Alianza Editorial will celebrate ten years of its new pocket book in February and March with a cycle of literary encounters in which writers, translators, philosophers and journalists will reflect on some of the 1,300 books that this label has published in the last decade in a format that has never stopped gaining followers.
All the talks will be linked by a common idea, the deadly sins, weaknesses of the human soul with which literature, another weakness for many readers, has a lot to do with.
The chats will start on February 8, will last until March 23, and all of them can be followed by streaming. The cycle will be opened with an introductory talk by the Argentine writer Alberto Manguel, the illustrator Manuel Estrada and the director of Alianza Editoria, Valeria Ciompi.
On February 16, Miguel Sáenz, Lara Moreno and Patricio Pron will talk about pride and anger (with ‘El Señor Presidente’, by Miguel Ángel Asturias; ‘Yo, Claudio’, by Robert Graves; ‘Pedro y el Capitán’, by Mario Benedetti and ‘Yann Andréa Steiner’, by Marguerite Duras, in the background); On March 4, Javier Montes, Mercedes Cebrián and Diego S. Garrocho will speak about envy and laziness (inspired by ‘The Invention of Morel’, by Adolfo Bioy Casares or ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’, by HG Wells) ; On March 16, Vicente Molina Foix, Violeta Gil and Sabina Urraca will reflect on greed and gluttony, based on ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’, by Sigmund Freud; ‘The Merchant of Venice’, by William Shakespeare; ‘Illuminations’, by Arthur Rimbaud, or ‘The material life’, by Marguerite Duras; and on March 23, Félix de Azua, Edurne Portela and Manuel Rodríguez Rivero will delve into lust by going to ‘Sodoma y Gomorra’, by Marcel Proust; ‘The prohibited’, by Benito Pérez Galdós, and ‘Diary of a seducer’, by Sören Kierkegaard.
Alianza’s pocket book has brought great literature to all readers for decades, including here the last years of Franco, when the reading of authors such as Camus, Sartre or Gide was still threatened by censorship. “An obvious aspiration, but not easy to fulfill,” said Ciompi, who reasoned the link between literature and sins. «Books and literature are a source of knowledge, pleasure and redemption. But they can also, and perhaps should, show our faults and identify our sins to complete the portrait of a human nature », he asserted, at a time when the pandemic has not lowered interest in reading despite the fact that the sector “is going through difficulties, bookstores that open, close, quarantines and restrictions,” he said.
Since 2011, Manuel Estrada’s studio has been in charge of coloring the books in the collection, one of the most complete in the Spanish-American world, which not only collects literature, but also copies dedicated to philosophy, economics or science. “The initial spirit of collecting in an economical edition was accompanied by the incentive of a revolutionary design”, recalled the director of the publishing house. “This collection launched a message: publishing is taking care of all the contents,” he added.