Writer and undergraduate student at New York University studying English literature and creative writing.
Attention bibliophiles, book collectors and the literary-hearted, in a world falling out of romance with the printed text, Buenos Aires welcomes a spectacular celebration of the print tradition as the Antiquarian Book Fair returns for its 13th edition.
The esteemed connoisseurs of the Association of the Antiquarian Librarians of Argentina (ALADA) have organised a beautiful array of works ranging from 15th century to 20th century first editions at the Kirchner Cultural Centre (CCK) for public display.
ALADA President and librarian Lucio Aquilanti explained to Telám how the fair embodies not only an incredible presentation of the country’s literary richness, but also marks the capital city’s deserved place as a global cultural landmark.
“Being a city with the most bookstores per capita in the world and with what has always been a huge market of antique books—keeping in mind that our association ALADA, alone, brought together nearly 50 Antiquarian Bookstores— it is important that Buenos Aires undertakes this fair just as they do in San Francisco, Paris, Madrid: the great cultural capitals of the world.”
Some of the exhibition’s most notable works include first editions of Julio Cortázar’s Rayuela, Jorge Luis Borges’s Fervor de Buenos Aires and Ricardo Güiraldes’s Don Segundo Sombra.
Exhibitors will also be presenting antique prints, maps, photographs and posters, along with century old illustrated editions and comics.
One of the CCK event assistants Javier Moscarola detailed to Telám the range and rarity of the collection, including a codex from the year 1550, vintage photographs of Buenos Aires and original letters from the Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres García.
Aquilanti further remarked on how the evolution of what is conceived to be an ‘antique book’ has transformed the possibility of the collections presented here this week.
This edition “has the unique opportunity to compile works from the 15th century all the way up to the 20th, because the antique book, by use of language, has carried over to signify books that are not necessarily old, but rather exquisite and rare and scarce.”
Presenting books that have withstood centuries, works possessing the author’s own mark and photographs of a city long forgotten, the fair is certain to leave us all longing in nostalgia for the art form that was and to some extent continues to be print publication.
Entry is open to all and completely free. The fair began on Wednesday night and will run until 8PM Sunday night, joining Saturday’s “La Noche de los Museos” city-wide event, where all cultural centres and museums are open for free entry to the public.