ATLAS PRESS is a small publishing house devoted to publishing an “anti-tradition” of avant-garde literary and artistic dissent which we find rather more entertaining than the formalistic experimentation that has often passed as modernism in the English-speaking canon.
Our previous website attempted a description:
The writing we publish is irrefutably modern — albeit from the last two hundred years — but never solemn; experimental, but not mere exercises in formalism; humorous but not (often) frivolous; it is extremist, demanding, delightful and sometimes appalling… One of our favourite titles, Aurora by Michel Leiris, has a preface whose intransigence we find attractive and which could easily encapsulate an important aspect of our agenda:
What I like about this work is the appetite it expresses for an unattainable purity, the faith it places in the untamed imagination, the horror it manifests with regard to any kind of fixity… in fact, the way almost every page of it refuses to accept that human condition against which some will never cease to rebel, however reasonably society may one day be ordered.
Yet some of our books are funny, even whimsical.
We think of this “anti-tradition” as an aspect of the so-called avant-gardes that tended not to foreground a formalist approach in their attempt “to be absolutely modern”, to use Rimbaud’s phrase. The first avant-garde in this sense emerged with the early German Romantics at the turn of the 18th century, and its essential concerns defined the European Romantic movement that followed. After this period, however, they are effectively absent from English writing and culture. In mainland Europe though, they became a template for a continuous re-invention by various avant-garde groupings throughout the 19th and 20th centuries — the French Romantics (Baudelaire et al.), Symbolism, the Decadents, Dadaism, Surrealism and later manifestations such as the Vienna Group, and even those writers associated with the Collège de ’Pataphysique and the Oulipo (the hero of George Perec’s “Winter Journey” for example). It is this anti-tradition that interests us, and the list of categories to be found at OUR BOOKS indicates the broad associations of the authors we have published.
HISTORY. Who are we?
NAVIGATION. This site contains two listings. OUR BOOKS consists of thumbnails of most of our books, the most recent first, which link to a page describing each title. The CHRONOLOGICAL LIST presents all of our titles in chronological order and likewise links to the same pages. OUR BOOKS can be searched by categories which roughly correspond to the literary associations or genre each title belongs to. We hope these categories will help make works more accessible by suggesting associations between apparently different authors. Making supposedly “difficult” works accessible is something which has always been important to us, and since many of them fit more than one of these categories, they may be listed in several of them. There is also a category for the definitively uncategorisable: THE GREAT HETEROCLITES. For a description of these categories click here. As noted, the site is not yet complete, and further titles and categories will be added.
REVIEWS. We are gradually adding reviews to the site. Note that these reviews are all complete and unedited.
SUBMISSIONS. We do not publish books by authors as yet unknown. We are a small, specialised press and publishing new writers is a speciality in itself, it requires things like a “publicity department” that we do not have. We do not publish poetry (except in rare circumstances where it fits our interests). We have, however, often published a translation of someone whose work we had not considered before because a translator has suggested it to us, so feel free to contact us if you think you have something that might fit our list, no matter in what language.
WHERE TO BUY OUR BOOKS. All of our titles are available from this website, and many, somewhat reluctantly, from the principal on-line booksellers, (at Amazon.co.uk, rather than .com). Our trade titles are distributed in the UK (& Europe) and the USA and so will be found in the better bookshops, particularly the independents, and in museum and gallery bookstores. In particular, the complete range of our books is available at: BOOKARTBOOKSHOP, 17 Pitfield st, London N1 6HB. The nearest underground station is Old Street and opening hours are Wednesday to Saturday 12 a.m. – 6 p.m. (closed in August), but it is worth checking their website if travelling any distance.
PERSONAL CONTACT. Appointments can be arranged at Bookartbookshop via the email address below.
PAYMENT. We accept orders online using Paypal and most of the major credit or debit cards in pounds sterling (£), Euros (€) or US dollars ($).
SHIPPING. Please read our shipping terms before ordering. This page describes how we mail and when and how to contact us if there are problems, and also how to contact us for bespoke mailings…
Our terms & conditions can be found here.
DISTRIBUTION IN THE UK by Turnaround: www.turnaround-uk.com. Tel: 020 8829 3000.
DISTRIBUTION IN THE USA by Artbook/D.A.P.: www.artbook.com. Tel: (212) 627-1999.
COMPANY INFORMATION. Registered name: Atlas Press Limited. Place of registration: England. Registered Office and mail address: 17 Pitfield st., London N1 6HB.
CONTACT for THE LONDON INSTITUTE OF ’PATAPHYSICS (Lucky Roberto): firstname.lastname@example.org
PHONE CONTACT (urgent enquiries only!): +44 7770784185