Page 42 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 41

Basic HTML Version

36
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
challenged in the last twenty years. When A lgerian Jews who held
French citizenship and French speaking Jews from Morocco and
Tun isia arrived in France in the sixties, no language barriers
existed for them. Since 1962, Jews from N o rth Africa have
rega rd ed themselves as full members o f French society w ithout
foregoing the ir Jewish identity. Cu ltura l and economic Jewish
elites have developed and various individuals have successfully
reached high municipal and national political positions. This
infusion o f new blood has revitalized all aspects o f the French
Jewish spectrum.
A lthough precise data are not readily available, the re is no
doub t tha t Jewish publishing has also revived in the last twenty
years. Statistics are ga thered yearly by the publishers’
corporation , the
Syndicat national de Vedition,
which makes avail­
able figures on titles published and copies produced . However,
the na tu re o f the statistics is too vague. Classifications are very
b road , with textbooks, technical scientific writings, and the
humanities being the only groups recorded .
In overall numbers, French publishing is growing. In 1960,
11,200 titles were o ffered to the public; in 1980, 26,700 titles. T he
num be r o f copies sold has undergone the same expansion,
reaching almost fou r h und red million in 1980. In two decades,
the read ing public increased by one quar te r .
As a general rule, no publishing house will make public figures
about its best sellers, for fear tha t this may diminish its competi­
tive ability. Several publishers even consider the ir data concern­
ing the number o f new titles marke ted yearly to be confidential
information. Secrecy rules.
JEWISH OUTPUT
In forma tion is no more available about the Jewish m arke t than
about the general market. T he
Syndicat national de Vedition
was
unable to provide even such general da ta as, fo r example, the
num be r o f Jewish titles published in France and shipped fo r sale
to Israel. Catalogues o f French Books in P rin t list books on
Juda ism , on Jews and on Israel, bu t novels on Jewish themes and
Jewish writers have no separate listing o r cross reference. For this
market, no precise inform ation on sales o r best sellers is available
from most publishers. T h e re is virtually no contact between pub ­
lishers o f Judaica, no equivalent to the American Association o f