DIMENSION AMERICANA (AMERICAN DIMENSION)

The first model for this kind of “American problems” series was Tierra Firme, of the Fondo de Cultura Economica, started in 1945 (see Chapter 3 in this book). The American Dimension series was directed and published by Gregorio Weinberg between 1961 and 1971. Two titles also appeared in 1984. The themes were typical of the problems of planning and development: hunger/food; economic and social development; education and the emergence of middle sectors; urbanization; industrialization; armed conflicts; agriculture; demography; social change, etc. Sociology, economics, and political science were the reference disciplines. Among the authors were Josue de Castro, John Johnson, Jose Medina Echavarrfa, and Juan Mar- sal. Three titles reprinted documents from Latin-Americanist social sciences institutions (such as CEPAL) and another two from UNESCO documents. History had less weight, with chronicles by travellers such as Alexander von Humboldt, George Anson, and Amadee Francois Freizer. About two dozen titles were published in this series, of which just under half were translations. All appeared under the So- lar/Hachette label, except for the two volumes that appeared in 1984.

Dimension Americana series

Figure 2.6 Dimension Americana series: cover of CLAPCS-Unesco, Sociologia del Desarrollo. Buenos Aires: Solar/Hachette, 1970 © Bibliographic source - image taken from a copy in the author’s own library.

Lautaro and the Fundamental Treaties Series: National Projection of a Universal Catalogue

At Hachette, Gregorio Weinberg reconfigured a project whose genesis goes back to his work at Lautaro publishing house. He began to collaborate with them at the age of 23, when he came to offer his first major study: El pensamiento de Monteagudo (Monteagudo’s Thought) published in the Biblioteca del Pensamiento Argentino (Library of Argentine Thought) series, number 6, in 1944. Let us see what the publishers were looking for in this project:

Lautaro publishing house dedicates this selection of the thought of the archetypes of nationality, gathered under the generic title Biblioteca del Pensamiento Argentino, to the generation that has the historical responsibility to defend and develop the patrimony of ideas that gave independence, freedom and progress to the Republic.

(Message reproduced in the presentation pages of each volume)

During the Second World War, independence, freedom, progress, responsibility, and defence were pro-Allied words of order. Lautaro was a publishing house created by a heterogeneous group of agents in search of financial, intellectual, and political investment alternatives during a fertile period for the reconversion of capital and the achievement of moral and pedagogical missions. The publishing house was directed by Sara Maglione, with the financial support of her father Eduardo, a lawyer at Gath Sc Chaves Big Store, a member of the Jockey Club and of select circles of the Buenos Aires social elite. Jose Iturrac and Jacobo Saslavsky, general manager of Bunge Sc Born (a major grain exporter), a prominent philanthropist within the Jewish community, also contributed capital. Lautaro was created, to a certain extent, as a new project by Sara Maglione after her separation from Faustino Jorge, leader of the Communist Party, with whom she had lived years of intense militancy in the second half of the 1930s. The publishing house became politically notorious after the launch of one of the first titles: Solo las estrellas son neutrals (Only the Stars are Neutral) by Quentin Reynolds, a plea in favour of Allied action, published in 1943 with translation by Taba Bronstein. This book was confiscated by the police during a book fair.

After the book on Monteagudo, Weinberg continued to be linked to the publishing house as a literary advisor and proposed a project together with Manuel Sadosky (Buenos Aires 1913-2005), a PhD in physics and mathematics, who taught at the universities of Buenos Aires and La Plata. Like Gregorio, Sadosky was the son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. The publishing project they developed in Lautaro was called Tratados Fundamentales, a series of humanities in which

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philosophy and anthropology prevailed.

El Pensamiento Argentino series

Figure 2.7 El Pensamiento Argentino series: cover of Gregorio Weinberg, El pensamiento de Monteagudo. Buenos Aires: Lautaro, 1944 © Bibliographic source - image taken from a copy in the author’s own library.

Table 2.2 Fundamental treatises series

Fundamental treatises

series

Levy-Bruhl

La mentalidad primitiva (1945)

Brunschvicg

Las etapas de la filosofia matematica

Renan

Aver roes у el averroismo

Morgan

La sociedad primitiva

Baron de Holbach

Sistema de la naturaleza

Kant

Historia natural у teoria general del cielo (1946)

Spinoza

Tratado teologico-politico

Levy-Bruhl

Las funciones mentales en las sociedades inferiores

Hegel

La ciencia de la logica

Bacon

Del adelanto у progreso de la ciencia divina у humana

Locke

Ensayo sobre el entendimiento humano

Clausewitz

De la guerra

Bernal

Funcion social de la ciencia

Condillac

Tratado de las sensaciones

Cardinal N. of Cusa

La docta ignorancia

D’Alembert

Discurso preliminar de la “Enciclopedia”

Lefevbre

El existencialismo

Voltaire

Cartas filosoficas

Aristoteles

Metafisica

Lyell

Principios de geologia

Rousseau

Dos discursos

Boyle

El fisico esceptico

Boas

Cuestiones fundamentals de antropologia cultural (1947)

Author composition on the basis of bibliographic references.

A year after the start of the series, Manuel Sadosky migrated to France and Italy for postdoctoral studies. The continuity of the project was primarily the responsibility of Gregorio Weinberg, although Sadosky continued to collaborate from abroad and resumed work in Lautaro when he returned in 1948. In the selection of texts, we recognize an intellectual lineage marked by the genesis of rationalism among modern humanists and some of its most conspicuous applications in demonstrating the historicity of the elementary categories of thought. One of the subjects that fascinated Weinberg, for example, was the idea of time. Hence, philosophers of classical antiquity and modern times were juxtaposed to 19th-century scientists and contemporary researchers. Anthropology stood out as the discipline that in the contemporary era historicized the decisive problems of the Western philosophical tradition.21

In Lautaro, the publication of the “social sciences” was also channelled through the Estudios у Ensayos (Studies and Essays) series directed by Weinberg. There, for example, Henri Hubert and Marcel Mauss’s Magia у sacrificio en la historia de las religiones (Magic and Sacrifice in the History of Religions (1946)) and Vere Gordon Childe’s Que sucedio en la historia (What Happened in History); these works were pioneering translations into Spanish for authors of international significance.22

Tratados Fundamentales series

Figure 2.8 Tratados Fundamentales series: cover of Franz Boas, Cuestiones fundamentals de antropologla cultural. Buenos Aires: Lautaro, 1947 © Bibliographic source - image taken from a copy in the author’s own library.

Estudios у Ensayos series

Figure 2.9 Estudios у Ensayos series: cover of Gordon Childe, Vere. 1947. Que sucedio en la historia © Bibliographic source - image taken from a copy in the author’s own library.

At a time of such strong ideological polarization, the choices made in both series reflected a humanism, rationalism, and historicism that confronted metaphysical and, as a corollary, theological positions. In other words, it positioned itself on the left and as a universalist civilizing programme which, as a result, made a system out of the Lautaro catalogue as a whole, which, as we have seen, also included a library of Argentinian thought. This positioning is ratified by the friendly relations and affinities with another group of agents. First of all, we should consider the relations with the neo-Kantian philosopher Francisco Romero, professor at the universities of Buenos Aires and La Plata and director of the Losada Philosophy Library, the most prestigious generalist publishing house in the Spanish language at that time:

SORA: Who do you remember from the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters?

WEINBERG: First of all, Francisco Romero. I was always linked to the university and at the time of the eclipse of the university [during Peronism], I participated in the Colegio Libre de Estu- dios Superiores.

SORA: Did you feed your publishing projects with your pedagogical projects?

WEINBERG: Yes, we met, we talked about how such a book was not so important, how such a book was, etc. Francisco Romero was very generous. One day he told us: ‘I have many books on philosophy in Losada that I cannot publish. If any of you dare to publish them, I will give you ideas. He encouraged everyone.

SORA: And how did your project coexist with the Losada Philosophy Library?

WEINBERG: Romero had a more Germanic orientation. Also, more contemporary, although he published a book by Bacon.

SORA: And how was your relationship with Francisco Romero and Losada?

WEINBERG: Very good. He wrote the prologue to Voltaire’s book, Essay on Customs. We also thought about doing something together. He suggested certain titles that I thought would fit better in his series, and he suggested something to me as well. In addition to his career and his inclinations, we must consider that Francisco Romero was working with Losada. And Losada was a major publishing house. He had a fantastic team of people. And Don Gonzalo (Losada) was very intelligent, very intuitive.

(Sora 2006: 460)

“That is my pride”, said Weinberg in the interviews about Fundamental Treaties. Besides joy for the number and importance of the translated works, that sensation refers to the style of intervention by the directors of series that became constant for all the works that Weinberg published. First of all, translation work was very careful, whether carried out by the directors themselves or by third parties, and including frequent comparisons between translations in different languages.23 Second, each volume was introduced with preliminary studies or notes in which the reasons for the choice of the work and its place in Argentine culture were to be stated. Third, it was common to include glossaries or revisions to the bibliographies. The para-texts, in general, were abundant and rich in diverse information. The books produced by Weinberg were like editions annotated by philologists. The reader was inevitably confronted with the erudite presence of the selectors as guides to the interpretation of the texts.

Another project with international roots that Weinberg took part in at Lautaro was the publication of the Pinguino (Penguin) series. This was a pioneering pocket books series published in agreement with the British Penguin Books. Weinberg and the writer Maria Rosa Oliver (a participant from Sur journal and publishing house, who had close friendship with left-wing intellectuals, such as Norberto Frontini - see Chapter 3 in this book) were its directors and came to count on the collaboration of Pedro Henriquez Urena. “Literary, scientific, technical penguins were published. We published a history of opera, a history of ballet, a book on primitive art. All at two pesos. They were the first pocket books to be systematically published in the country. Some titles had print runs of 10,000 copies. In addition, we gave it a local colour. For example, we claimed it for Horacio Quiroga. We got fed up with selling Cuentos de la Selva (Jungle Tales)” (Weinberg, quoted in Sora 2006: 456). Regional translations and authors, this time for the general public.

Lautaro suffered some acts of repression during Peronism. Gregorio Weinberg himself was imprisoned for the publication of La Docta Igno- rancia (The Learned Ignorance) by Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa:

There was censorship, persecution, closure of publishing houses, newspapers, journals. I was arrested for the book La Docta Ig- norancia by Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa. It was at the time when Peron seemed to give up re-election and to support Aloe.24 Since people made many jokes about Aloe in which he was treated as a brute, they thought the book was a joke. I was detained for about 48 hours in the famous Special Section in Urquiza Street. And I was spending my time explaining to them: ‘Look, Mr. Nicholas of Cusa is a cardinal from the 15th century... Then they released me. Imagine that Cassirer in his book on the history of the problem of knowledge, four volumes published by the Fondo de Cultura, begins modern thought with Nicholas of Cusa. Those brutes thought it was a hoax!

(Weinberg, quoted in Sora 2006: 457)

In view of these difficulties, Weinberg proposed to Sara Maglione to divide the publishing house: he would keep the Fundamental Treaties and the Penguins and she would continue with the political line of the catalogue. This plan was not accepted and Lautaro soon had to close. Weinberg was compensated with the transfer of rights of some of the books

Pinguino series

Figure 2.10 Pinguino series: cover of Horacio Quiroga, Los Desterrados. Buenos Aires: Lautaro, 1950 © Bibliographic source - image taken from a copy in the author’s own library.

that had appeared under his responsibility. The rights of some titles, such as Gordon Childe’s Que sucedio en la historia or Levy-Bruhl’s La mentalidad primitiva, were sold to Siglo XX. Other titles, such as Franz Boas’s Cuestiones Fundamentals de Antropologia Cultural, were reissued by Hachette.

 
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