UK publisher Scarlet Imprint are celebrating their 13th Anniversary today! Co-founder Alkistis Dimech published this essay commemorating the date:
“Today we celebrate 13 years of Scarlet Imprint. We began with a vision to publish books that create change, books that inspire, challenge and transform us and the community of magicians around us. From the beginning we were inspired by those cherished books that had initiated or marked us irrevocably. When we discover such books there is no going back. For me it was Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. Miller led to Anaïs Nin, Nin to Artaud, Jarry, and countless other writers and artists whose words and works continue to reverberate through my life and works. We all face the unknown, and with all our energy cast our imaginations over that dark expanse. To bring forth, to create.
“And it is here, in the profound connection between the desire to know and the desire to live and to affirm life as a passionate becoming, that the book is found. No matter how beautifully or humbly attired, the book comes to us as a kind of angel, a nexus between the realm of ideas and the realm of the senses.
“When, in 2007, I first made a book, I had only Peter’s text and this desire. If I had known how little I knew then, perhaps none of this would have happened. But I threw myself passionately into a love affair. Hours – all hours – days, months, years: I continue to learn my craft. You come to realise how much you owe to those who have gone before, how little can be done alone – through books we are in conversation with the past, with our peers and with those to come.
“In publishing we work with the limitations and the liberties afforded us by modern printing methods. Other freedoms appear when one is constrained, more ingenuity is needed, different ways of thinking, or of seeing. I found that emotion is the key to finding the form a manuscript will take. Every element of the design is engaged, from materials, margins, typefaces and the raw text I endeavour to summon the life and spirit of a book. You know when you have found it – it is there, it no longer needs you, it can enter the world and do what it will. And these books all have flaws, as humans do, and it doesn’t stop them. I have come to accept these flaws as imps that slip through in the creation of a book. I wonder whether perfection is the enemy of desire.
“From the first we were driven by a libido sciendi, or desire to know. To light fires and create heresies in the utterly banal and destructive monoculture we are in. To resurrect the beauty that has been forgotten, or banished.
“The artist Ayis Lertas has interpreted this incandescent spirit for us; an imp sprung from a pyre of ancient gnosis and burning with a passionate and fearless love for knowledge. Or a creature that a monk doodled in the margins of a manuscript while contemplating the temptations of forbidden books…
“We will be slipping these bookplates into all hardback books ordered from us, until they are no more.”
In Nomine Babalon