It was on October 23, 1983 when Josep Cots, M. Àngels Agulló and Jordi Rojas - later the actress Carme Sansa and later Jordi Muñoz - founded the company that would become public the following year Editions from 1984, today still under the tutelage of Cots, the editorial direction of Laura Baena and the participation of Núria Miralpeix. Now, with the horizon of celebrating the 40th anniversary, they publish "the big thunder" of the celebration, the edition of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy translated by Judit Díaz Barneda. It is the first time that this novel has been published in Catalan directly from the Russian and in a "canonical edition", as Cots explains, referring to the version that Carles Capdevila had published in 1928, almost a century ago.
According to the editor, it is "a completely risky bet, like flying with a paraglider but without the sail", since they are two volumes of 956 pages each, for which they had to count on a grant from the Perevoda Institute - dependent on Russia – that given the consequences of the war in Ukraine, it will not be possible to collect, or come to know when. It is a long-term project that began more than ten years ago, with a translator aware that the work should be done little by little and with good handwriting. For her, "it's a book that should be in every home, it's essential", she says, and assures that, among other things, without this novel "you wouldn't understand the current colebrotros or much of the narrative that is done today", both literary and cinematographic or televised, since it builds "the foundations of a type of language" that is almost standard today. "It's like a marathon, you have to read it calmly and enjoy it a lot", he adds.
From the publisher, they say that they cannot offer much precision about what they will do next year, because some details are still missing to close, but one of the things they want to do is also commemorate the 15 years since the publication of Olor de cologne, Sílvia Alcántara's novel that was a publishing surprise and that she is completing a work that in some way "closes that narrative". Nor will they forget the 15 years of Una máquina d'espavilar occells de nite, by Jordi Lara, another of the Catalan authors who, like Raül Garrigasait, have promoted during these years. Among the novelties they will present soon – they intend to celebrate the anniversary well into the autumn of 2024 – there will be new translations by George Saunders, Laurent Binet, Tessa Hadley, Andrei Platonov or Paul Harding, as well as an unpublished volume in Catalan of William Faulkner, translated by Esther Tallada, and in international poetry they will publish books by none other than Ezra Pound and Arthur Rimbaud.
In addition, they have announced that in May they will publish the complete poetry of Ventura Ametller, a not very well-known writer, a contemporary of Josep Pla and Salvador Espriu. The publishing house has been publishing the winners of the prize that bears his name for a few years, the last of which was Pol Vouillamoz with Proses del caient.
According to Cots, during these 40 years the publisher "has made an important cultural contribution, while also being a stimulus for other small publishers who at the time said to themselves: 'If they have done it, why not, we ?'”. According to the editor, the Catalan edition is currently in a good moment, because "language standardization has blossomed this decade and that's why there are more readers", that is to say, that "young people may speak less Catalan but they know how to read in this language and they do it", he says. According to his opinion, fact and fact, "the strength of the Catalan edition is in its weakness".