Journey through the Monsiteca

Within the Personal Libraries of the Biblioteca de México, which will celebrate ten years of service at the end of this year, there are two collections that include magazines: those of José Luis Martínez (1918-2007) and Carlos Monsivais (1938 -2010).

The editor, historian and cultural manager Martínez focused his collection on literary reviews, which he published in facsimile editions in the FCE, as well as a delicious and unknown collection of the spicy Ha ha (1959-1970?), while Monsiváis, the street and neighborhood chronicler of San Simón, in the Portales district, showed his excessive interest in collecting fotonovelas, comics, political magazines and frivolous magazines , as the censored TO SEE.

THE MONASTERY, located south of the Patio de Escritores, it is composed of more than 15,000 copies and about 700 volumes of periodicals. Of his comic strips or comics there are more than four thousand copies and 188 volumes. Nearly 1,500 missives sent to the chronicler of San Simón, but unfortunately no personal letters (they went in vain for their correspondence with Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, et al). There are only 22 long-playing records: a meager collection for an obsessive music lover like Monsiváis, who even coined the pseudonym Manuel Machin Gurria, jazz specialist. His record collection is in the Fonoteca Nacional.

The Monsirrevistas are placed in two shelves and two towers, arranged in On foot (1995) at left-handed (1990), including a section with their collaborations already classified and identified by yellow post-its.

In a tower are the comics, Adelaide the Conqueror (1933), by comic filmmaker and anti-Callista Juan Arthenack, to Zapata rides again (1996), by El Metiche, as well as Pepín (1942-1954), heavy metal (1977-1999) and of course Paquito presents the Burrón family (1953-1978) and The Buron family (1980-2009). There is also The Dazzling Life of Marie Felix (1956-1958) and The life and loves of Pedro Infante (1957), both edited by Publicaciones [Vicente] Ortega Colunga.

There are a number of volumes of Process (1976-2011, where he argued with Octavio Paz between 1977 and 1978), the mythical weekly Hoy (1937-1967), South (Buenos Aires, 1931-1950, directed by Victoria Ocampo), his beloved The New York Book Review (1964-2008) and photo novels Appointment (1974-1984), romance novels (1975-1985) and valley of tears (1975-1986), among other titles. A few copies of the scandalous fotonovela are added Case of alarm! (1971-1991, which favored the stars as the protagonists of their sordid and bloody stories).

The columnist showed interest in the collection of fotonovelas, comics, political magazines and frivolous magazines

The famous Monsiteca was visited by appointment, among others, by Javier Aranda Luna in search of memories of the Italian painter Bona Tibertelli, wife of André Pieyre de Mandiargues, in love with Octavio Paz, first, then with Francisco Toledo; film critic Carlos Bonfil, who revealed to me his adventures with his namesake at El 14, the first bar-restaurant to host heterosexual live sex sessions; Internet user Arturo Trejo, author of sidewalk chronicles; Gerardo Lammers, former supplement editor confabular; Ricardo Morales López (1963-2021), specialist in 19th and early 20th century printing methods.

CURATOR MARTÍN HERNÁNDEZ went to the collection to form the exhibition “Carlos Monsiváis: Bookmaker, chronicler of the city”, in 2018, where I presented the “Monsi-Mapa”, a sketch of the neighborhood of San Simón, where the chronicler appears in some places of interest, which his cousin Beatriz Sánchez Monsivais liked. In the footsteps of the designer Was (pseudonym of the Michoacan painter Alfredo Zalce) was the collector, punctual iconographic researcher and I got used to at the “ceremony of the cork”, Carlos A. Córdova, author of the classic Agustín Jiménez and the Mexican photographic avant-garde (RM, 2005) and the triptych of shadows (Conaculta, 2012). The journalist Antonio Bertrán, author of the chronicle “Nosotros los jotos”, has documented here some of his themes.

Spanish, French and Brazilian researchers have visited the site. looking for the first Batman In Spanish, Professor María López Villalba, from the University of Malaga, arrived on her last day in Mexico City. Last year he published “The First Batman in Spanish and the Incredible Comics Industry in Mexico”. Doctor Cathy Fourez, a specialist in Mexican detective novels, was and will return from the University of Toulouse. He consulted and read more than forty copies of Detective selections and mysteries (1941-1960), by Antonio Helu.

Among cartoonists and caricaturists, Jorge Flores (better known as Blupi) and Rubén Soto the nosy, director of the Joaquín Cervantes Bassoco Comics and Comics Museum, in the state of Morelos. Among the historians were Juan Manuel Aurrecoechea, a specialist in Mexican comics and a researcher supported by UNAM, and the Obregonist historian Carlos Silva.

The most frequent visitors to the Monsiteca were Alfonso Morales Carrillo, director of horny moon, and its then editors Anyi Bravo Valerdi and Miguel G. Álvarez. In 2016 and all of 2019 they immersed themselves in magazines, fotonovelas, brochures, newspaper clippings, posters. They examined even the smallest paper. In October 2019, the reprography stage began, which continued in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021. Photographer César Flores and his assistant recorded the material. A significant sample can be consulted in issue 37 of this magazine, devoted to iconosphere monsivaíta, which is already in circulation.

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