Cartonera Editors

In Lima, Peru, the publishing collective Sarita Cartonera faced a serious challenge just after setting up shop in 2005–6. Unlike the model Eloísa Cartonera, established in Buenos Aires in response to a dearth of new books after the economic crisis of 2001, Sarita couldn’t count on a reading public. People in Lima were not interested in fiction, poetry, anthropology, history, etc. Without clients, Sarita could hardly stay in business. To keep solvent, it had to create readers. The solution was elegant, and pedagogically brilliant. It simply took texts as points of departure for making art. Books became goldmines for rich explorations of meanings and downright fun. This gambit grounds lots of literary theory which had seemed elitist (e.g. Iser’s reader response, Derrida’s dangerous supplement and deconstruction – between critical and creative processes – Bakhtin’s intertextuality, Gadamer’s bias as basis for interpretation, Prince’s narratology, etc.). High theory can help to deliver literary classics, social sciences, and STEM into everyone’s hands.