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A History of Publishing

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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BOOKISH Mortensen

The New York Times's Janet Maslin looks at Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen's side venture as an indie book publisher, noting, "The dreamboat actor runs a fine little publishing house."

Perceval Press publishes all of Mortensen's art and poetry books as well as work by punk legend Exene Cervenka and celeb offspring Lola Schnabel. "I go over all the books with a fine-tooth comb before they go out," Mortensen told Maslin.

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One name that must've slipped through Maslin's fine-tooth comb is Dave Eggers, head of the mighty McSweeney's Corps. In 2002, Entertainment Weekly published a short piece on Mortensen's burgeoning literary career and noted, "Mortensen, who recently drew some 500 fans to a reading of his poetry in L.A., has cofounded Perceval Press and is turning to Eggers for pointers. 'I asked questions about the difficulties he faced,' says the 44-year-old actor, who's mimicking Eggers' small-is-better approach..." Mortensen wrote the introduction to 2004's Eggers-edited The Best American Nonrequired Reading, for which his bio modestly reads, "Viggo Mortensen is a film actor and artist/poet who has published five books of art and photography including Recent Forgeries, SignLanguage, and Miyelo."

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