Grocer’s boy, subtitle reader in the time of silent films, publisher: Arnoldo Mondadori was all of these and much more.
Fifty years after his death, the Fondazione Mondadori, in collaboration with the Mondadori publishing house, has organised a conference which, starting with the figure of the publisher himself, will reflect on the contemporary publishing sector by analysing its structure and characteristics, as well as the changes and challenges it faces today and in the future.
The meeting, which takes place today, Thursday 7 October, will be presented by Luca Formenton, Chairman of the Fondazione Mondadori and publisher of il Saggiatore, who will start bt talking about the main characteristics of Arnoldo Mondadori’s business life, his extraordinary intuition and uncommon ability to always look ahead.
“Semper et ulterius progredi: this is the Latin phrase engraved on the historic Mondadori brand, commissioned by my grandfather Arnoldo. Innovation and an eye on the future were constant features of his approach to the publishing business and it is this spirit that we want to remember today,” declared Luca Formenton, Chairman of Fondazione Mondadori and publisher of il Saggiatore.
In a historical moment in which the world is moving on from what has been the most serious economic and health crisis since the Second World War, the conference offers an opportunity to draw an overview of the various aspects of the publishing market, reflecting on the extraordinary ability of the book industry to evolve to survive, a demonstration of its capacity to “always progress”, thanks to the abilities of publishers and the intrinsic strength of the product.
“Publishing is based on the book as a textual form: beyond constantly changing mdeia and languages, the principal role of the publisher will always be to read, select and publish, no matter in what form,” said Enrico Selva Coddè, Deputy Chairman and CEO Trade of Mondadori Libri.
Following greeting from Antonio Porro, Chief Executive of the Mondadori Group, the conference will proceed with a dialogue with some of the leading figures from Italian and international publishing, presented and moderated by Mario Calabresi.
In presence or through video links, we will hear from Italian and international publishers, managers, writers and protagonists of the main elements of the publishing chain who will reflect on the changes affecting the profession of the publisher, the future for books in a an increasingly digitised world, the new challenges for physical bookshops and e-commerce, the role of social media and the big streaming platforms.
Taking part in the first session of the conference will be: Enrico Selva Coddè, Deputy Chairman and CEO Trade of Mondadori Libri; Núria Cabutí, CEO Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial; Antonio Sellerio, Publisher of Sellerio Morgan Entrekin, President and Publisher of Grove Atlantic Inc. and Eleonora Andreatta, Vice President Italian Language Originals Netflix, sharing a broad spectrum of views and experience.
The afternoon session will feature: Achille Mauri, Chairman of Messaggerie Italiane and Scuola per Librai Umberto e Elisabetta Mauri; Carlo Feltrinelli, CEO of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore and Chairman of Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli and Librerie Feltrinelli; James Daunt, CEO Barnes&Noble; Stefano Mauri, Chairman and CEO of GeMS; Helena Gustafsson, Chief Content Strategy Officer Storytel; Andrea Gentile, Associate Publisher il Saggiatore and the writer David Grossman.
In su la cima – A documentary
During the day there will also be the first presentation of a documentary film “In su la cima” by the director Chiara Brambilla which tells the story of Arnoldo Mondadori with first-hand accounts on video and images from the archives of his life as a publisher.
To my publisher. Dedications made to Arnoldo Mondadori – Volume II
To coincide with the conference, the volume Al mio editore. Dediche ad Arnoldo Mondadori will be published which is a series of dedications made to Arnoldo Mondadori, and in which the “heroic” biography becomes an opportunity to discuss some of the key moments and figures in the history of the publishing house and its catalogue. The key to this dual story is the dedications and cards by authors, addressed to Arnoldo Mondadori, collected starting on two distinct occasions: the dedications commissioned on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the publishing house, in 1957, bound in an album now preserved in the archive of Mimma Mondadori in the Fondazione Mondadori, and the dedications in the books of Arnoldo’s personal library, now preserved in Ostiglia. The book consists of a selection of these dedications – reproduced and transcribed – accompanied by an introduction that explains the selection criteria and shows the complexities of the relationship between author and publisher. The book was curated by Alberto Cadioli and is the result of close collaboration between the Mondadori publishing house and the Fondazione Mondadori and will be on sale from Monday 11 October.
The conference will be streamed live on the Facebook profile and YouTube channel of the Fondazione Mondadori, and on the LinkedIn page of the Mondadori Group starting at 10.30 today and will be available also on the Facebook page of the Mondadori publishing house.