In Mexico, One Bookstore per 120,000 Inhabitants, by Elena Poniatowska

Cultural Cross Sections Elena Poniatowska In this column that originally appeared in La Jornada, Elena Poniatowska considers the role of editors and talks with Diego Rabasa, founder of publisher Sexto Piso. Already precarious, the pandemic lockdown has made the plight of independent publishers and bookstores in Mexico in light of Covid-19 even more acute. To be an editor is to answer the call of the gods. It’s a vocation, a ministry, an immense privilege, to enter the Olympus of literature. To be an editor is to pick those who have talent and launch them. To be a publisher is to foretell: this one will make it. It’s also to disappoint and reject. I recall the Dutch printer Alexander Stolz in Mexico holding out to me his exquisite edition of Benjamin Constant’s Adolphe, as if it were a diamond, at the Fondo de Cultura Económica, and the paternal care that Arnaldo Orfila Reynal took with the anguished palavering of Fernando del Paso. To be an editor is to be a psychologist and to be bewildered as to how to treat each creature-author. Vicente Rojo was my editor, and we have loved each other deeply since, but I never gave him trouble. What must that genius from Pachuca named Yuri Herrera be like? What’s his soft spot? I have to handle Carlos Montemayor with kid gloves because he’s unpredictable. Federico Alvarez, director of the FCE in Spain, told me that seeing Elena Garro and Helena Paz enter the FCE in Madrid was like falling into... Continue reading at 'World Literature Today'

[ World Literature Today | 2020-06-03 21:05:48 UTC ]
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