Thursday, April 05, 2012

The New Adventure: Bakunin in English

I'm just back from the 2012 Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair, which was, as usual, a lot of fun—and more than a bit exhausting. I took a much narrower slice of the Corvus Editions catalog than usual, focusing on translations and the Eliphalet Kimball collection, and was pleased with the response. Translation was also the focus of a lot of the networking this year, and several great projects should be rolling out over the next couple of months. 

The big project that is mine to announce is the Collected Works of Bakunin in English, which PM Press is finally ready to pursue, with yours truly in the position of organizing editor. It's a rather daunting prospect, given the complexities of dealing with Bakunin's works, but also a very exciting one. Collectivist anarchism is in some ways the anarchist school most in need of translation into English at the moment. We've made a lot of progress on mutualist material, and on the other very early strands of anarchistic thought—and that work continues—but Bakunin's work remains largely unknown in English, or known only in scattered fragments. And other collectivists—James Guillaume, Adhemar Schwitzguébel, César De Paepe, etc.—are even less well-known. We're going to start to remedy that.

As the plan for the Collected Works comes together,  I'll be looking for translators and readers, to assist the usual suspects in making sure this is a resource of lasting value. And I will probably also be looking for some crowd-funding assistance to help compensate translators.

Meanwhile, I'll be continuing my work on various translations, splitting my time in the immediate future primarily between Ernest Coeurderoy, Charles Fourier, Emile Armand and a very leisurely progress through Proudhon's The Creation of Order in Humanity. But since translation has essentially become the focus of my scholarly work for the time being, there will also be lots of little bits and pieces forthcoming, starting with Emile Digeon's Rights and Duties in Rational Anarchy, which I managed to get into rough form on the trip.

2 comments:

Mark Leier said...

Great news about the Bakunin project!

Shawn P. Wilbur said...

Thanks, Mark!