Report from Jeffry Larson, 28 October 2008
The Salon de la Revue, held annually the second weekend of October, is sponsored by the trade association Ent’revues, which also publishes la Revue des Revues. The Salon involves hundreds of reviews at stands in the Espace des Blancs-Manteaux, a medium-sized hangar in the middle of the Marais, that area between the Hôtel de Ville and Place de la Bastille. This year the 18th Salon took place October 10-12.
Most of the titles at the Salon are small literary or cultural reviews of widely varying scope and merit; there are a scattering of scholarly journals, represented at the stands of a few university presses, such as Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, Presses Universitaires de Vincennes, ENS Editions, and l’Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient. A library selector should find many new or unfamiliar titles in the stands, directly visible and palpable. The building is equipped with wifi, so if one has a laptop, one can check one’s home institution’s holdings. Unfortunately, none of the exhibitors accepted credit card payment.
On the floor were stands of Ent’revues’ Italian and Spanish counterparts, the Coordinamento Riviste Italiane di Cultura and the Asociación de Editores de Revistas Culturales de España with many reviews from their countries on display. But tellingly, neither Italy nor Spain boasts a separate fair for reviews.
Also present were the online aggregators Persée and revues.org (both supported by the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la recherche, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de l'information scientifique, Bureau de la diffusion des savoirs et de la formation professionnelle), as well as the hybrid Franco-Belgian, public/private CAIRN.
At the entrance one could purchase the Catalogue des exposants*. It lacked a few reviews found at the stands that had been brought in at the last minute. Also, some of the titles listed in the Catalogue proved to be part of the contents offered by the aggregators present and thus had no physical copy on display. Ent’revues also has at its web site an online Annuaire des revues that boasts 2481 Francophone cultural titles.
There were panel discussions on relevant questions in a small conference room in l'Espace des Blancs-Manteaux. From what I took in, the discussions were animated and ultimately inconclusive: the crisis continues.
Also seen at the Salon was Roger Gaillard, who was interviewing editors/publishers at their booths, updating Arlit: Annuaire des revues littéraires et compagnie for a forthcoming edition (a previous one was noted in the WESS Newsletter, Spring 2001).
The Salon also offered inexpensive snacks and beverages. But outside in the narrow streets of the Marais were many interesting cafés and other eateries; and around the corner was the heart of the Jewish neighborhood, rue des Rosiers, with many kosher places for eat-in or take-out, some even remaining open on shabbad. On Sundays in non-winter months, the heart of the Marais is closed to vehicular traffic, and the narrow streets around l'Espace des Blancs-Manteaux were full of window-shoppers (the boutiques--ranging from funky to ultra-sophis'--were open), couples tous-azimuths, and simple tourists.
Overall, the Salon de la Revue was a rewarding experience. There were few reviews that did not merit being collected. The organizers are hospitable, informal, and interested in suggestions for improvements.
I would like to thank Mme Fargier-Flory and her colleagues at the Persée booth and Jean Touzot Librairie Internationale for their logistical support in covering and harvesting the riches on offer.
-Jeffry Larson Librarian for Western European Romance Languages & Literatures, Linguistics, Classics, Comparative Literature, & (interim) Germanic Languages & Literatures, Yale University Library
- The following annotation will be submitted to the WESS Newsletter:
Catalogue des exposants/ 18e Salon de la Revue, Paris, les 10, 11 et 12 octobre 2008. Paris: Ent’revues, . 165 p.; 21 cm. ISBN 9782907702478: 5 €. A catalog of (most of) the cultural reviews participating in the 2008 Salon de la Revue sponsored by Ent’revues. Arranged by title, the typical entries—four or five to a page—show the revues’ publisher, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail, URL, periodicity, price, ISSN, and distributor. Copies are available while supplies last at the publisher’s, 174 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris. [JKL]