- Towards a Modern Synergy: Cultural Massification and the Compartmentalization of Books and Publics in Argentina and Brazil (1920–1960)
- Revista Hispánica Moderna
- University of Pennsylvania Press
- Volume 71, Number 2, December 2018
- pp. 163-177
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Drawing on and articulating insights from the history of the book and the sociology of culture, this article analyzes changes to the distribution models used by a number of publishers in Argentina and Brazil during the first half of the twentieth century, in order to provide a grounded theorization of literary massification. Around 1920, Claridad, Babel, and Monteiro Lobato sought to integrate two circuits—newsstands and bookstores—whose divide had a structuring function in the literary sphere. Rendering these spaces complementary, I argue, entailed a transformation from material to discursive modes of compartmentalizing books and publics. The development of what I call a discursive infrastructure, made chiefly of advertising and reviews, is a key element that made possible one of massification's defining features: the coexistence of conflicting but mutually visible modes of appropriation.