Books Entrepreneurs Magazine

Cal·lígraf, a feat of publishing

Jaume Torrent explica como publicar tesoros literarios en vez de gastarse los ahorros en el bingo


I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess as to the future of books, but I know that it forms part of our most essential heritage. Becoming a publisher is a dream for many of us; after all, books form part of our history, from Quijote to The Name of the Rose or Confessions, to name but three renowned titles (and the list go on in aeternum).

Jaume Torrent and Mercè Riba, a lawyer and sculptor from Llampaies, fulfilled their dream in 2012: to invest part of their time in publishing books at Calígraf, set up together with Carles McCragh and Ramon Moreno with the aim of publishing their favourite new writers, as well as out-of-print or little-known translations. In addition to this, they have also started a weekly magazine, “Encesa literària”, the first issue of which is dedicated to the poet Juan Luis Panero, who died in Torroella de Montgrí in 2013, and which features an epistle by Joan Vinyoli .

In fewer than four years, Calígraf has gained a position in the world of independent publishing, both for its catalogue and editorial work. The first two titles published were “a clear declaration of intent” as Jaume Torrent tells me: “The Overcoat”, by Nikolai Gogol, a tale written in 1842 and which strongly influenced authors like Dostoevsky, Kafka and Nabokov; and Kafka’s first text, “A Fratricide”, translated into Catalan by Carles Riba whilst studying in Munich and published in 1924 in the magazine “La má trencada”. One of the books that Calígraf sells most is “Resum de la literatura grega” by Carles Riba.

Together with the aforementioned three books, caligrafwe recommend the personal chronicle of Josep Maria Francino, “Beatlemania”, which looks at how the Liverpool quartet has influenced our lives and discoveries like “Apunts inútils”, by the Triestini poet Virgilio Giotti, or “The Bronze Horseman” by Pushkin.

Text: Josep Maria Sòria