|About the Book|
My dissertation is a study in contemporary book history. In it, I read a series of writers and collective projects in dialogue with the reproducible edition, long the central interface of literary culture in Latin America. It is a criticalMoreMy dissertation is a study in contemporary book history. In it, I read a series of writers and collective projects in dialogue with the reproducible edition, long the central interface of literary culture in Latin America. It is a critical commonplace that this culture has, in recent decades, undergone ground-shifting institutional and conceptual transformations. I take these changes as a springboard for interrogating the work of Argentine writers Osvaldo Lamborghini and Cesar Aira, Mexico City-based novelist Mario Bellatin, and the collective projects Elofia Cartonera and Estacion Pringles, both of which operate in Argentina. My reading of this corpus focuses on the common tendency in their works to imagine and enact forms of literary sociality that do not revolve around the reproducible edition. Examining their writings and gatherings against the backdrop of other media---notebooks, fliers, museums, towns, and blogs---I read them as experimental responses to the shifting relationships among the distinct actors in contemporary literary culture. Ultimately, I argue that these individual cases index a growing tendency among contemporary Latin American writers to displace the reproducible edition in favor of more site-specific, interactive interfaces of literary culture.-I accomplish this through a combination of empirically-based research in book publishing with speculative readings of literary texts. Thus, I begin by outlining the channels of publication and distribution that undergird much of Latin Americas twentieth-century literary culture. From there, I focus on the work of Lamborghini, Aira, Bellatin, Eloisa Cartonera, and Estacion Pringles. Again coupling speculative, text-based readings to empirical developments in publishing, I make the case that these writers and projects point toward forms of literary culture in which participants---authors, publishers, readers, and spectators---come into intimate contact with each other. In this way, I trace the contours of a literary culture centered on media other than the book, a culture that, as I briefly discuss in my conclusion, increasingly includes digital forms of literary production alongside practices such as the ones typified by my corpus.