Notebook on Cities and Culture
(Formerly The Marketplace of Ideas.) Colin Marshall sits down for in-depth conversations with cultural creators, internationalists, and observers of the urban scene all around Los Angeles and beyond.
S3E15: The Mexican Reality with Diego Rabasa

Colin Marshall sits down in Mexico City's Colonia Roma with Diego Rabasa, co-founder of Sexto Piso press. They discuss why this might make for the most exciting moment in Mexican, or even Spanish-language, literature; Mexico's past era of invincible intellectual giants, from whose shadow writers now emerge; these writers' response to their country's "total social meltdown"; how Mexico City got more secure as Mexico itself got less secure, a process that has by now made Mexico City the safest place in the country; his dull but well-off childhood in a PRI family, his university studies of engineering, and his subsequent discovery of literature, culture, and books; what Juan Rulfo revealed to him about his country; Sexto Piso's early mission to translate foreign writers, and its publication at first of hardly any Mexican writers; who, given Mexico's high illiteracy, supports Mexico City's cool bookstores; the correct pronunciation of "Donceles", the finest street for used books; Sexto Piso's presence in Spain, a much more conservative literary market; the upside and downside of taking government funding; the importance of throwing parties unlike the standard dull publishing cocktail affairs; having, as a publisher, to cover for only semi-professional booksellers and journalists; what to read to best understand the Mexican reality; how Mexico City became a "completely different place" from where he grew up, with its citizens now "getting the city back"; the enduring need to keep an eye on the politicians even as arts movements offer encouragement; and how he gets his mind off the corruption by reading Bruce Chatwin.

Direct download: NCC_S3E15_Diego_Rabasa.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:43pm UTC