Books, Against all Obstacles

Books, Against all Obstacles
Fecha de publicación: 
16 March 2023
Imagen principal: 

Now that the Book Fair reaches all provinces of the country, we could wallow in triumphalism. In the midst of marked difficulties, there is an institutional determination to preserve spaces for socialization, the promotion of literature, of good literature, since there are high-flying proposals in the bookstores of the Fair.

But... the Fair, the editorial production that, although depressed, remains despite all obstacles, the system of bookstores and libraries, the program of presentations and conferences... all this is not a guarantee that more will be read, or read better.

It would be necessary to review the studies of the cultural research centers. It’s clear that it’s still being read, but there are obvious gaps in some sectors, in some audiences. There’s a close regression in taste, in the capacity for analysis, in daily practices, in the critical exercise that any reading implies.

Of course there are shared responsibilities here. From family, school, to a very personal level. I wish everyone understood the extraordinary spiritual and practical contributions of reading.

But the space of the book in Cuba, which obviously faces a flood of deficiencies on a daily basis, also has to refine strategies and mechanisms. If the Mountain won't go to Mohammed, then Mohammed must come to the mountain somehow.

And that transforms into plans that are based on specific demands, and that reinforce, without concessions, literary hierarchies. It’s easier said, but it’s a complex task. And it requires the complement of many instances.

But when the stores are full of unsold copies, even if prices drop to ridiculous amounts... or even, even if they were given away, there are indications that it was not published with a potential audience in mind.

And there are books and authors (great books, great authors) that are in high demand... the supply is always below what’s needed.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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