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Collection Overview

Plural : revista cultural de Excélsior
Plural Editorial Files
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
6 boxes and 2.5 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1-6


The Plural Editorial Files is comprised of the editorial correspondence of Plural (1971-1976), the Mexican journal of literature, politics, art, and cultural commentary. Files include correspondence with Plural editors and personnel Octavio Paz, Kazuya Sakai, Danubio Torres Fierro, José de la Colina, Sonia Levy-Spira, Julio Scherer García, Tomás Segovia, and others. Contributor correspondence include a wide range national and international of writers, publishers, and intellectuals from Latin America, United States, and Europe.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The files comprise almost entirely of correspondence to various Plural editors and personnel Octavio Paz, Kazuya Sakai, Danubio Torres Fierro, José de la Colina, Sonia Levy-Spira, Julio Scherer García, Tomás Segovia, Eusebio Rojas Guzmán, and others. Correspondence features notable Mexican national and international contributors to Plural such as Octavio Armand, Julio Cortázar, Dore Ashton, Fernando Charry Lara, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Carlos Fuentes, Roman Jakobson, Günter Grass, Pere Gimferrer, Mario Vargas Llosa, Charles Tomlinson, Severo Sarduy, Guillermo Sucre, José Olivio Jiménez, among others. In addition, there are few typescript manuscripts in Series 6.


Organized into the following series: Series 1: Octavio Paz; Series 2: Kazuya Sakai; Series 3: Danubio Torres Fierro; Series 4: Other Editors; Series 5: Consecutivo; Series 6: Non Correspondence

Collection Creator Biography:

Plural : revista cultural de Excélsior

Plural was founded by Mexican poet and Nobel Prize Laureate Octavio Paz (1914-1998) in Mexico City in 1971. Prior to Plural, Paz was living abroad intermittently as a diplomat since 1945. He was living in India as the Mexican ambassador in 1968, when he resigned in protest against the Mexican government's violent supression of student demonstrations in Tlatelolco during the Olympic Games. Upon returning to Mexico, Julio Scherer García, editor of the newspaper Excélsior, offered Paz the opportunity to start a new monthly journal. Despite it being housed and financed by Excélsior, Plural was to be an independent monthly publication, allowing Paz the freedom to select content and assemble a separate staff.

Plural was not strictly a literary journal. Beginning a new journal after resigning in protest against the actions of the Mexican government in Tlatelolco allowed Paz the platform to critically discuss Mexico's state of government and democracy. It also allowed Paz to open up Mexico to international intellectual cultural exchange. From its beginning, Plural strove to be a convergence for Latin American and other international intellectuals to write about trends in art, culture, and politics. For its first issues in late 1971, Paz reached out to a wide international list of contributors that included Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Claude Lévi Strauss, Susan Sontag, John Cage, Noam Chomsky, Severo Sarduy, Paul Goodman, Harold Rosenberg, Roman Jakobson, Henri Michaux, Dore Ashton, and Charles Tomlinson. Plural was imagined to be a Latin American journal that covered a wide range of disciplines including essay, criticism, and translation. This, juxtaposed with its historical location in post-1968 Mexican society, made Plural one of the most innovative and culturally significant monthly publications of its time. Its interdisciplinary nature and broad scope put the publication ahead of its time.

As Paz fulfilled various academic responsibilities abroad as visiting professor at various institutions like Cambridge and Harvard, he relied on an initial staff of Tomás Segovia and Sonia Levy-Spira to run the editorial office while he managed editorial capacities through telephone and written correspondence. Later, Plural's editorial staff consisted of Kazuya Sakai, an Argentine-Japanese painter and critic, who replaced Segovia as managing editor; Uruguayan writer Danubio Torres Fierro, and Mexican writer and translator José de la Colina. Other editors and staff included Gabriel Zaid, Alejandro Rossi, Salvador Elizondo, and Eusebio Rojas Guzmán.

Plural remained in publication until 1976 when the Excélsior workers' cooperative was dismantled in a golpe gubernamental, resulting in the government complicity in defaming and firing Julio Scherer García and his staff. Paz and other members of the Plural advisory committee printed their reaction and resignation from Excélsior's ties in Siempre!. Issue 58, published in July 1976, was the last Plural issue published under Paz's directorship. Both Excélsior and Plural continued as publications without the editorialship of Scherer García and Paz. Scherer García went on to begin a weekly magazine called Proceso and Paz began Vuelta. For more on Vuelta, which Paz edited until his death in 1998, see Vuelta Editorial Files (C1480).

Collection History


Purchase, 2014 (AM 2015-13).

Archival Appraisal Information:

Nothing was removed from the collection during the 2015 processing.

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez with assistance from Noga Zaborowski and Kristine Gift in July 2015. Finding aid written by Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez in July 2015.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

This collection is open.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Plural Editorial Files; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
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