Check out my Découvertes Gallimard book summary and review  that I created to help you understand the basics of this great book.“Discoveries Gallimard” is a collection of Gallimard editions, created in 1986 and intended for young adults1. It consists of profusely illustrated paperbacks, marked by the dynamism of its graphic choices, the quality of its production and the wealth of its documentation2. The books are between 96 and 224 pages, although most are between 128 and 192. All contain reading suggestions at the end of the book. At the end of 2012 there were 588 books in the collection.

Découvertes Gallimard book


 Découvertes Gallimard book summary

 The "Découvertes Gallimard" collection, initially called "Les Chemins de laconnaissance" and "Découverte junior"13, which is based on an idea by Pierre Marchand after the publication of two pocket collections: "Découvertes Cadet" in 1983 and " Découvertes Benjamin" in 19844.

 Marchand and Jean-Olivier Héron already had it when they arrived at Gallimard in 1972, as Marchand explains: "I invested fourteen years of my professional life in this collection. It is thanks to the success of "books in which you are the hero" that we have been able to embark on this adventure... for the first time, real pocket encyclopedias fully illustrated in color. Our bet is that once the open book, whatever the subject or the page, it can no longer be closed.”14

Françoise Balibar, Jean-Pierre Maury, Jean-Pierre Verdet, Marc Meunier-Thouret and others underwent the first plasters of this pharaonic project which will await the arrival of Elisabeth de Farcy and Paule du Bouchet, in 1981, for really take shape.

To produce veritable encyclopedias in pocket format and fully illustrated in color, in 1986, many considered this editorial project insane. The authors were initially skeptical about this project, even contemptuous, but they are finally fascinated by the collection, some have even committed several works,

 such as Françoise Cachin, author of three works – Gauguin: "This despite me of the wild" (n ° 49 ), Seurat: The dream of art-science (no. 108), Manet: “I did what I saw” (no. 203); Jean-Pierre Maury, who signs four titles – Galileo, the messenger of the stars (no. 10), How the earth became round (no. 52), Newton and celestial mechanics (no. 91),

The Palace of Discovery ( #195); or Odon Vallet, who even wrote seven books, including six in the series Another History of Religions – Goddesses or Servants of God? : Women and religions (n° 206), The heritage of the first religions (n° 373), The God of the Fertile Crescent (n° 374), Indian spiritualities (n° 384), Far Eastern religions (n° 385) , The Spirit of Knowledge (No. 390) and The Rite of Powers (No. 391).

A "zero number" was sent to 500 booksellers during the summer of 1986. No market study at the start, explains Pierre Marchand, self-taught, in a file dealing with the theme "self-taught and graduates": "This project was as old as my thirst to know.

 No doubt one must be precisely self-taught to feel the importance of an encyclopedia. One must have been obliged to build one's own culture, to seek reliable references, clear presentations. To imagine "Discoveries", I didn't need market research, surveys and tests. From the start, I wanted to offer the public the books I needed."16

The official launch took place on November 21, 1986, the first twelve titles, twenty-five thousand copies of each volume were printed. “We have never seen so many things between the first and the last page of a book”,

 such is the slogan proposed by CLM BBDO, Pascal Manry's advertising agency for the launch of the collection4. Directed by Élisabeth de Farcy, it selects authors and organizes iconographic campaigns. Several publishers and iconographers have been brought together,

 treasures of illustration have been extracted from heritage resources. In bookstores, the "Discoveries" would soon move to the adult department. The collection took off quickly, 105 titles were published in five years, it crossed borders in 1989, with the first co-publisher Aguilar(es) from Madrid, and 27 countries were finally associated.

In 1992, after the publication of 151 titles, Gallimard became interested in De lokroep van de zeemeermin (French edition: The song of the siren, n° 152), the work on the mermaid by Vic de Donder, Dutch-speaking Belgian writer. Nevertheless, the Parisian publisher hesitates: “Interesting subject,

 but how can you illustrate this? Then De Donder reached an impressive list of around a thousand images that he had been collecting for several years. Gallimard was convinced of this and made De Donder the first non-French-speaking author in this collection17.

The apogee of the collection was at the turn of the 1990s, the authors being mainly recruited from among academics and curators. Numerous artist monographs, often published on the occasion of major exhibitions – Matisse

: “Une splendeur inouïe” (no. 165), for example, published on the occasion of the Center Georges-Pompidou exhibition in 1993. Responsiveness to current events – Memoirs of the Louvre (n°60) for the inauguration of the Louvre Pyramid in 1989; Blood for blood, the awakening of the vampires (n°161) for the release of the film Dracula by Francis Coppola in 1992, a new revised and corrected edition was born in 2010, driven by the success of the Twilight18 series; The mine

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