Longtime publisher elmar faber is dead. Born in thuringia, he died on sunday at the age of 83 at his home in leipzig. "He was seriously ill," his widow told the german press agency on monday. First the "leipziger volkszeitung" had reported online about it.
The news caused great sadness at berlin-based aufbau verlag, of which faber was head from 1983 to 1992. "With him goes one of the greats of the german publishing industry."
Leipzig’s cultural councillor skadi jennicke praised him as a "publishing personality who has spent his whole life moving between the worlds. Leipzig, a city of books, has also benefited from his success, he says.
From 1975 to 1992, faber, who has a degree in german studies, was at the helm of major east german publishing houses. He led aufbau "with a great deal of sensitivity and the right eye for literature," the publishing house announced. There, among others, he mentored christa wolf as an author. In 1989, faber was jointly responsible for privatization, and in 1991 he founded aufbau taschenbuch verlag.
In retrospect, leipzig councillor jennicke praised the courage with which faber made himself independent in the middle of his life together with son michael. There, too, the senior relied on quality and traditional craftsmanship. His credo: one eye for literature and art, the other for the wallet. In 1995, faber& faber to the book city of leipzig. In 2009, the junior retired after becoming culture burgomaster.
Two years later, the senior, for whom every book was a speciality, also closed down. Booksellers, once literary missionaries, had become commodity experts "who could just as well sell fillet steaks," he lamented the "moral decay in the book trade.