April 19, 2021

Four legendary editors give their legacies to Cervantes | Culture

Four legendary editors give their legacies to Cervantes | Culture

Beatriz de Moura will leave, among other details, a pipe that George Simenon gave him. Chus Viewer, some glasses and an ashtray next to the numbers one and 1,000 of his collection of poetry. Jorge Herralde has decided on a copy of The tupamaros: strategy and action, by Antonio Mercader, the first book to censor his publisher, Anagrama, as well as a letter from his Italian colleague Carlo Feltrinelli when they decided to join forces in 2010. Jesús Munárriz, owner of Hiperión, prefers not to reveal the secret. "Until 2040, nothing," he says.

Twenty years in your case, it does not take time. Nor in the one of the other three publishers that this Thursday deposited that legacy in the headquarters of the Cervantes Institute from Madrid. Because both De Moura at the head of Tusquets, as Herralde, promoter of Anagrama or Visor y Munárriz, two of the great publishers of Spanish poetry in the world, can boast at least five decades of work in their field. Four true legends with history and many titles on the back.

They began to ride against the Francoist censorship and followed their strategy of penetration and survival in full crisis, armed against cuts and adverse contexts, determined not to be shipwrecked and stay afloat. Today, his labels are success stories, commitment and consolidation with more than one best seller on the list.

"When we started, we took the job as a mission," says Munárriz. He started very young, when he was studying at the university, around 1965. He soon entered the blacklist as a supplier of subversive material. "When I went back to ask permission they told me not to bother doing it with my name. But maybe with another, it could work. So I resumed the activity with the ownership of my mother and Isabel Peralta created editions. She lived in Pamplona and had nothing to do with this. But it served. And so, I continued until I changed Hyperion, "he says. He chose the title of the first collection of poems in the collection: the work of Hölderlin.

That fixation in the earliest books as talisman is also held by Jesús García Sánchez, alias Chus Visor. That's why it will leave in deposit A season in hell, by Arthur Rimbaud. It was the shuttle for a country with avid readers: "Poetry has always been profitable, do not kid yourself," says Visor. "First because we were few, only three at that time, and there have always been and will be readers. They are more loyal and do not give up. They are long-term rather than occasional, as can happen in other genres. The key is that I constantly reissue titles, if not, how would I have gotten here? I live from a continuous drip. "

"When we started, we took the job as a mission," says Jesús Munárriz.

The sustainability of the catalogs, work long-term works, consolidate contemporary classics, is something that Beatriz de Moura and Jorge Herralde know a lot about. The journey of Anagrama and Tusquets, like that of Visor and Hiperión, is consubstantial with the birth and consolidation of democracy in Spain. With their work of taste and own selection they formed critical and free citizens. That is why he wanted to pay tribute to them at Instituto Cervantes.

Herralde divides the history of his seal into three fundamental stages. "The initial one was very focused on the essay," he recalls. "We were attentive to what was happening in the world and adopted a certain sniper role. We wanted Anagrama to become the sounding board of all possible political heterodoxies. Or as some critic has pointed out: the pantone of the answer ".

He then decided to explore the narrative creation: "A mixture of wild literature and sentimental education in the Passwords collection and later a search for the international talents that stood out in Panorama de Narrativas, dressed in yellow and in Hispanic Narratives, with gray covers " This was how it incorporated and discovered generations of authors that reach the present. With a turning point at the beginning of the 21st century: "When we pay close attention to what is happening in Latin America, with constant travel, especially to Mexico and Argentina".

This quartet represents an immense library of Babel, the joint and silent effort of an intellectual and collective aesthetic construction. De Moura, Herralde, Visor and Munárriz … The lineage of the great editors and their mark of reference already in the history of culture in Spanish, with generations well prepared by them to continue their journey.


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