About the Company
The Chilean publishing company Ocaso Press Ltda. provides translations, guides, novels and poetry of recognized literary quality to schools, universities and discriminating readers across the English-speaking world. All material is free, and pdf ebooks can be read on tablets with screens as small as seven inches. Some 40,000 ebooks are downloaded annually from the Ocaso website.
With qualifications in geology, engineering and teaching, Colin Holcombe managed mineral exploration, mining and project evaluation for a major multinational company. He was also much involved in the UK literary scene, publishing in the small presses, editing the journals of various poetry groups, and organising workshops and readings on London's South Bank and elsewhere. For several years he was Chairman of the Phoenix Poets, London's oldest writing circle, which included novelists and Fleet Street journalists among its members. An earlier version of his novel "The Land of Gold" was accepted for publication by the Blue Dragon Press, and Colin also acted and read plays with RSC and other professional actors.
To provide some insight into poetry and related literary activities, Colin also manages the popular TextEtc.Com website, where many aspects of poetry creation and translation are discussed at length.
Aims of Ocaso Press
Ocaso Press is an independent voice catering for an informed public that wants literary excellence in a modern setting —
neither 'cutting edge' work that is generally more experimental than successful, nor the happy simplifications of amateur work.
The emphasis is on literary quality, and its ebooks follow an earlier conception of poetry, before our post-modernists made tradition irrelevant and imposed a prose-based, free-verse orthodoxy. Many sites — feature-packed, immensely useful and far more popular than Ocaso Press — offer busy students accessible translations, but their material is generally pedagogical and of limited literary merit: much is indeed anti-literary, though possibly not intended or understood as such by authors and academics. Ocaso Press productions are no doubt more demanding of readers, but aim at greater satisfaction by deploying wide reading, modernist concepts and detailed verse skills to encompass their originating inspiration.
- The guides adopt balanced positions of contentious issues, and are often more detailed —
replete with examples, arguments and references — than books offered by the commercial and academic presses.
- The novels are simply entertainment.
- The poem collections employ strict and free verse styles, but not shy away from the 'grand narratives' that Post-modernism has abandoned. Many deal with important issues, therefore, and behind even the verse tales is the extensive research that any decent historical novelist will undertake.
- Translations are literary rather than academic, but are generally close to the prose sense, often indeed line for line. By employing traditional verse skills they aim to give some indication of the splendours of the original works, and make the translations worth reading in their own right. All ebooks are informed by a wide reading in the relevant scholarship, and — where feasible (in French and Latin, but not Greek or Sanskrit) — provide facing texts.