During my placement with Vagabond Voices, I had the fortune of attending two of their launches: Allan Massie’s Surviving (to conclude a memorable first day) and The Lost Art of Losing by Gregory Norminton, the second book of aphorisms to be published by Vagabond Voices.
After the latter event, I approached Gregory to ask about the unusual form of the aphorism, and why we haven’t seen more of them in print, to which he replied, “I suppose the perception that no one would purchase a book of aphorisms is the main reason we don’t see more in print.” Among those who had arrived to pick up a copy of Gregory’s “little book” were Alasdair Gray, Bernard MacLaverty, and another of Vagabond Voices’ writers, Chris Dolan.
The seemingly irresistible little volume is perfectly proportioned to be picked up and dipped into for moments at a time; as Gregory summarized, with his characteristic concision and style, “After all, when should the book be read if not in snatches: on the Tube between proximate stations, or for a moment while brushing your teeth?”
When asked about his experiences with Vagabond Voices, Gregory lauded the creative support and personal touch which developed through working with a small publisher, and described the benefits of the intimate author-publisher collaboration which could be achieved in this setting: “Working with a small publisher, specifically Vagabond Voices, I find an attention to detail, a care and a commitment to each book, which can be missing from bigger publishing houses. The former has to nurture, within its limited means, every hatchling” – a statement with which, as an intern of Vagabond Voices, I can readily identify.
Men assert, women know.
Toleration should not be confused with respect. Of course you are entitled to your opinion – as am I to treat it with contempt.
Fearless” is an epithet which bigots apply to themselves. An open mind grapples constantly with dread.