schedule. But mankind is naturally specialist. One man sees a whole subject, where another can find only a few detached examples. I know that it seems contradictory to allow for specialism in a curriculum especially designed for a broad culture. Without contradictions the world would be simpler, and perhaps duller. But I am certain that in education wherever you exclude specialism you destroy life.

We now come to the other great branch of a general mathematical education, namely Geometry. The same principles apply. The theoretical part should be clear-cut, rigid, short, and important. Every proposition not absolutely necessary to exhibit the main connection of ideas should be cut out, but the great fundamental ideas should be all there. No omission of concepts, such as those of Similarity and Proportion. We must remember that, owing to the aid rendered by the visual presence of a figure, Geometry is a field of unequalled excellence for the exercise of the deductive faculties of reasoning. Then, of course, there follows Geometrical Drawing, with its training for the hand and eye.

But, like Algebra, Geometry and Geometrical Drawing must be extended beyond the mere circle of geometrical ideas. In an industrial neighbourhood, machinery and workshop practice form the appropriate extension. For example, in the London Polytechnics this has been achieved with conspicuous success. For many secondary schools I suggest that surveying and maps are the natural applications. In particular, plane-table surveying should lead pupils to a vivid apprehension of the immediate application of geometric truths. Simple drawing apparatus, a surveyor's chain, and a surveyor's compass, should enable the pupils to rise from the survey and mensuration of a field to the construction of the map of a small district. The best education is to be found in gaining the utmost information from the simplest apparatus. The provision of elaborate instruments is greatly to be deprecated. To have constructed the map of a small district, to have considered its roads, its contours, its geology, its climate, its relation to other districts, the effects on the status of its inhabitants, will teach more history and geography than any knowledge of Perkin Warbeck or of Behren's Straits. I mean not a nebulous lecture on the subject, but a serious investigation in which the real facts are definitely ascertained by the aid of accurate theoretical knowledge. A typical mathematical problem should be: Survey such and such a field, draw a plan of it to such and such a scale, and find the area. It would be quite a good procedure to impart the necessary geometrical propositions without their proofs. Then, concurrently in the same term, the proofs of the propositions would be learnt while the survey was being made.

Fortunately, the specialist side of education presents an easier problem than does the provision of a general culture. For this there are many reasons. One is that many of the principles of procedure to be observed are the same in both cases, and it is unnecessary to recapitulate. Another reason is that specialist training takes place -- or should take place -- at a more advanced stage of the pupil's course, and thus there is easier material to work upon. But undoubtedly the chief reason is that the specialist study is normally a study of peculiar interest to the student. He is studying it because, for some reason, he wants to know it. This makes all the difference. The general culture is designed to foster an activity of mind; the specialist course utilises this activity. But it does not do to lay too much stress on these neat antitheses. As we have already seen, in the general course foci of special interest will arise; and similarly in the special study, the external connections of the subject drag thought outwards.

Again, there is not one course of study which merely gives general culture, and another which gives special knowledge. The subjects pursued for the sake of a general education are special subjects specially studied; and, on the other hand, one of the ways of encouraging general mental activity is to foster a special devotion. You may not divide the seamless coat of learning. What education has to impart is an intimate sense for the power of ideas, for the beauty of ideas, and for the structure of ideas, together with a particular body of knowledge which has peculiar reference to the life of the being possessing it.

The appreciation of the structure of ideas is that side of a cultured mind which can only grow under the influence of a special study. I mean that eye for the whole chess-board, for the bearing of one set of ideas on another. Nothing but a special study can give any appreciation for the exact formulation of general ideas, for their relations when formulated, for their service in the comprehension of life. A mind so disciplined should be both more abstract and more concrete. It has been trained in the comprehension of abstract thought and in the analysis of facts.

Finally, there should grow the most austere of all mental qualities; I mean the sense for style. It is an aesthetic sense, based on admiration for the direct attainment of a foreseen end, simply and without waste. Style in art, style in literature, style in science, style in logic, style in practical execution have fundamentally the same aesthetic qualities, namely, attainment and restraint. The love of a subject in itself and for itself, where it is not the sleepy pleasure of pacing a mental quarter-deck, is the love of style as manifested in that study.

Here we are brought back to the position from which we started, the utility of education. Style, in its finest sense, is the last acquirement of the educated mind; it is also the most useful. It pervades the whole being. The administrator with a sense for style hates waste; the engineer with a sense for style economises his material; the artisan with a sense for style prefers good work. Style is the ultimate morality of mind.

But above style, and above knowledge, there is something, a vague shape like fate above the Greek gods. That something is Power. Style is the fashioning of power, the restraining of power. But, after all, the power of attainment of the desired end is fundamental. The first thing is to get there. Do not bother about your style, but solve your problem, justify the ways of God to man, administer your province, or do whatever else is set before you.

Where, then, does style help? In this, with style the end is attained without side issues, without raising undesirable inflammations. With style you attain your end and nothing but your end. With style the effect of your activity is calculable, and foresight is the last gift of gods to men. With style your power is increased, for your mind is not distracted with irrelevancies, and you are more likely to attain your object. Now style is the exclusive privilege of the expert. Whoever heard of the style of an amateur painter, of the style of an amateur poet? Style is always the product of specialist study, the peculiar contribution of specialism to culture.

English education in its present phase suffers from a lack of definite aim, and from an external machinery which kills its vitality. Hitherto in this address I have been considering the aims which should govern education. In this respect England halts between two opinions. It has not decided whether to produce amateurs or experts. The profound change in the world which the nineteenth century has produced is that the growth of knowledge has given foresight. The amateur is essentially a man with appreciation and with immense versatility in mastering a given routine. But he lacks the foresight which comes from special knowledge. The object of this address is to suggest how to produce the expert without loss of the essential virtues of the amateur. The machinery of our secondary education is rigid where it should be yielding, and lax where it should be rigid. Every school is bound on pain of extinction to train its boys for a small set of definite examinations. No headmaster has a free hand to develop his general education or his specialist studies in accordance with the opportunities of his school, which are created by its staff, its environment, its class of boys, and its endowments. I suggest that no system of external tests which aims primarily at examining individual scholars can result in anything but educational waste.

Primarily it is the schools and not the scholars which should be inspected. Each school should grant its own leaving certificates, based on its own curriculum. The standards of these schools should be sampled and corrected. But the first requisite for educational reform is the school as a unit, with its approved curriculum based on its own needs, and evolved by its own staff. If we fail to secure that, we simply fall from one formalism into another, from one dung hill of inert ideas into another.

In stating that the school is the true educational unit in any national system for the safeguarding of efficiency, I have conceived the alternative system as being the external examination of the individual scholar. But every Scylla is faced by its Charybdis -- or, in more homely language, there is a ditch on both sides of the road. It will be equally fatal to education if we fall into the hands of a supervising department which is under the impression that it can divide all schools into two or three rigid categories, each type being forced to adopt a rigid curriculum. When I say that the school is the educational unit, I mean exactly what I say, no larger unit, no smaller unit. Each school must have the claim to be considered in relation to its special circumstances. The classifying of schools for some purposes is necessary. But no absolutely rigid curriculum, not modified by its own staff, should be permissible. Exactly the same principles apply, with the proper modifications, to universities and to technical colleges.

When one considers in its length and in its breadth the importance of this question of the education of a nation's young, the broken lives, the defeated hopes, the national failures, which result from the frivolous inertia with which it is treated, it is difficult to restrain within oneself a savage rage. In the conditions of modern life the rule is absolute, the race which does not value trained intelligence is doomed. Not all your heroism, not all your social charm, not all your wit, not all your victories on land or at sea, can move back the finger of fate. To-day we maintain ourselves. To-morrow science will have moved forward yet one more step, and there will be no appeal from the judgment which will then be pronounced on the uneducated.

We can be content with no less than the old summary of educational ideal which has been current at any time from the dawn of our civilisation. The essence of education is that it be religious.

Pray, what is religious education?

A religious education is an education which inculcates duty and reverence. Duty arises from our potential control over the course of events. Where attainable knowledge could have changed the issue, ignorance has the guilt of vice. And the foundation of reverence is this perception, that the present holds within itself the complete sum of existence, backwards and forwards, that whole amplitude of time, which is eternity.

2010年4月28日 星期三

The Folio Society MAKING BIG BOOKS


The Folio Society has a habit of sending its books to convicts. The UK publisher sent a selection of its high-quality illustrated hardback books to a prisoner who had been on death row for many years after he wrote requesting some.

Lord Gavron, Folio's owner and chairman, says he also sent some unsolicited books to disgraced peer Conrad Black in prison. Black was pleased with Eyewitness to History – a four-volume set of first-hand accounts throughout the ages – and sent a letter back.

The gifts to prisoners highlight the idiosyncratic and quixotic manner in which the Folio Society is run. Lord Gavron, who made his fortune in publishing before bankrolling Folio when he took it over in 1982, describes it as a “cultural icon” that is run less for profit and more for the joy of books.

But Folio is both a profitable and an international business: the company made £1m ($1.5m, €1.1m) profit on sales of £23m last year, with only 40 per cent of its turnover coming from the UK. Along with a handful of other independent UK publishers, it shows that in an era of iPads and Kindles, there is still money to be made from physical, and often quite expensive, books. “We are a microcosm of what UK industry should be like. We are an ambassador for English culture,” says Lord Gavron in his office, which is filled on all sides with books.

Other small UK publishers such as Profile Books or Quadrille Publishing have been similarly successful in finding a profitable niche and exporting books.

Andrew Franklin, the head and founder of Profile and a former editor at Penguin, underlines the advantage that smaller publishers have over the industry giants. “Being smaller makes it easier to be nimble and not be in meetings. You are not saddled with the same overheads and, being privately owned, you can take some risks,” says the man who published Lynne Truss's bestselling Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

Mr Franklin says the idea for the grammar guide came to him while listening to Ms Truss on the radio and he then approached her. The book went on to sell 1.4m copies in the UK and 1.4m for Penguin in the US, which bought the rights for that market.

Profile publishes an eclectic mix of books, from The Unwritten Rules of Finance and Investment by the financial columnist Robert Cole to Pompeii by Mary Beard, the Cambridge professor of classics. It also has profitable collaborations publishing books on behalf of The Economist and the New Scientist.

Mr Franklin attributes much of Profile's good fortune – it made £1.4m in pre-tax profits last year on sales of £8.3m – to its being “an all-rounder”. Rather than having senior managers with only one area of expertise, Profile's editors have an eye on the business, too: “People at large companies are probably removed from the commercial [side of the operation]: they won't know how to read balance sheets.” Mr Franklin says authors are attracted to a company at which they can meet everybody from the person who pays their royalties to the head of marketing in one visit.

Quadrille, a publisher predominantly of cookbooks such as Gordon Ramsay's World Kitchen, has also carved out a niche through innovation and makes 40 per cent of its sales outside the UK.

Alison Cathie, its managing director, relates how it ran an in-house competition to design a new student cookbook. The resulting title, From Pasta to Pancakes, featured 750 step-by-step photographs arranged as a cartoon strip. Ms Cathie says that Quadrille's success is in part due to “making decisions very fast . . . [and minimising] red tape”.

Folio is one of the older and more high-profile of the small publishers. Since starting in 1947, it has produced sumptuous but affordable hardback versions of classics and obscure books alike. For every Dickens or Austen book, it has published works such as Plutarch or the short stories of William Trevor. The publisher's recent offerings include P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves short stories and Alan Moorehead's The Desert War Trilogy.

The society's 115,000 members and its hundreds of books currently in production rather belie last year's prognosis by the head of Hachette, the large French publisher, that hardback books could be killed off by e-books.

It does not work like a classic book club – members commit to buy four full-priced books a year (typically £20 to £40 each) and receive several for free in return, such as the complete Beatrix Potter or four Elizabeth David cookbooks. No books are sent out unsolicited.

Lord Gavron admits that Folio is run more as an “institution than a business” but that means a big focus on customer service and how members are treated. You cannot imagine many chairmen saying of customers that “they are such poppets”, as Lord Gavron does.

Production costs are fairly high as books can be typeset in one location, printed in a second and bound in a third, many of these in continental Europe. “We don't stint on costs – we have big print, high editing standards and good artists,” he says. But quality is the main reason people return as evidenced by recent awards for design and exports.

Lord Gavron even admits that Folio could charge more for its books: “Nothing is as profitable as it would be if it were run for profit.” He makes no money from the publisher: he draws no salary and takes no dividend, he pays for all his books and he bought Folio its London headquarters so it pays no rent. But he makes sure it is cashflow positive and the feeling persists that it would not be the same if it was part of a big publishing house. At least there would be fewer idiosyncrasies such as the time it hired a van to ship hundreds – if not thousands – of books to the south of France for one rich individual.

“What we want is for our members to have the opportunity to be widely read across the whole scene,” he says, to explain the company's breadth of books by writers from Boethius and Vita Sackville-West to those by Walt Whitman and Richard Dawkins. “The model is that our members discover things. They want a balanced diet.”

FT reporter Richard Milne is a member of the Folio Society


英国出版商Folio Society有向囚犯赠书的传统。一名关押在死囚区多年的囚犯致信该公司,索取几本书籍,该公司将自己出版的一套优质插图精装书送给了他。

Folio 的所有者兼董事长加夫龙勋爵(Lord Gavron)表示,他还主动给关押在狱中、也有着贵族头衔的康拉德•布莱克(Conrad Black)送了几本书。布莱克很喜欢《历史目击者》(Eyewitness to History)一书,还给他回了一封信。《历史目击者》一共四卷,是对几个时代的一手报道。

赠书给囚犯,突显出Folio Society堂吉诃德式的独特运营模式。加夫龙勋爵将其形容为一种“文化图标”,更多追求的是阅读的乐趣,而非利润。在1982年收购Folio之前,加夫龙通过出版业务发迹。

但 Folio既有钱可赚,同时也是一家国际化企业:该公司去年销售额为2300万英镑,实现利润100万英镑,其中仅有40%的收入来自英国。它与少数其它 英国独立出版商共同证明,在这个iPad和Kindle横行的时代,人们仍然能够通过往往较为昂贵的实体书赚钱。“我们是英国出版业应如何发展的缩影。我 们是英国文化的传播者,”在自己堆满了书的办公室里,加龙夫如是说道。

英国其它小型出版商——如Profile Books和Quadrille Publishing——也同样成功找到了有利可图的利基市场,并成功地从事图书出口业务。

安 德鲁•富兰克林(Andrew Franklin)是Profile总裁兼创始人,曾担任过企鹅出版社(Penguin)编辑。他着重指出了小型出版商相对于行业巨擘的优势,“规模小让 你更容易迅速做出反应,不用每天开会。你不用承担像大公司那样沉重的管理费用,而且,作为私人公司,你可以冒一些风险。”林恩•特拉斯(Lynne Truss)的畅销书Eats, Shoots & Leaves就由富兰克林出版。

富兰克林表示,他在广播中听到特拉斯的讲话时,脑海中突然闪现了出版这本语法指导书的想法,他随后便接洽了特拉斯。Eats, Shoots & Leaves在英国售出140万册,而购买了该书在美国市场出版权的企鹅出版社,也在美售出了140万册。

Profile 出版的书题材多样:从金融专栏作家罗伯特•科尔(Robert Cole)的《理财投资不成文规定》(The Unwritten Laws of Finance and Investment),到剑桥(Cambridge)古典学教授玛丽•比尔德(Mary Beard)的《庞贝》(Pompeii)。它还有一些有利可图的合作项目,即为《经济学人》(The Economist)与《新科学家》(New Scientist)出版图书。

Profile去年销售额为830万英镑,税前利润为140万英镑。富兰克林将这种好运气主要归因于它的 “全能型”战略。在Profile,高级经理人不是只有一个领域的专业技能,出版社的编辑也关注企业运转:“大公司或许不让编辑插手商业(运营)方面的事 情:他们不会知道如何阅读资产负债表。”富兰克林表示,作家们之所以受到吸引,是因为他们来公司一次,就可以会见从支付版税到负责营销的所有人。

Quadrille主要出版烹饪类图书,比如,戈登•拉姆齐(Gordon Ramsay)的《世界厨房》(World Kitchen)。该出版商也通过创新创造出了一个利基市场,40%的销售额来自于海外。

Quadrille 董事总经理艾莉森•凯西(Alison Cathie)讲述了公司如何开展内部竞赛,鼓励员工设计一本新学生烹饪书的事例。该书最后定名为《从意大利通心粉到松饼》(From Pasta to Pancakes),以连环画的形式呈现750个烹饪步骤。凯西表示,Quadrille的成功一定程度上得益于“非常迅速地决策……(以及尽量减少)繁 琐的程序。”

Folio是历史更为悠久、地位更加显赫的小型出版商之 一。自1947年创立以来,一直出版经典著作与小众著作的精装本——装帧精美,但也让读者支付得起。每出版一本狄更斯(Dickens)或奥斯汀 (Austen)的作品,也会相应地出版普卢塔克(Plutarch)的作品,或威廉•特雷弗(William Trevor)的短篇小说。该公司最近出版的图书包括,沃德豪斯(P.G. Wodehouse)的短篇小说《吉夫斯》(Jeeves),以及艾伦•穆尔黑德(Alan Moorehead)的《沙漠战争三部曲》(The Desert War Trilogy)。


它 的运营模式不像典型的读书俱乐部:会员承诺每年购买四本全价书(通常每本售价20到40英镑),作为回报,他们会得到几本免费图书,比如,比阿特丽克斯• 波特(Beatrix Potter)全集,或四本伊丽莎白•大卫(Elizabeth David)烹饪书。该公司从不主动寄书给会员。


生产成本相当高,因为这些书可能在一个地方排版,在另一个地方印刷,然后再到另一个地方装订,横跨欧洲大陆许多地区。加夫龙表示:“我们在成本上毫 不吝啬——我们印刷的字体很大,编辑标准很高,并且有出色的美编师。”但质量是赚得回头客的主要原因,近来的设计大奖与出口情况证明了这一点。

加 夫龙勋爵甚至承认,Folio可以提高书的价格——“如果我们的经营宗旨是追求利润,我们将肯定比现在更赚钱。”他没有从这家出版商赚取一分钱:他不拿工 资、不接受分红、买书自己掏钱,还买下了Folio位于伦敦的总部,以便让公司不用支付租金。但他确信,Folio的现金流为正,而且他坚持认为,如果 Folio被纳入一家大型出版社,将会是不同的情况。至少,Folio会不那么有特色——比如,它曾经雇了一辆货车,将数百本(乃至数千本)书运给法国南 部地区的一位富人。

他表示:“我们所想要的是,我们的会员有机会,广泛涉猎各类书籍。”Folio出版的图书,从波伊提乌 (Boethius)到维塔•萨克维尔-维斯特(Vita Sackville-West),再到沃尔特•惠特曼(Walt Whitman)以及理查德•道金斯(Richard Dawkins)。“我们的模式是,我们的会员发现东西。他们需要均衡的饮食。”

本文作者为Folio Society会员


2010年4月27日 星期二


今晚1940 在亭仔腳碰到唐山老板
他說30年來出過500多本書 我嚇一跳.......

部落格標題 唐山書店/唐山出版社
部落格描述 人文的.社會的
部落格分類 社會/人文 > 其他
社會/人文 > 其他
建立時間 2005-08-31 09:05:51
暱稱 唐山書店/唐山出版社/Tonsan Publications Inc. 性別
年紀 ****** 地區 臺北市
學歷 研究所及以上
婚姻 未婚


2010年4月25日 星期日



我現在有興趣的是莎士比亞 ,不過這書平平。

方平 著出 版 社:复旦大学出版社
本书所收各篇,以文本解读为主要研究方法。对欧美文学史上永享盛名的经典代表之作,如《简·爱》、《呼啸山庄》,《指环与书》(勃朗宁)、《爱情十四行诗 集》(勃朗宁夫人)、 《十日谈》,以及狄更斯、曼斯菲尔德、巴尔扎克、弗罗斯特、莎士比亚等的传世名作,进行了多种视角的全面探索和深入细致的独到阐释.从而展示作者以长期翻 译、研究欧美文学作品及其作家所积累的心得成果。


1 《简·爱》研究
2 《呼啸山庄》研究
3 勃朗宁和勃朗宁夫人
多视角 多中心 多声部
4 狄更斯论述
5 曼斯菲尔德和她的短篇小说
6 《十日谈》研究
7 巴尔扎克论述
8 弗罗斯特及其作品
9 莎剧探索
10 莎士比亚精神

方平,1921年生。上海译文出版社编审、编辑部主任(已退休),中国作协会员、上海作协理事(1988—1997),上海师大文学院外国文学硕士研究生 导师(1988—1996),北京大学、青岛大学客座教授。中国莎士比亚研究会会长,国际莎协执行理事。2001年香港翻译学会授予荣誉会士。
著有《和莎士比亚交个朋友吧》(莎剧论文集,1983),《三个从家庭出走的妇女》(比较文学论文集,获1979—1989比较文学专著大奖), 《为什么顶楼上藏着一个疯女人》(论文集,1994),《爱情战胜死亡》(传记,1996),《谦逊的真理》(杂文集,1997),《他不知道自己是一个 诗人》 (散文集,2002),莎剧论文《安东尼奥的下场》( 2003, 获第十八届“田汉戏剧奖”)。主编《新莎士比亚全集》(诗体译本,2000,大陆版、台湾版),内收方译戏剧21种,合译3种,叙事诗1种。另译有卜伽丘 《十日谈》(1958,合译),艾·勃朗蒂:《呼啸山庄》(1988), 勃朗宁夫人:《爱情十四行诗集》(1997),弗罗斯特: 《一条未走的路》(1988)等。

2010年4月24日 星期六


在D. H. Lawrence 部分,把法國的 Vence翻譯成"威尼斯".....


作者 / 亞歷山德里安 RIAN,ALEXAND

出版社 / 麥田出版社

出版日期 / 2003

情色文學在不同時期亦有不同的境遇,而西方情色文學也因過往政權、學者有意無意地打壓與漠視,而無法成為「正當合法的知識」。作者的《西洋情色文學史》於 1989年首度在法國出版,是西方學界第一部、也是目前唯一一部有系統介紹西方從古至今情色文學演變與發展的專書。對於想一窺西方情色文學堂奧的讀者而 言,本書可說是最理想、可讀性最高的入門書。

2010年4月20日 星期二

Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Industry

The History of Beauty
Fragrance, eyeliner, toothpaste—the beauty business has permeated our lives like few other industries. But surprisingly little is known about its history, which over time has been shrouded in competitive secrecy. HBS history professor Geoffrey Jones offers one of the first authoritative accounts in Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Industry.

The History of Beauty

Executive Summary:

Fragrance, eyeliner, toothpaste—the beauty business has permeated our lives like few other industries. But surprisingly little is known about its history, which over time has been shrouded in competitive secrecy. HBS history professor Geoffrey Jones offers one of the first authoritative accounts in Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Industry. Key concepts include:

  • The emergence of the beauty industry was associated with an unprecedented homogenization of beauty ideals throughout the world.
  • Entrepreneurs combined a passion for the beauty industry with an ability to understand the societal values and artistic trends of their eras.
  • The industry is subject to sudden shifts in fashion and fads, which disrupt incumbent positions and provide opportunities for new entrants.

About Faculty in this Article:

HBS Faculty Member Geoffrey G. Jones

Geoffrey Jones is the Isidor Straus Professor of Business History at Harvard Business School.

Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Industry is the first serious attempt to trace the history of the $330 billion global beauty industry and its large collection of fascinating entrepreneurs through countries including France, the United States, Japan, and Brazil. What's taken so long?

According to author Geoffrey Jones, the Isidor Straus Professor of Business History at HBS, the fragmented, secretive, often family-owned businesses that have constituted the industry have been difficult for scholars to unlock. Couple this with the fact that most business historians are male, and you have a major industry that still has lots to reveal. We asked Jones to discuss his research and his new book.

Sean Silverthorne: What inspired your interest in the beauty business and its history?

Geoffrey Jones: My initial interest in the beauty industry was triggered by my earlier history of the consumer products giant Unilever, published some years ago. This company had a long-established business in soap and other toiletries, but spent decades after World War II striving without great success to expand its business into other categories of the beauty industry, such as skin care and perfume.

As I researched this story, I realized both the huge size and the importance of this industry—and the remarkable paucity of authoritative literature about it. Or more precisely, while there are numerous books on various aspects of the beauty industry, from glossy coffee-table publications on cherished brands of perfume to feminist denunciations of the industry as demeaning to women, there were few studies that treated beauty seriously, as a business. So I saw both a challenge and an opportunity to research the story of how this industry grew from modest origins, making products that were often deemed an affront to public morality, to the $330 billion global industry of today.

Q: Why has this industry been so neglected by business school faculty?

A: I think there are two reasons. First of all, this is a difficult industry to research. Historically, it has been quite fragmented, with many small and often family-owned firms whose stories are hard to reconstruct. The industry as a whole is well known to be secretive—after all, its foundations rest heavily on mystique.

And then there is the frequently observed gender bias in business school faculty. I suspect male faculty, who comprised the majority in most schools until quite recently, regarded this industry as a feminine domain and rather frivolous, and felt more comfortable writing about software or venture capital than lipstick and face powder. As female faculty built careers in business schools, they may also have been disinclined to conform to assumed gender stereotypes by working on beauty. The fashion industry, which is also huge, suffers from the same lack of attention from management researchers.

Q: You write, "Beauty emerges as an industry which was easy to enter, but hard to succeed at." How so?

A: It does not take a great deal of capital nor technological expertise to launch an entrepreneurial venture in many beauty products—although for such a venture to have any hope of success, high levels of imagination and creativity have always been required. If you have a concept for a new brand, and the necessary finance, there are contract manufacturers and perfumers that will provide a product for you.

This is also an industry subject to sudden shifts in fashion and fads, which disrupt incumbent positions and provide opportunities for new entrants. Brand loyalties are often weak, especially for "fun" products like lip and eye cosmetics, although less so for foundation, because it is more expensive and needs to be a good match with skin tone.

Achieving sustainable success in the beauty industry is another matter. It is fiercely competitive, with thousands of product launches each year. Even the largest, most professionally managed global companies find it hard to predict the success of product launches, and can stumble badly. One estimate is that 90 percent of new fragrance launches fail. Getting the word out to consumers, and getting product through the distribution channels to consumers, provide further major challenges for new ventures. Creative talent, astute marketing skills, and the ability to understand and respond rapidly to consumer fashions and preferences are all needed to succeed. There are fortunes to be made by building a successful new brand, but it takes an enormous amount of work and good luck to succeed.

Q: You artfully portray a vivid, passionate cast of entrepreneurs. Which do you consider the most influential? Do you have favorites?

A: The book emphasizes the role of individual entrepreneurs in building this industry. They varied enormously in their backgrounds and characters, but most shared a passion for the beauty industry, combined with an ability to understand the societal values and artistic trends of their eras, and to translate them into brands.

François Coty stands out as a creative genius in the formative stages of the industry in the early 20th century. Born as Joseph Marie François Spoturno on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, which was also the birthplace of Napoleon, he was a complete outsider to the traditional Parisian perfume industry. He went on to transform it. Assuming an adapted version of his mother's maiden name as he strove to create a brand that symbolized style and elegance, he got his first order by smashing a bottle of his perfume on the floor of a prominent Parisian department store, in a successful gambit to get customers to smell it. He created two entirely new classes of perfume, soft sweet floral and chypre, and was the first perfumer to sell his wares in elegantly designed glass bottles, rather than in the pharmaceutical bottles used previously. An ambitious believer in globalization, he even sent his energetic mother-in-law to open up the American market in 1905. The American business proved so successful that its U.S. sales reached the equivalent in today's terms of half a billion dollars by the end of the 1920s, before the Great Depression eviscerated what had become the world's biggest beauty company.

Coty was a larger than life character, but he was hardly alone in this industry in that respect. The cast of influential and colorful characters includes Madam C.J. Walker, the daughter of former slaves in Louisiana who developed a system for straightening African-American hair, which was so successful that she ranks as among the first American self-made female millionaires. And then there was the ever-feuding Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, who transformed beauty salons from places considered the moral equivalent of brothels to palaces of opulence and style. And in our own time, Luiz Seabra stands out as the founder of Brazil's biggest beauty company, Natura, which is dedicated to environmental sustainability with a broad social vision.

Q: How much does the industry influence our notions of beauty, and how much do accepted or popular notions of beauty influence product development?

A: The human desire to attract reflects basic biological motivations. Every human society from at least the ancient Egyptians onwards has used beauty products and artifacts to enhance attractiveness. However, beauty ideals have always varied enormously over time and between societies.

The book shows that as the modern industry emerged in the 19th century, it facilitated a worldwide homogenization of beauty ideals. Beauty became associated with Western countries, and white people, and with women. These assumptions reflected wider societal trends. Western societies as a whole underwent growing gender differences in clothing and work. And this was the age of Western imperialism. The industry's contribution was to turn these underlying trends into brands, create aspirations that drove their growing use, and then employ modern marketing methods to globalize them.

I see beauty companies as interpreters of prevailing assumptions and as reinforcers of them. The debate is how much autonomy beauty companies have to shape ideals. Unilever's current Dove marketing campaign, which uses senior women as models to make the point that one can be beautiful beyond one's 30s, shows that a large company has the power to challenge stereotypes should it wish to do so.

Q: What was the impact of television both in helping define beauty and in developing the industry?

A: During the late 1940s, television spread rapidly across the United States, and soon afterwards elsewhere. Television offered remarkable new opportunities to take brands into people's living rooms, and it drove advertising budgets sharply upwards.

Charles Revson was a master of using the new medium to grow brands. Revlon's fortunes were made through its sponsorship of The $64,000 Question game show that began broadcasting on CBS in 1955. Later it emerged that the show was rigged, a scandal that even led to congressional hearings, but this had no discernible impact on either Revson or his company.

Television also proved a medium that new entrants could use to challenge incumbents. During the late 1950s, Leonard Lavin used television advertising to grow the tiny Alberto-Culver hair care business into a significant national player.

More recently, home shopping channels such as HSN and QVC have become important places to launch new brands. However, the impact of television was not limited to marketing. Color television drove innovation in makeup, which was subsequently diffused from actors to the wider public. And as the United States became a major source of television programming worldwide, it proved a major force for diffusing American ideals of lifestyle, fashion, and beauty worldwide.

Q: What do you think were the most significant products that marked its evolution?

A: I would begin with soap. The technology to make soap was known for several thousand years, but the product was rarely used for personal washing, especially by Europeans who largely avoided washing with water after the Black Death in the Middle Ages, believing it to be dangerous. Then, as public health concerns rose during the 19th century and water began to be piped into people's houses, a number of brilliant entrepreneurs built a demand for soap as a branded product by linking its use to godliness, securing celebrity endorsement, and later suggesting that the use of some brands would bring romantic success. Using soap for washing became associated with Western civilization, and even as an essential entry ticket for immigrants seeking to become true Americans.

The transformation of perfume also marks an important stage in the evolution of the modern beauty industry. In the early 19th century, perfume was made in small batches, rarely applied to the skin, and drunk for health reasons. There was a narrow range of available scents. A hundred years later, the application of new technologies to extract essences from flowers and plants, and to create synthetic fragrances, had transformed perfume. Historically, perfumes were reminiscent of one individual "note"—to employ the musical metaphor used in the industry—which tried to replicate nature. The new perfumes had a vastly increased range of scents; were far more abstract, with three notes; and offered scents not found in nature. Meanwhile, a marketing revolution had turned perfume into a branded product, sold at different price points in different distribution channels, and increasingly gendered. While historically men and women had used the same scents, they now began to like to smell differently, with scents now reminding genders of their roles in the world.

As for decorative cosmetics, the story of lipstick is really interesting. While the use of lipstick, like many cosmetics products, reaches back far into human history, in the early 20th century it was still a product associated with actresses and women of dubious morality. Thereafter the use and acceptability of lipstick expanded. There was technological innovation—the first metal lipstick container was invented in Connecticut in 1915, and the first screw-up lipstick appeared six years later. By the time the United States entered World War II in 1941, the government declared the production of lipstick to be a wartime necessity, such was its impact on morale.

Q: What does this book tell us about the impact of globalization today and going forward?

A: As I have suggested, the emergence of the modern industry was associated with an unprecedented homogenization of beauty ideals throughout the world. During much of the 20th century, homogenization was further reinforced by the impact of Hollywood, the advent of international beauty pageants, and so on. Beauty was associated with Caucasian features, as interpreted by the twin capitals of beauty, Paris and New York. Although the momentum for homogenization was strong, it was striking that markets stayed differentiated by inherited cultural and social preferences.

And globalization today is working in a far more complex fashion. The geographical spread of megabrands and globalization of celebrity culture certainly suggests further homogenization. During the early 1980s, China's consumption of beauty products was close to zero. It is now the world's fourth-largest beauty market-and the top brands in cosmetics and skin care are the same as in the United States.

However, there was also a new sensitivity to difference and diversity, representing a new pride and interest in ethnic and local beauty ideals. The tremendous growth of skin lighteners in India and East Asia is one sign of this trend. While global companies are concerned that the core claims—and usually the core technologies of brands—have to be the same worldwide, there is now also a concern that the forms in which such claims were delivered, whether in jars or creams, should be relevant to local consumers in each market. Moreover, as global firms experiment with taking new beauty ideals around the world, they are becoming agents of diffusion for different beauty ideals. L'Oréal, for example, primarily sold French brands before the 1990s. During that decade it purchased American brands such as Maybelline, Redken, and Kiehl's and globalized them. And over the last decade it has acquired Shu Uemura in Japan, Yue-Sai in China, and Britain's Body Shop. Global firms are, in this sense, now orchestrating diversity, not homogeneity.

Q: Both men and women played huge entrepreneurial roles in the development of the industry. Was one gender better than the other, generally, in creating success?

A: It is tempting to speculate that since so many of the products in the industry have been and continue to be aimed at women, being a female entrepreneur would make one better at interpreting women's desires than a male entrepreneur. The industry has indeed seen a veritable roll call of influential female entrepreneurs. Over the last five decades alone, one can think of Estée Lauder and Mary Kay in the United States; Simone Tata, who virtually founded the modern Indian beauty industry; and Britain's Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop. Among influential female business leaders today are Avon's Andrea Jung and Leslie Blodgett of Bare Escentuals.

Yet for every successful female business leader, one can find male equivalents, including the misogynist Charles Revson who built Revlon as an industry leader between the 1950s and 1970s; the British-born Lindsay Owen-Jones, who turned the French hair care company L'Oréal into today's global beauty powerhouse over the last two decades; and Shu Uemura, the Japanese makeup artist who created an exquisite, and now global, brand.

A further complication in reaching a definitive answer to whether there are gender advantages in this industry is that women are more likely to enter the beauty business than others, as the obstacles to entry for female entrepreneurs have been and continue to be higher for women than men in other industries, like construction, for example. So there is a lot of female entrepreneurial talent pooling up in beauty, while male entrepreneurial talent is spread more evenly across industries.

The book's position on this question is that gender is not a main determinant of success in this industry, but that status as an "outsider" of some kind was important. This helps to explain why so many successful figures in the past were immigrants, or Jews, or—indeed—female.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I am writing a book on the origins and growth of green entrepreneurship worldwide over the last six decades. This idea originated out of my research on the beauty industry, in which I explored the growth of interest in "natural" products. This is now one of the hottest segments of the global industry, with estimated sales of $7 billion.

In recent years, natural products companies like The Body Shop and Bare Escentuals, the San Francisco company that has built the minerals-based cosmetic market, have been snapped up by global players paying large premiums. However, what really interested me is the time it took to make this market take off. As early as the 1950s, entrepreneurs like Jacques Courtin-Clarins and Yves Rocher began to experiment making cosmetics from plants rather than chemicals, decades ahead of perceived demand. They, and their counterparts in other industries such as food and cleaning materials who talked about the dangers of chemical ingredients and the need for environmental sustainability, were often dismissed as crazy, or at best irrelevant. Today, many of their ideas are mainstream.

This transition is the core of the book I am now researching. It will look at entrepreneurs and firms across a broad span of industries, and globally, that saw greenness as both a profitable and a socially necessary business opportunity, and that have led, rather than followed, regulators and public opinion in pursuit of their goals.

Excerpt from Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Business

By Geoffrey Jones

Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Business

Beauty amid War and Depression: The American color cosmetics market also expanded during these years. Still barely acceptable in 1914, product innovations made their use both more accessible and desirable. The first metal lipstick container was invented by Maurice Levy in Connecticut in 1915. The first screw-up lipstick appeared six years later.19 In 1916 Northam Warren created the first commercial liquid nail polish when he launched the Cutex brand of manicure preparations. A new form of mascara was invented by an Illinois chemist T. L. Williams, whose Maybelline Cake Mascara, launched in 1917, became the first modern eye cosmetic to be manufactured for everyday use.20 As usual, early adopters were young. In 1925 the concept of a "generation gap" was invented to describe the difference between mothers and daughters regarding the use of lipstick in America.21 By the end of the 1920s, three thousand different face powders and several hundred rouges alone were being sold on the American market.22

Hollywood was also playing a pivotal role. During World War I the American industry was able to pull ahead of the French firms which initially dominated the cinema industry. By the 1920s the industry, now concentrated in Southern California, was able to benefit from the size of its home market and its control of distribution markets to dominate both the American and international markets.23 Movie theaters reached almost every American town, diffusing new lifestyles and creating a new celebrity culture around movie stars that exercised a powerful influence on how beauty, especially female beauty, was defined.24

Max Factor forged the direct link between cosmetics and Hollywood. His work for actors resulted in the principle of "Color Harmony," which established for the first time that certain combinations of a woman's complexion, hair, and eye coloring were most effectively complemented by specific make-up shades. As he grew in fame alongside the movies, he also played a significant role in legitimatizing the use of cosmetics. In particular, he began referring to his cosmetics as make-up, a word long used by actors but not widely used more generally because of the disreputable image of actors.25 Now, for perhaps the first time in Western culture, actors could be thought not just beautiful on the outside but beautiful and respectable on the inside, too. That was a big change for people until recently regarded as barely above prostitutes.

Max Factor's store in Los Angeles also began to make wider sales. In 1916 he introduced Eye Shadow and Eyebrow Pencil for public sale, the first time such products had been available beyond the theatrical make-up line. Advertisements prominently featured screen stars, whose studios required them to endorse Max Factor products.26 A distribution company was contracted to penetrate the drugstore market, and in 1927 nationwide distribution of Max Factor cosmetics began. The date coincided with the premiere of the first talking movie The Jazz Singer, at which Max Factor and his family were in attendance. 27


19. Jessica Pallingston, Lipstick: A Celebration of the World's Favorite Cosmetic (New York: St. Martin's Press), p. 70.

20. http://www.maybelline.co.uk/about_us, accessed April 15, 2007.

21. Pallingston, Lipstick, p. 164.

22. Kathy Peiss, Hope in a Jar (New York: Henry Holt, 1998), pp 121-2.

23. Gerben Bakker, Entertainment Industrialised: The Emergence of the International Film Industry, 1890-1940 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

24. Lois Banner, American Beauty (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983), p 16.

25. Fred E. Basten, Max Factor: The Man who Changed the Faces of the World (New York: Arcade, 2008), p. 46.

26. Peiss, Hope, p. 126.

27. Basten, Max Factor, pp. 59-61.

About the author

Sean Silverthorne is editor-in-chief of HBS Working Knowledge.