Calder Publishing  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Calder Publications is a publisher of books. Since 1949, it has published many books on all the arts, particularly musical subjects like opera and painting, the theatre and critical and philosophical theory. Calder's authors have achieved nineteen Nobel Literature Prizes and three for Peace.



John Calder started his publishing house in 1949 when manuscripts were plentiful and many books that were in demand were out of print - the immediate post-war-years paper was scarce and severely rationed.

During the 1950s he built up a list of translated classics which included the works of Chekhov, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Goethe and Zola among others. Calder then began to publish American titles. As a result of Senator Joe McCarthy "witch-hunt" he was able to acquire significant American authors as well as books on issues of civil liberty which mainstream publishers in New York were afraid to keep on their lists. This led to the development of close ties with those smaller American firms who resisted the McCarthyite pressure.

By the late 1950s, Calder was publishing a group of new writers who would change the face of twentieth-century literature. One of these was Samuel Beckett; of whom Calder published all his novels, poetry, criticism, and some of his plays. Others became synonymous with the school of the "nouveau roman" or "new novel". These included Alain Robbe-Grillet, Marguerite Duras, Claude Simon, Nathalie Sarraute and Robert Pinget. Other European novelists, playwrights and poets included Heinrich Böll, Dino Buzzati, Eugène Ionesco, Fernando Arrabal, René de Obaldia, Peter Weiss and Ivo Andric. Calder was soon launching new experimental British writers such as Ann Quin, Alan Burns, Eva Tucker and R.C. Kennedy - who, influenced by their European counterparts, became part of the avant-garde of the early 1960s.

From his experience of authors' tours, John Calder saw that readers much enjoyed hearing authors air their ideas in public - often in heated debate. He persuaded the Edinburgh Festival to stage large literary conferences - the first of their kind - which in 1962 and 1963 were immensely successful. They attracted many of the world's leading writers as well as others whose names were not yet familiar to the public.


Following their visit to Scotland, Calder began to publish the previously banned work of two such writers: Henry Miller and William Burroughs. Controversy also surrounded the publication of Alexander Trocchi's Cain's Book, which was a success in spite of a minor obscenity trial in Sheffield. Hubert Selby's "Last Exit to Brooklyn", although well reviewed, had a more serious case brought against it; first in a private prosecution by a Tory MP; then at the Old Bailey. John Mortimer led a successful appeal and the company was vindicated after losing in both lower courts.


Calder's Pursuit, gives not only a record of over half a century of publishing and literary activity but also a portrait of a life that entered politics and influenced all areas of the arts.


In 1963 the company changed its name to Calder and Boyars to accommodate a new partner, but went back to its original name when the partnership was dissolved in 1975. In 2007, Calder Publications was acquired by Oneworld Classics, a joint venture between Alma Books and Oneworld Publications.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Calder Publishing" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Partial bibliography from the Calders and Boyars period

Fernando Arrabal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Calder and Boyars, London, 1966; El entierro de la sardina, Barcelona, Destino, ... Jean Benedetti, London, Calder and Boyars, 1970); (The Architect and the ...

Robert Creeley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Perishable Press, 1967); Robert Creeley Reads (London: Turret Books/Calder and Boyars, 1967); A Sight (London, Cape Goliard, 1967); Divisions and Other ...

If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home - Wikipedia ... It was published in 1973 in the United States by Delacorte and in Great Britain by Calder and Boyars Ltd. It has subsequently been reprinted by multiple ...

Three Dialogues - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Beckett, Samuel, "Proust and Three Dialogues with Georges Duthuit", page 103, Calder and Boyars, 1965; ^ ibid., page 123; ^ ibid., page 103; ^ ibid., ...

Antonin Artaud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia London: Calder and Boyars, 1971. Artaud, Antonin. Selected Writings. Trans. Helen Weaver. Ed. and Intro. Susan Sontag. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ...

Edgard Varèse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Music of Edgard Varèse. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300035152. Ouellette, Fernand (1973). Edgard Varèse. Calder and Boyars. ISBN 074502081. ...

Frida Leider - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Frida Leider's autobiography, Playing My Part, was translated into English by Charles Osborne, and published in London by Calder and Boyars in 1966. ...

Marcel Mihalovici - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia His memories of their friendship are recounted in the collected work Beckett at Sixty A Festschrift by John Calder, Calder and Boyars (1967). ...

Footfalls - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The phrase ‘never been properly born’ is buried in the ‘Addenda’ of Watt (Calder and Boyars, 248); and the idea is surely present in the climactic image of ...

Anthony Burgess - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ... Introduction to Hubert Selby Jr's Last Exit to Brooklyn (Calder and Boyars 1968); Introduction to Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan (Penguin 1968) ...

Samuel Charters - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia London: Calder & Boyars. 1977 - Sweet As the Showers of Rain. New York: Oak Publications; 1981 - The Roots of the Blues: An African Search. ...

Frederick Busch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "I Wanted A Year Without Fall - a novel", Calder & Boyars London 1971; "Hawkes: a guide to his fictions", Syracuse University 1973; "Manual Labor - a novel" ...

Georges Bataille - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Literature and Evil, Alastair Hamilton, 1973, Calder & Boyars Ltd. Visions of Excess: Selected Writings 1927-1939, Allan Stoekl, Carl R. Lovitt, ...

D minor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Hans-Hubert Schönzeler, Bruckner London: Calder & Boyars Ltd (1978): 106 - 107. "According to Göllerich, he [Bruckner] made the remark: "It really annoys me ...

Elizabeth Báthory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia New York: McGraw Hill. ISBN 0070456712. Penrose, Valentine (1970). The Bloody Countess. Calder & Boyars. ISBN 0714501344. Thorne, Tony (1997). ...

Christian Enzensberger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ... the publication of Größerer Versuch über den Schmutz (translated by Sandra Morris and published by Calder & Boyars in 1972 as Smut: An Anatomy of Dirt). ...

Romance of Lust - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia London: Calder & Boyars, (1970-1982). Marcus, Steven. The Other Victorians: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England. ...

Charles Ives - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ... John Kirkpatrick (editor), Charles E. Ives: Memos (Calder & Boyars, 1973) — a collection of Ives's writings; James B. Sinclair, A Descriptive Catalogue ...

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Calder Publishing" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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