About Atropos Press
Atropos Press, a small independent publisher, began in 2004 with the presentation of the 2nd edition of Teletheory by the pioneering media theorist Gregory L. Ulmer. First published by Routledge in 1989, this treatise on the modes of inquiry in the information age is the second book in a trilogy but had since gone out of print, leaving the still available volumes Applied Grammatology (1985) and Heuristics (1994) without their programmatic connection. Gregory L. Ulmer, whose academic base was the University of Florida where he taught English and Media Studies, joined the newly founded European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland as Professor of Electronic Languages and Cybermedia.
He added to the second edition of his book the postscript "After Teletheory" which provides not only an update but a personal history of his thinking as well. Teletheory became a test case for Atropos Press – how many copies of a book which in its first printing sold thousands, can now be sold without any advertising?
The second test was the publication in 2008 of Philosophy Of Culture: Schopenhauer and Tradition. It is number 6 in the series of the Schopenhauer-Studien – Schopenhauer studies. Beginning in 1988 the first five studies were published by Passagen Verlag Vienna, edited by the president of the Internationalen Schopenhauer-Vereinigung: Forum für offenes Philosophieren (International Schopenhauer Association).
In each case the outcome was both expected and surprising. It was to be expected that without any advertising, without the institutional context of a university, the books did not sell well.
But the unexpected lay in the discovery that the numbers did not matter and the business perspective was moot. What mattered was that the books were in circulation, could be found on the Internet and sold by Amazon and other online book stores. The surprise was the inherent joy of having a book available, a tactile experience and a powerful presentation that does not depend on the numbers of books sold to be fulfilling. Yes, electronic texts are a fitting part of our reading mode, but this opens up a space for the real thing as a luxury you can afford. The authors and their friends, students, spiritual companions restore to the book its "aura" (Walter Benjamin) which was not lost in the age of mechanical reproduction but instead merely dormant.
With the support of the Media & Communications Division of the European Graduate School as well as that of the International Schopenhauer Association, Atropos Press published over 30 books in 2009 and set up this website in August 2010. We expect continued expansion in the scope of our published texts in 2010 and will be establishing publishing associations with others.