Derecognising? There’s been a lot of talk about this in the last few days, and whereas I could immediately understand what it meant, I feel both the word and what it stands for is awful.
I was naïve enough to believe when Penguin and Random House merged a few years ago that they ‘had to’ because times were tough. But it appears they were doing well enough, and continue to do so. In which case they can afford to behave decently towards the people who are involved in making their books, which in turn make their profits.
There is the added feeling that Penguin is a nice company, somehow. I might be wrong, but there has been some special goodwill towards the publisher who came up with the idea of books for the masses at a price almost anyone could afford. And those birds makes you feel all warm inside.
It would be great if – when times are hard – some companies behaved well, and treated those who work for them fairly. And who better than a publisher? Free speech and the like. It’s not as if they must do what small and brave publishers are doing in Hong Kong; risking their lives and the safety of their families in order to bring forbidden books to new readers. Just publishing and paying up would go a long way.