New Book: Marta Aponte Alsina’s “PR 3 Aguirre”

Aguirre 1913

Yesterday, April 7, 2018, Marta Aponte Alsina’s new book, PR 3 Aguirre, was launched in the Aguirre sector of Salinas, Puerto Rico, just on time for today’s celebrations of the birth of Ramón Emeterio Betances. According to the autor, this book focuses on the town of Aguirre and its surroundings. She combined the “gazes that froze us” in imperial categories and decrees with some of our own perspectives. She explains in Encuentros . . . al sur (an experimental collective diary):

UntitledThe first part of PR 3 Aguirre contains a gallery of portraits of the merchants related to Boston (who acquired the land and established a “company town”), their families, and social circles. In some cases, the documentary intention was diverted by fictional places, lingering on certain scenes and atmospheres. I did not censure or provoke the fictions that the documents suggested. In general, the reading of documents did not focus on a literal and objective transcription of the content of the sources, although there are also passages that are very close to being summaries or marginal comments. The book moves between the documentary and the imaginative, and even the testimonial, as a rigorously academic historical text could not.

The counterweight of the portraits of Bostonians in the first section is found in the interviews with Puerto Ricans included in the second part of the book, which also contains short fragments, intrusions of imaginary voices, and comments by the author, as if the voices speaking were no longer those of the documents, but rather of the lack of documents.

[Image above, from the author’s blog:]

Excerpts translated by Ivette Romero. For more information (in Spanish), see

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