The Mexican Reality with Mexican Publisher Diego Rabasa at Notebook on Cities and Culture

Collin Marshall of Notebook on Cities and Culture has a long interview with Diego Rabasa the editor of Sexto Piso a small press in Mexico. It is an interesting interview about the publishing scene in Mexico. (And in English).

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.

The interview with Gabriela Jauregui might also be interesting. She is a Mexican writer and talks about DYI presses.