Anahi Cazas reports for Pagina Siete:
The three volumes of the monumental work sold at Bs900
Complete Arzans’ Chronicles are for sale for the first time
INITIATIVE. The BCB [Bolivia’s Central Bank] and Plural Foundation launched a facsimile edition of the monumental work.
“… Nowhere in the world is so rich hill found … none that gives such rents and profits “. This excerpt from a chronic history of the Villa Imperial de Potosí, succinctly reflects much of the focus of this monumental work of Bartolomé Arzáns de Orsúa y Vela: the history of Potosi and Potosinos in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, inextricably linked to the Cerro Rico [rich mountain].
Although it is considered the founding text of Bolivian literature as one of the most important books of colonial America, just a few days ago, is available for the first time in a complete edition, to the reading public.
Plural Editores and the Cultural Foundation of the Central Bank of Bolivia have just launched a facsimile edition of the complete text compiled by researchers Gunnar Mendoza and Lewis Hanke and published in the U.S. in 1965, in a reduced edition, run only outside in universities circle.
“This is the first time that Bolivian readers have available the complete works of Arzans, as previously it was only published fragments of the stories,” said Mauricio Souza, Plural Editores.
“It was published several short versions of the chronicles of Arzans during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Then, in 2000, Plural pulled an anthology of the stories by Leonardo Garcia Pabon,” Souza said.
The collection of 1965 was sponsored by Brown University in Rhode Island (USA), whose library retains the original manuscripts of the Potosino author.
“It took seven months to get permission to publish,” said Souza. Copies of the specimens were taken from one of the few Bolivian collectors who own these volumes, who came out almost 50 years ago.
The facsimile copy was performed using a digital scanner through a complex process that lasted over a year and a half and was in charge of a group of technicians from the publishers, who took copies page by page.
Given the value of this work, the Mint of Potosí and BCB Foundation promoted the facsimile, the edition is presented in three volumes, sold at Bs900. Because of the cost and extent of the collection, an initial print run was made of only 500 copies.
According to Edgar Arandia, director of the Cultural Foundation, who had the idea to publish an exact copy of the 1965 edition was the writer Nestor Taboada Terán, a board member of this institution.
“We decided to publish three volumes because somehow we rescue a historical and cultural heritage of the Bolivians,” he said and announced that next year the foundation is preparing a project to take “a popular edition of the work of Arzans”.