Corvus Editions has always been the most tangible portion of my ongoing research projects. That research goes on pretty much every day, and some of its results end up in the Libertarian Labyrinth archives, or on the various attached blogs, and some smaller portion actually gets gathered up to be published. That means that the publication schedule has always been subject to the vagueries of the research process. There are pamphlets that come together within a few hours of a new line of research opening and there are pamphlets that have been sitting, nearly finished, for years, while I search for the bits of information that would allow me to finish them. As a result, there are always many more possible publications than there are opportunities to bring them to print, and the choices about what gets completed have often been made more by circumstances than by any very deliberate planning on my part. What makes me excited about 2015’s emerging catalog is that, in part despite and in part because of my multiple commitments beyond Corvus, I feel like I am in a place where deliberate development can play its proper role in the development of the new catalog. What that means in practice is that, while I still may not be able to set a calendar of firm release dates for individual titles in advance, I can come a lot closer to that than ever before. So, here is a look at what folks can expect from Corvus between now and the end of March:
- Proudhoniana and The Bulletin of the Bakunin Library: The next Proudhoniana will focus on the question of certainty and its criterion, combining translations from Proudhon’s works with some commentary from me. That particular question was, according to Proudhon’s own testimony, one that lurked behind his other analyses. The second Bakunin Library zine will feature another assortment of texts, together with the results of some of my research for the Bakunin Reader introduction.
- Birds, Bees, Anarchists and Other Wild Creatures: The first Corvus hardcover was a small and very limited collection of J. Wm. Lloyd’s nature writing, The Whisper-Song of the Catbird. I think it is probably past time to make that material available to a larger audience, and I’m doing so in an anthology of anarchist writings on nature, featuring more of Lloyd’s observation, bee-keeping articles from Steven T. Byington, etc.
- La Frondeuse: I have several volumes nearly complete, featuring works by Sara Bard Field, Adeline Champney and Estella Bachman, with another anthology volume also in the works. Expect a fairly steady stream of women’s writing throughout 2015.
- Two-Gun Mutualism: Expect a collection of blog posts and new writings, “In Search of the Justicier,” early in the second quarter, if not late in the first. One significant essay remains to be completed, and will determine the schedule. The thread started with “Two-Gun Mutualism and the Golden Rule” arguably contains some of my key thoughts about anarchism, violence and gender. The collection should provide some necessary clarification.
- Single author anthologies: I expect to publish a collection by individualist Frank Q. Stuart, another of works by Arturo Giavannitti, and a collection of writings on anarchist practice by Max Nettlau (as well as the collections in the La Frondeuse series.)
- Anarchist Inventions: Anarchists were often not only inventors of social theories or system, but also of various sorts of gadgets and machines. I have a first collection patent documents and descriptions of inventions assembled, featuring, among other things, J. K. Ingalls’ lighted manhole covers, Alfred B. Westrup’s mop-bucket and Lysander Spooner’s furniture cover. And there is, I think, enough material to make a second volume almost inevitable.
- Material from Tucker and Liberty: Expect a collection of C. E. S. Wood’s fiction, published under a pseudonym in Liberty, as well as a collection of writings on aspects of the book and library trade by Tucker and Francis Tandy.
- Social Science and material from Fourier: I’m assembling a regular anthology of materials from the “utopian” socialists and some of the more eccentric anarchists, Social Science, which will start by featuring Stephen Pearl Andrews, Lewis Masquerier, the communist Paul Brown and socialist inventor Jacob Etzler. I also intend to reboot a Proudhoniana-style collection of material by and about Charles Fourier, which previous appeared at one bookfair in Seattle and then disappeared from the catalog.
There will be more, and perhaps a few things will be different, but this preview should give a fairly good idea of where my focus is at the moment. By the end of the first quarter I expect to also be incorporating a few non-anarchist titles into the catalog. In 2014, those titles included The Proclamations of Emperor Norton, a collection of Symmes’ original hollow earth writings, and the complete press coverage of a 19th century airship/UFO scare in the San Francisco area.
The most important part of this update is the news that Corvus Editions will resume a regular publishing schedule this year—or, more precisely, adopt a regular publishing schedule for the first time in years—and is offering subscriptions and sustainer options. Check out the SUBSCRIPTIONS tab for basic details and payment options.
2014 was a rebuilding year for most of my projects, and Corvus activity was largely limited to some experiments with packaging and an extension of the catalog to include some non-political material. In 2015, I expect to be primarily focused on a number of other publishing projects. (For a general overview, check my year-end review Contr’un blog.) But I’ve also had a lot of opportunity to think about the various stages of the project and try to work out a fairly modest plan for the following year.
My focus will be a core catalog of five pamphlets per month, carefully selected from the material that I’m working with, which I think will be of interest to just about anyone who is likely to be interested in Corvus Editions. The goal is to make those monthly bundles chapters in a general education on anarchism, with occasional diversions into the realms of science and science fiction. I’ve set myself five basic goals for each month of publications:
- To introduce at least one anarchist figure in a representative anthology.
- To publish material which demonstrates the interests of anarchism beyond political philosophy and economics.
- To publish some fiction and/or poetry.
- To publish works by radical women.
- To publish material relating to my “core” projects (Proudhon, Bakunin, pre-1880 anarchism) or featuring my own writing.
Some pamphlets may cover more than one of these self-imposed requirements, but hitting all of them in some way each month seems essential to introducing readers to anarchism as I have learned to understand it.
There will be some pamphlets not included in the basic bundle, which will be sent to subscribers at the $35/month level and will be available individually. Subscriber bundles will also sometimes include miscellaneous shorter translations or articles of interest.
I’ll post details about the January releases in a couple of days.
It’s been a long time since I’ve updated things here, as the Corvus Editions project, along with the rest of my various projects, has been going through a long rethinking. Slowly, but surely, things are starting to come together, as I learn the lessons of the several previous phases here. I had a very short book fair season this year, with just two stops over three months, but some of the new titles are, I think, quite good.
- The Bulletin of the Bakunin Library is one of two new periodical titles, established to support major translation efforts. With the Bakunin Library project now well under way and the initial Bakunin Reader (forthcoming from PM Press) nearing completion, it made sense to put together something that can serve as a taste of what is coming, combining working drafts of some material that will appear in the printed volumes with facsimile pages, miscellaneous texts and other interesting odds and ends.
- Proudhoniana is the sister-title, sort of a bulletin for a translation project that I would love to begin once the Bakunin Library project is farther along. The plan is to publish a lot of the bibliographical work necessary to adequately plan a serious Proudhon Library, along with new translations and interpretive material. The first issue, “Feuding Brothers and Sisters,” is a bit of a hodgepodge, but the odd assortment is organized around a theme of conflict among allies, an issue never far from the minds of those of us involved in the reevaluation of Proudhon.
- The Life and Teachings of St.-Ravachol, the Violent Christ of Anarchy is a collection of writings by Ravachol, mostly from his time in prison, during his trials and prior to his execution. It is part of a larger work-in-progress engaging with the Ravachol myth and the realities of his life.
- The Contr’un zine has been an occasional compilation of material from various of my blogs and social media conversations since the beginning of the “Year without Mutualism” and the retiring of The Mutualist, which had fulfilled a similar role. A version of The Mutualist is due for relaunch soon, but Contr’un will continue to document the general trajectory of my online writing. The issues so far are: 1) Toward an Ungovernable Anarchism; 2) Self-Government and the Citizen-State, which includes the English version of a book chapter on Proudhon’s theory of the State that I published in a German-language collection; 3) The Anarchic Encounter, exploring Proudhon’s conception of the anarchist “social system;” 4) There & Back Again, which covers, among other things, some of my explorations of the recently digitized Proudhon manuscripts; and Special A) Mutualism: AMA, which contains my responses from a Reddit “ask me anything” session on “neo-Proudhonian mutualism.”
- Individualism and Socialism, and other writings on the Doctrine of Humanity combines Pierre Leroux’s important essay, in which he coined the terms individualisme and socialisme in French, with other essays exploring Leroux’s philosophy, which influenced Proudhon, Joseph Déjacque, William B. Greene and other anarchists.
- The Revolution and Other Writings includes “The Revolution,” “The Electoral Law,” and “To the Point! To Action!!” by Anselme Bellegarrige, and “Anselme Bellegarrigue,” by Joseph Noulens.
For this year’s Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair, I decided to simplify my selection, and my tabling patter, and focus on the translation side of my project. A number of the pamphlets linked below are also first installments of larger projects. Anyway, here’s what you missed if you didn’t make the show:
- Working Translations #1
“An unsystematic selection of radical writings, translated from the French.”In hardcover, Working Translations will be a series of 200+ page omnibus volumes, collecting all of my translation work as it appears. For pamphlet release, I’ll be issuing many of the longer texts separately, and assembling these “unsystematic” anthologies to collect shorter works.This issue contains works by Paul Adam, Etienne Cabet, Alfred Darimon, Peter Kropotkin, Multatuli, Claude Pelletier, Han Ryner and Voline, as well as the dramatic parody, “The Feuding Brothers.”
- Black and Red Feminism #2
Another fairly “unsystematic” assortment, including work by and about Flora Tristan, Eugénie Niboyet, Paule Mink, André Léo, etc. At this stage of the Black and Red Feminism project, my goal is to present representative material, which gives a sense of the richness of the literature, and it is indeed rich.
- In Which the Phantoms Reappear
“Two Early Anarchists, Exiles among the Exiles.” This collection brings together various texts by and about Joseph Déjacque and Ernest Coeurderoy, including Coeurderoy’s The Barrier of the Combat. It’s intended as a “teaser” for the Déjacque and Coeurderoy collections that are in the works, but also as introduction to the exile communities in which the earliest attempts to create the International took place.
- Mother Earth—An Author Index
My goal is to develop this author index into a more elaborate research guide to Mother Earth, but this first step in the process should be a real help to anyone researching the magazine.
- Emile Armand, A Little Manual of the Individualist Anarchist and other writings
There are good things in the works, as far as translation of Armand’s work is concerned, so my hope is that this collection is rapidly superseded by more extensive ones. In the meantime, here is my revised translation of the “Little Manual,” together with two essays on sexual liberty.
- Anselme Bellegarrigue, To the Point! To Action!!
Bellegarrigue attacks the renewal of governmentalism in the wake of the February 1848 revolution.
- Anselme Bellegarrigue, The Revolution
The second issue of Anarchy: A Journal of Order focused on the nature of “the Revolution,” and elaborated Bellegarrigue’s rather no-nonsense, laissez faire approach to anarchism.
- Joseph Déjacque, Down with the Bosses! and other writings
Work on the promised Dejacque anthology progresses gradually, as I untangle the critical borrowings from Charles Fourier, Pierre Leroux, Proudhon, etc., and work to track down some key texts. As a preview of things to come, here is a collection of works from Le Libertaire, including a revised translation of Down with the Bosses!, and essays on exchange and John Brown’s raid
- Jenny d’Hericourt, Proudhon
Jenny d’Hericourt’s two-volume Woman Emancipated was partially translated in the late 19th century, including her response to Proudhon, which collects the majority of their public correspondence. Work is underway to revise and complete that translation, but in the meantime you can get a taste of d’Hericourt’s sharp wit and relentless style, as she makes pretty short work of Proudhon’s anti-feminism.
- Emile Digeon, The Voice of One Hoodwinked
Digeon is not a famous name among anarchists, and his “rational anarchy” has merited even a footnote in an anarchist history in quite a long time. But in his day he was well-known as one of the prime movers in the Commune of Narbonne, which rose up in support of the Paris Commune, and his attempts to craft a practical theory of anarchism commanded at least respectful comments from a range of commentators. This first selection of Digeon’s work is focused on the nuts and bolts of governmentalism, and serves as a background for works such as “Rights and Duties in Rational Anarchy” (coming soon in translation.)
- Eliphalet Kimball, Thoughts on Natural Principles
A lost anarchist gem from mid-19th-century America. Kimball’s collected writings explain everything from how to bake a healthy loaf of bread to how to have a free society, and the explanations hang together in a fascinating way, all based on a small number of anarchy-friendly “natural principles.” There are few works in the anarchist literature more likely to make you laugh out loud, but there’s also plenty here to encourage serious reflection.
- Dyer Lum, Buddhism Notwithstanding, and other writings from “The Index”
Lum was nothing if not eclectic in his interests, and this collection assembles most of his writings within the “free religionist” milieu (which is also where Benjamin R. Tucker published some of his first essays and translations.)
- P.-J. Proudhon, The Celebration of Sunday
Proudhon’s first major work provides important insights into all that would follow. A couple of offhand, but extremely suggestive comments about property and theft made the work of translation all worthwhile, and I think the text will also reward any readers who want to understand Proudhon’s work in its totality.
- P.-J. Proudhon, Explanations Presented to the Public Minister on the Right of Property
Every one of Proudhon’s writings on property adds something important to our understanding of the question, and this early clarification of his position contains a number of suggestive, and sometimes startling, twists on the nature of Proudhon’s project and the meaning of “property is theft.”
- P.-J. Proudhon, The Philosophy of Progress
I’ve come to think of The Philosophy of Progress as the key to understanding Proudhon’s other works. It bears reading and rereading, if we want to get a handle on the basic logic of Proudhon’s analysis.
- P.-J. Proudhon, Toast to the Revolution
My first Proudhon translation remains one of my favorite of his short works. And this examination of the nature of “the Revolution” makes a nice compare-and-contrast pair the Bellegarrigue’s essay linked above.
I should have a comparable selection of new material ready for the summer fairs, with even more translations and some new collections of material pulled together from the old Corvus Editions catalog.
Coming Soon! A new Corvus Editions website!