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The Arts Collection

Akademia Cartonera: Academic Articles, Cartonera Publications Catalog and Bibliography /Artículos académicos, Catálogo de publicaciones cartoneras y Bibliografía available in original text on CD (2009)

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First in Buenos Aires, spilling over later into Peru, Bolivia, Mexico and Brazil, there emerged the so-called cartonera publishers which, salvaging old corrugated cardboard from packaging to make their covers, set in motion an important series of short books of good literary quality. cartonera books speak to us of the survival of reading, the finding and fostering of new readers on the margins of society, of a whole creative vitality the is born of necessity. Therefore it is simple poetic justice that in the present volume we find gathered the prodigal sons and daughters of this movement that is extraordinary in every sense of the word, and that in a very important library—that of the University of Wisconsin—the cartonera books, children of hardship, share their space with very costly special and rare books.

Luisa Valenzuela, Writer
Buenos Aires, Argentina


With the publication of this book we have a timely and multifaceted assessment of the groundbreaking work of the Cartonera publishing movement.  This collection of essays and commentary provides both insight and contextualization of the cultural production of the cartonera publishers, without losing an appreciation of their spontaneity and exuberance as artistic works.  Akademia Cartonera serves as valuable guide for defining and delimiting this relatively recent phenomenon.  The plurality of the voices in this volume reveals the multiple dimensions of cartonera publishing. It will also serve as resource for studying the contemporary cartonera movement and will become an indispensable reference as this lively cultural practice continues to develop and expand.

Ken Frazier, Director
University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries

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