Catalogue Des Que Sais-Je Essayist

In 2014, the Serralves Museum began a series of books dedicated to the research and presentation of its collection. These publications are intended as guides to both singular artworks works and representative conceptual and thematic tendencies not only of the institution's collection, but also of Portuguese contemporary art after the 1960s. The collection is defined by a pocket book format, in which the cover shows an image partially hidden by a white strip where the title is placed – only when you open the volume, or unfold the flaps, it becomes possible to read the entire image and text.

The fourth volume of the series "from the Collection" focuses on a selection of artist's books and publications, which were part of the exhibition "Que sais-je?", curated by Ricardo Nicolau for the Contemporary Art Museum of Bordeaux, later also presented at Serralves. Not being an exhibition catalogue, the book includes images of the several works organized by thematic sections, which are interspersed with essays by Ricardo Nicolau, Chuz Martínez and Clive Phillpot. These texts are presented in a more stable layout, contrasting with the fluidity of the images’ sections, also printed in a different paper stock.

Year: 2016
Category: Book

Client: Serralves Museum
Format: 148 x 210 mm, paperback
Pages: 200
Printing: Offset

“Que sais-je?” (French: [kə sɛʒ]; Literally: "What do I know?", ISSN 0768-0066) is a series of books published by the Presses universitaires de France (PUF). The aim of the series is to provide the lay reader with an accessible introduction to a field of study written by an expert in the field. As such, they are a good example of haute vulgarisation (high popularization). The sentence "Que sais-je?" is taken from the works of French essayist Michel de Montaigne.

Started in 1941 by Paul Angoulvent (1899–1976),[1] founder of the Presses Universitaires de France, the series now numbers over 3,900 titles by more than 2,500 authors, and translated in more than 43 languages. Somes titles have sold more than 300,000 copies (namely by Piaget). Each year, 50 to 60 new titles are added to the collection, which comprises ten different series. As such, it easily constitutes the world's largest running 'encyclopedia' in paperback format. The range of subjects is truly encyclopedic, covering everything from chanson de geste and Homer to gastronomy and free will. Not all subjects are academic—they may include current topics, such as violence in sports [2] or personal coaching.[3] The presentation of information is varied and may consist of an introduction to a subject, a detailed essay on a school of thought, or an analysis of current events. Up to 2004, more than 160 millions copies had been sold worldwide.

The series is unusual in several ways: first, the price for each volume is the same and is kept to a minimum (€9 as of mid-2011), and each book has 128 pages.

When a title has become out of date, it may be withdrawn from the series or it may be updated. Sometimes this updating involves a complete re-writing of the book, as for example Parfumerie[4] (volume 1888): originally written by Edmond Roudnitska in 1980 and re-written by Jean-Claude Ellena in 2006, but keeping the same number within the series.

The series is similar to other series such as Collection 128 published by Armand Colin in France, the Very Short Introductions published by Oxford University Press and C.H. Beck Wissen published by Verlag C.H. Beck.


External links[edit]

Some titles from the collection

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