2020 was a year for which many words might immediately rush to mind. Few of them promise to be positive. For billions of people, 2020 was defined by the sudden struggle of adapting to survive the COVID-19 pandemic with the seemingly endless lockdown and restriction policies attached to it and all the ensuing consequences in countless spheres of life. Within a matter of months, the “globalized world” was swiftly shut down, and many have found themselves isolated, demoralized, and even disenfranchised, with no apparent resolution in sight. In most parts of the world, this situation has dragged on into 2021. Many plans, hopes, and aspirations have not fared well in the throes of this new world disorder.
PRAV Publishing announced itself to the world in March 2020, coincidentally amidst the very same days which saw the first mass lockdowns decreed in numerous countries. When PRAV Publishing was founded in October 2019, none of us could have anticipated the circumstances in which PRAV’s first year of publishing would unfold. Hardly anyone could have expected a small, newfound publishing house to survive all the roadblocks thrown in the way by the COVID-19 situation – not to mention, of course, the incessant voices of those who have convinced themselves and/or lobbied the claim (or goal?) that “people don’t read books anymore.” Then, within the first weeks of its presence on social media – an indispensable last thread amidst lockdowns – PRAV found itself in the crosshairs of the new favorite means of censorship: the infamous, nebulous “community guidelines.” More recently, there have been the complications posed by Brexit, which, as many publishers and readers have already learned, has not spared already COVID-battered logistics for bringing books to current and future readers.
And yet, despite these difficult times, I am deeply humbled, sincerely thankful, and tremendously gladdened to be able to report that PRAV Publishing is, against all the odds, alive, well, and inspirited.
This is thanks to YOU: our readers, our authors, our collaborators at every step of the process of bringing books to life, and all of our friends and supporters across the world. While faring the very same situation, you have helped make PRAV a reality here to stay, and to prove that books and ideas are capable of defying lockdowns and inspiring countless new perspectives and participants in the great polylogue of minds, cultures, and writings in which we always find ourselves.
On behalf of PRAV Publishing and all of our collaborators and friends, please allow me to express our sincere gratitude for the support and inspiration with which we have been blessed by you. Furthermore, allow me to present a brief recap of what we’ve been able to accomplish over our first year, as well as offer some words for the future…
In the one year since our launch in late March 2020, our small yet dedicated operation has published four unique, unprecedented volumes.
Our debut title in July 2020, which remains our bestseller to date, was our translation of Askr Svarte’s (Evgeny Nechkasov’s) groundbreaking work Polemos: The Dawn of Pagan Traditionalism. As is outlined in our mission statement, PRAV Publishing strives to provide “critical reconsiderations of histories, ideas, and currents which transcend the Modern, predominantly Western frameworks which have ‘divided and conquered’ in recent times and spaces”, to “contribute to a Polylogue of Civilizations, unfettered by the reductions and prejudices of what has passed for the ‘progress of knowledge’ under the paradigm presently in decline”, and to bring into the English language “perspectives which reintegrate the old and new in relations befitting of the world’s plurality of cultures and experiences from the depths of prehistory to the horizons of the contested future.” In this light, the release of Polemos as our first title was both in line and a breakthrough across many borders. In this milestone work by a rising Russian philosopher, equipped with a foreword by Richard Rudgley, the very so-called “direction of history” is radically rebutted with an ambitious retrieval of the heritage of ancient philosophical and spiritual traditions and an acute analysis of pagan traditions’ position within and towards the Modern and Postmodern world(s). Polemos, both intensive and extensive in its study and deeply original and inspirited in its manifesto, is already leaving its mark on the landscape of the 21st century. With Polemos in print and making its way around the world, speaking of “paganism” will never be the same…
The second volume, Polemos II: Pagan Perspectives, is forthcoming from PRAV Publishing in Summer 2021.
PRAV’s second title, released in August 2020, also brought a rich, pivotal, no less relevant field of Russian philosophy into English in unprecedented form. Foundations of Eurasianism – Volume I is in many ways both a culmination and a beginning. The release of Foundations of Eurasianism coincided with the 100th anniversary of the publication of Europe and Mankind, the ambitious manifesto of one of the founding fathers of the Eurasianist school of thought, Nikolai Trubetzkoy, as well as the 99th anniversary of the founding Eurasianist anthology, Exodus to the East. At the same time, Foundations of Eurasianism represented the fruit of the long-standing labor of the volunteer project Eurasianist Internet Archive. It has been a turbulent century since Eurasianism emerged among an elite group of Russian intellectuals seeking to grasp the deep roots of the Russian Revolution and to rediscover the “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” of Russian culture between East and West. In this time, Eurasianism has made its way to the forefront of multiple fields in Russia and beyond. Thus, there could be no more fitting of a time for finally inaugurating the works of Eurasianist thought into the English language, as is the vision of PRAV’s Foundations of Eurasianism series. This first installment featured a section of founding essays and early programmatic texts by the leading classical Eurasianists, opened with a unique introduction to the Eurasianist legacy by Leonid Savin.
Foundations of Eurasianism – Volume II is planned for release in Autumn 2021.
PRAV’s third title, released in December 2020, follows our initiative of translating unique works from the Slavic-language realm, but by all means stands in a category and genre of its own. The Reawakening of Myth, the first volume of selected works by the Serbian author Boris Nad in the English language, is an initiatory library all on its own. From essays on mythology and geopolitics to short stories, accounts of visionary experiences, and the novel A Tale of Agartha, The Reawakening of Myth – PRAV’s largest volume to date – is a colorful, multi-dimensional immersion into how Myth and the processes of “de-mythologization” and “re-mythologization” constantly affect our world, our history, and ourselves. In this vast panorama of worlds supposed to have long since been “discredited” and “shelved”, Nad invites the reader to explore the mysteries beyond the alleyways of “history.” The Reawakening of Myth presents a wide yet honed representation of Boris Nad’s mythical oeuvre, as well as texts previously unpublished in Serbian and English, including his essay written in view of COVID-19, “The Secret of the East and the Crisis of the Western World.”
PRAV Publishing looks forward to bringing more of Boris Nad’s visionary works into the English language in the not too distant future.
Most recently, with its fourth title PRAV returns to the inexhaustible realm of Russian literature and the world of paganism, this time bringing readers the critical perspective of a series of academic studies. Slavic Paganism Today: Between Ideas and Practice, a compilation of 21 selected articles by one of the Russian Federation’s leading scholars of Slavic paganism, Dr. Roman Shizhensky, fills a persistent gap in English-language literature on the contemporary experience of Slavic paganism with a diverse array of perspectives and case studies. We are confident that Dr. Shizhensky’s Slavic Paganism Today has much of interest to and will become a must-have in many respects for diverse scholars and readers pursuing their own lines of inquiry into the world of Slavic culture and religion.
PRAV’s first year of publishing has been an eventful one in many senses and spheres. This is perhaps the great irony – or perhaps rightful logic and lesson – of the 2020-and-counting lockdown period in which we find ourselves. When time is compressed and seemingly made monotonous and endless, as many people have come to feel, the possibility opens up to move backwards, around, and forwards in the altogether different time of ideas, reading, and thinking. We operate with the sincere aspiration that the books which we have been fortunate enough to have authors and readers bring to life during these times will stand the tests of these and incoming times, and (re-)open still others.
For making the PRAV vision come about so far, I extend sincere thanks to you on behalf of PRAV Publishing, and pledge that we have much still to come.
All the best,
22 March 2021
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