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Notebook on Cities and Culture S3E20: Traitor to Genre with Gabriela Jauregui

Colin Marshall sits down in Mexico City’s Colonia Condesa with Gabriela Jauregui, writer, poet, and co-founder of the publishing collective sur+. They discuss her childhood in Coyoacán and at what point during it she realized she lived in a place with a rich literary history; her coming up reading and speaking Spanish, English, and French; the real beginning of Latin American small presses, and what it means for the excitement of Spanish-language literature; why Mexican books get shrinkwrapped, anyway; how she mastered English while studying in Los Angeles, and the pleasure she finds in writing in a language not quite her own, especially one with weird exceptions, non-rules, and all the qualities of a “pirate language”; what her interest in the mechanics of language has to do with her pursuit of poetry; how you never quite know who’s a poet in Latin America; the way Los Angeles revealed itself to her, and how understanding Mexico City involves approaching it as something between Los Angeles and New York; her memories of growing up in Mexico City’s “dark years,” including but not limited to fake M&Ms; “Malinchismo,” the Mexican idea that whatever is Mexican is by definition inferior, and how it has fallen away, at least in part, where art and literature are concerned; how to read your way into Los Angeles of Mexico City, and if you don’t want to read, how to use Alejandro Jodorowsky movies for the same purpose; and all the layers of history you can experience in Mexico City that, unlike in Europe, you can experience all at once.

Download the interview from Notebook on Cities and Culture’s feed or on iTunes.

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