This essay analyzes Mundial Magazine, a little-known Parisian periodical edited by Rubén Darío, in the context of current debates over the large-scale narrative of literary modernity that Pascale Casanova puts forth in The World Republic of Letters. These debates tend to be framed as a choice between symbolic economy (Casanova's “universal” literary capital) and political economy (the focus of many Latin Americanist scholars on hegemonic constructions of modernity). Yet the unique circumstances of Mundial—published in Paris by Spanish America's most famous poet, composed almost exclusively of contributions from Hispanic authors and artists, and exported to its readers—suggest a Spanish American literary landscape built on an allegorical appropriation of Paris. By physically and discursively situating Paris as the nodal point for literature and art made in and destined for the Hispanic world, Mundial harnessed its prestige as a cultural capital and as a modern publishing center to promote a global, pan-Hispanic culture. Understanding the aesthetic, technological, and commercial transactions undertaken by periodicals like Mundial can lead to a more nuanced account of the uses of the universal in modern Spanish American letters.
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Jaime Hanneken; Going Mundial: What It Really Means to Desire Paris. Modern Language Quarterly 1 June 2010; 71 (2): 129–152. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00267929-2010-002
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