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Published in 2002
©2007 Princeton University Library
Rodriguez Monegal, Emir, 1921-1985.
Title and dates:
Emir Rodriguez Monegal Papers, 1941-1985 (bulk 1965-1968)
The Emir Rodriguez Monegal Papers consists of correspondence, manuscripts of novels, short stories, verse, plays, and essays by others, mansucripts of essays and criticism by Rodriguez Monegal, photographs, and printed and recorded material.
11 linear feet (23 archival boxes)
Princeton University Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.
Princeton, New Jersey 08544 USA
Language(s) of material:
Spanish, French, Portuguese, English.
This collection is stored onsite at Firestone Library.
Biography of Emir Rodriguez Monegal
Emir Rodriguez Monegal, literary scholar and biographer, critic, and editor was born in Melo, Uruguay on July 28, 1921, and died in New Haven, Conn. on November 14, 1985. At the time of his death he was Professor of Latin American Literature and Director of the Latin American Studies Council at Yale University. Rodriguez Monegal became in 1945 editor of the literary section of the weekly Marcha. In 1949 he founded the journal Número, which he co-edited with Manuel Claps and Idea Vilariño until 1955. In 1966 he founded and edited the literary and cultural journal Mundo Nuevo (published in Paris until 1969). He was the author of numerous books and articles many of which made important contributions to the understanding of modern Latin American writing, notably among which are El juicio de los parricidas: la nueva generación argentina y sus maestros (1956), Literatura uruguaya del medio siglo (1966), Narradores de esta América (1963; 1969), and El boom de la novela latinoamericana (1972).
Rodriguez Monegal was also know for his literary biographies of Andres Bello (El otro Andrés Bello ), of Horacio Quiroga ( El desterrado: vida y obra de Horacio Quiroga ), of Pablo Neruda ( El viajero inmóvil: Introducción a Pablo Neruda  and Neruda, el viajero inmóvil ), and of Jorge Luis Borges ( Jorge Luis Borges: A Literary Biography ). He also edited critical and literary collections, among which are José Enrique Rodó, 1871-1917 (1963, 1967), El cuento uruguayo: de los orígenes al modernismo (1965), Borges par lui-memê (1970, 1978, Spanish ed. 1983), The Borzoi Anthology of Latin American Literature (with Thomas Colchie, 1977), Pablo Neruda (1980), and Borges, a Reader: A Selection from the Writings of Jorge Luis Borges (with Alistair Reid, 1981).
The Emir Rodriguez Monegal Papers consists mainly of correspondence between Rodríguez Monegal and a wide range of internationally prominent literary figures, scholars, critics, publishers, and academic institutions(much of it relating to Rodriguez Monegal's role as editor and literary critic of Marcha, and Mundo Nuevo(covering mainly the period from 1965 to 1968. The collection includes notes and manuscript and typescript drafts with holograph corrections of essays, lectures, and book reviews by Rodriguez Monegal. Included also are manuscripts and typescripts of poetry, short stories, and novels of authors such as Homero Aridjis, Cecilia Bustamante, Jose Donoso, Luisa Futoransky, Salvador Garmendia, Pedro Salinas, and Severo Sarduy, some of which were submissions by these writers to the aforementioned journals. There is also a large number of tape recordings of interviews, readings, and lectures by Rodriguez Monegal and others.
Miscellaneous and printed material concerns Marcha and Mundo Nuevo (instructions to contributors, payments to contributors, travel and entertainment expenses, etc.) and the International P.E.N. meeting in Bled, Yugoslavia, in July, 1965. There are also copies of book orders placed by Rodriguez Monegal, newspaper and magazine clippings, press releases, and theater and movie programs.
Mundo Nuevo (1966–1971, Spanish for "the New World") was an influential Spanish-language periodical, being a monthly revista de cultura (literary magazine) dedicated to new Latin American literature. Sponsored by the Ford Foundation, it was founded in 1966 by Emir Rodríguez Monegal in Paris, France, and distributed worldwide. Monegal edited it until 1968 The magazine stopped in 1971 after 58 issues.
In 1966, the Ford Foundation decided to publish a Latin American literary magazine. They approached Emir Rodríguez Monegal, scholar of Latin American literature and friend of Borges and Neruda. The magazine was published via ILARI (Instituto Latinoamericano de Relaciones Internacionales) which was habilitated to receive the Ford funding.
Monegal's only demand was to establish it in Paris, France, because, as he explained later, "Paris [...] has the advantage of being a great city where you can still live cheaply. Latin American writers, especially during the sixties, always made their sentimental journey to Paris, and I knew that I could always find talent just outside the door. Besides, if you publish a magazine in any Latin American city, it inevitably takes on a local air. This was just what I wanted to avoid. And the French postal service enabled us to reach the entire New World."
In July 1966, the first issue was published. It was a 23 cm illustrated magazine. Mundo Nuevo published articles and interviews, prose, poetry, and essays, but also excerpts of unreleased texts. It helped launch the career of younger writers such as Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Severo Sarduy, Manuel Puig but also helped then-new writers such as Gabriel García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, or José Donoso.
During 1966, Mundo Nuevo prepublished two chapters of García Márquez's breakthrough novel One Hundred Years of Solitude one year before the book's release; Monegal explained, "I wanted to prepare the ground for the book, which came out in 1967."
Mundo Nuevo contributed to the 1960s publishing phenomenon dubbed "The Boom" in Latin American literature that led to many Latin American writers being published outside of their home countries and gaining critical recognition.
Monegal directed Mundo Nuevo with full editorial control. In those times of Cold War, the magazine was attacked and boycotted from the beginning by Cuba and Latin-American Castrists or Marxists. Monegal defined himself as "a socialist of the English Labour Party type" who "had nothing to do with what they call socialism in the Soviet Union" and he refused to turn Mundo Nuevo into yet another pro-Communist or anti-Communist journal. He explained later, "I conceived Mundo Nuevo as an open forum and invited writers of all political persuasions to contribute to it." This stand of independence also attracted the ire of the anti-Castro in exile.
In 1967, a political scandal was manufactured, with a rumor alleging that Mundo Nuevo was funded by the CIA. In answer, Monegal published in the July 1967 issue of Mundo Nuevo "La CIA y los intelectuales" ("The CIA and the intellectuals"), an article not only debunking the rumor, but also lambasting both the Stalinists and the CIA. He expressed (translated from the Spanish) "the strongest condemnation" of the CIA's actions against intellectuals "who had demonstrated independence against Fascism and Stalinism", being "victim of slander of the organized reaction of the McCarthyist or Stalinist gangs" and of "the deceit" of "the CIA or other corrupters from other sides". This article, and its follow-up two months later, did not amuse Monegal's backers. Escalating disagreements with the Ford Foundation and the ILARI eventually led to Monegal's resignation in July 1968.
This section requires expansion.
As Monegal explained, the magazine was moved to Argentina in Buenos Aires, "where it became just one more anti-Communist journal. It died of exhaustion in the early seventies.
In 1971, the last issue was the double #57/58 for the months of March/April.