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“Do we have an international culture?”: Questioning Transnational Periodical Studies

In 1925 Henry Poulaille issued a questionnaire asking, “Do we have an international culture?”[1] In response René Guénon questioned the premise of the exercise, writing, “I do not know if whether by ‘international culture’ you mean only European culture or . . . if you take this expression in a broader sense.”[2] In his response Miguel de Unamuno goes even further, aligning the inquiry with a French “search for exoticism” and recommends using the term “universal” rather than “international.”[3] As this survey and its replies suggest, artists and writers in the 1920s were drawing attention to the limitations of transnational periodical studies, even as they enacted it—or articulated its fault lines—in print. Such surveys allow us to retroactively trace the networks that modernist artists and writers were interrogating, demonstrating how periodicals, as archives of the era, help us to map relationships between writers, artists, and ideas across borders.

While surveys were issued on a range of topics throughout the early twentieth century, questions on national, regional, and transnational identities were posed with particular frequency and urgency, although they were framed in different ways. While Poulaille deployed the term “international,” the French theosophist journal Cahiers de l’Étoile (1928–39) asked about “contemporary unrest,” alluding to a temporal rather than spatial marker of shared experience.[4] Others identified with an aesthetic movement, as in the case of surrealism, which though French in origin, was reimagined in places like Egypt and Eastern Europe, an internationalism reinforced by responses to questionnaires.[5] In contrast to these aspirational transnational formations, typically emerging from France, artists and writers in Latin America and the Caribbean formed—and then questioned—localized identities, invoking an arte americano, an “Argentine mentality,” or an “authentically Puerto Rican way of being” through questionnaires.[6] Notably, many of the respondents to these questionnaires were also polled by the European publications: the Cuban editor Juan Marinello and Peruvian José Carlos Mariátegui both used the Cahiers de l’Étoile survey to address local concerns, pointing to a broader conversation occurring across periodical communities. Ultimately, such questionnaires and their responses make visible the tensions between the local and international, even while reinforcing the function of the periodical as a space to announce—or contest—artistic and political affiliations and to recirculate them.

The formations designated by these surveys are telling. By asking “Do we have an international culture?” Poulaille created a forum in which to critique and investigate the term “international.” Such nomenclature has certainly been under debate in modernist studies; likewise, terms such as “transnational,” “global,” and “planetary” have all been contested, as has the periodization of modernism.[7] Through questionnaires, we can track how artists and writers of the era negotiated these terms.[8] Poulaille’s survey was published in three different magazines: first in Créer (March 1925), then in Les images de Paris, (February–April 1926), and lastly in Les chroniques du jour, (March 1927), demonstrating its appeal to editors. Poulaille solicited responses from one hundred and fifty “French and foreign” writers, poets, critics, and philosophers, about eighty of whom responded, including Thomas Hardy, Pío Baroja, Miguel de Unamuno, Paul Valéry, and Henri Barbusse.[9]

Some, like Guénon, drew attention to the colonialist overtones of the question. For an “international culture” to exist, it would require, according to Guénon, that

Europeans cease to believe themselves superior to all other peoples, that they renounce the pretension of imposing their own civilization on them . . . there have always been and still are various civilizations, each of which has its own development, and which, consequently, are not comparable to each other nor reducible to a common measure. (Guénon, “Réponse”)

Guénon emphasizes the homogenizing impulse of the term “international culture,” which suggests Europe as its measure. Unamuno argues that even within Europe, Spain is deemed “exotic” and argues for the term “universal” in lieu of “international.” He writes, “An international culture? I oppose the international to the universal. Even now, we, the Spanish, run the risk of becoming fashionable in France, above all for a certain exoticism” (Unamuno, “Response,” 182). He argues that culture is neither national nor international but “human in the most profound sense,” echoing his response to a previous questionnaire issued by La Revue de Genève asking “What do you think will be the future of Europe?” in which he extolled the “infinite and eternal value of the individual human soul,” and added “what is individual is what is universal” (183).[10] While Poulaille positions “international culture” as aspirational through his questions, he also sows doubt, asking, “If, like us, you think that an international intellectual rapprochement has not been seriously attempted, do you see in the present state of affairs the means to undertake it effectively?” Poulaille implies that the answer is “no,” but nevertheless seeks support for a joint effort toward an “international culture.”

Rather than inquiring about a shared culture, Cahiers de l’Étoile instead proposed a shared sense of time. Its 1930 survey asked, “Does there exist an unrest particular to our era?”[11] Unlike Poulaille, whose responses came primarily from French writers (with a few exceptions), by contrast, Cahiers de l’Étoile polled one hundred and twenty respondents from Spain, Romania, England, Germany, Italy, the United States, Cuba, Sweden, France, Uruguay, Denmark, Norway, India, Argentina, Japan, Czechoslovakia, and Switzerland.[12] Many of those whom it polled had already responded to regionally specific surveys identifying local or national formations and their responses to the Cahiers survey were channeled through those interests, and sometimes even reprinted in translation in local publications.

For instance, in their responses to the Cahiers de l’Étoile inquiry, the Argentine Nicolás Olivari and Cuban Juan Marinello both allude to their national aesthetic concerns, which had been called into question through surveys in Martín Fierro (1924–27) and Revista de Avance (1927–30) respectively. In Cahiers, Olivari clarifies “I speak of America, the only land I know.”[13] He introduces French audiences to Martín Fierro and laments its demise: “We, young avant-garde poets who headed the defunct magazine Martín Fierro and have made the most profound American intellectual renewal, we are now paying in excess for our courage” (Olivari, Response to “Enquête sur l’inquiétude contemporaine,” 977). Martín Fierro had itself published a questionnaire asking, “Do you believe that there is such a thing as an Argentine sensibility and/or mentality? If so, what are their characteristics?”[14] It essentially asked its contributors to affirm the existence of an “Argentine mentality” and many did so, including Ricardo Rojas and Leopoldo Lugones.[15] Others, like Mariano A. Barrenechea, defiantly wrote, “I do not believe in the existence of an Argentine sensibility or mentality.”[16] Later, the magazine’s editor, Evar Méndez, recalled that Martín Fierro’s questionnaire on the Argentine mentality “categorically affirmed its existence and defined its characteristics,” thereby glossing over any dissenting responses.[17]

Much like Martín Fierro’s questionnaire on an Argentine sensibility, in San Juan in 1929 the magazine Índice (1929–31) asked its contributors the following questions: “Do you think that our personality as a people is clearly defined? Is there an unmistakably and authentically Puerto Rican way of being? What are our fundamental collective character traits?” published under the title “¿Qué somos? ¿Cómo somos?” (What are we? What are we like?) Most of the respondents argue that Puerto Rican culture had yet to be defined, as it was weighed down by both Spanish and US colonial history.[18] The poet Antonio Coll Vidal, for example, argued that there was an “authentically, unmistakably Puerto Rican way of being,” but that such a Puerto Rican identity was in danger due to Puerto Rico’s colonial status.[19] The playwright Eugenio Astol placed his faith in Puerto Rican literature and music, but suggested that as a people they could not fully develop until they had achieved independence, a sentiment echoed by the writer Manuel Meléndez Muñoz, who agreed that a collective character would emerge only under the “protective and fertile umbrella of liberty.”[20]

In a similar manner, the Cuban editor Juan Marinello drew attention to Cuba’s political oppression in his response to the Cahiers survey. Marinello, an editor of Revista de Avance, argued that Cuba lacked the political and cultural conditions necessary for “contemporary unrest” due to imperialist and capitalist forces. His response, printed in French in Cahiers de l’Étoile and in Spanish in Revista de Avance under the title “Sobre la inquietud cubana” (About Cuban Unrest), translated the questions into Spanish for his audience at home and emphasized the national specificity of his answers for readers in both places, steering his responses, “perhaps excessively, to Cuban reality.” [21] Marinello argues that without economic and political independence or a public intellectual sphere, Cubans were not in a position to participate in an international debate on contemporary unrest.

Revista de Avance, founded by Marinello along with Jorge Mañach, Martí Casanovas, Francisco Ichaso, and Alejo Carpentier, aimed to advance Cuban aesthetic autonomy.[22] Its 1928 survey formulated this impulse as a question, asking, “What should American art be?”[23] Several respondents distinguish this notion of “America” from North America; the poet Rufino Blanco Fombona writes, “we are not talking about the Yankees.”[24] The editor Francisco Ichaso even declares “Yankee imperialism” a “common enemy,” uniting Latin Americans.[25] Like Marinello, other Latin American writers were polled both by Revista de Avance and Cahiers. The Uruguayan critic and folklorist Ildefonso Pereda Valdés, in response to Revista de Avance, maintains that the American artist ought to treat the European with “a respectful admiration, as if we were in front of a museum where everything has already been made and nothing new could be expected from it,” but cautions that “respect does not mean submission: to admire is not to imitate.”[26] In Cahiers he argues that each era has its own unrest. In their own, he argues, such unrest is “expressed by great disorientation,” which in poetry, “takes the form of cosmopolitanism. No literature has suffered more from contagion by mechanistic anxiety than the current Frenchified literature.”[27] By contrast, Pereda Valdés lauds the development of autochthonous art, which such unrest might yield, noting, “creative activity lives and feeds on contemporary unrest. In all eras something new has been created because creative activity is inexhaustible” (Valdés, “Response,” 1106–8).

Such figures resurface in questionnaires repeatedly, reiterating their calls for regional autonomy. One magazine even inverted the question posed by Revista de Avance. Instead of asking Latin Americans “What should the attitude of American artists toward European art be?”, the Paris-based Latin American magazine Imán issued a survey in 1931 testing Europeans’ “Knowledge of Latin America.” “How do you imagine Latin America?” it asked, to which Michel Leiris admits, “I know almost nothing about Latin America,” while other respondents suggested it would revitalize a Europe in decline.[28] Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, much like Guénon, acknowledged Europe’s colonialist perspective, calling it “the old entrenched civilization that judges until everything leads to itself.”[29] By collecting the responses in Spanish, Imán reframed them for its readers, demonstrating a savvy understanding of its own cultural position.

Questioning France’s cultural preeminence was common, as evidenced by a French survey from 1928 asking if Paris was still the “world center for art.”[30] While some reoriented “international culture” away from France, reframing the terms of the debate through the formation of an “arte americano,” or an “Argentine mentality,” others, like Unamuno, suggested the “universal” as an alternative formation. Unamuno was not alone in proposing the “universal” as a term for Hispanophone writers and artists to reimagine a shared culture that transcended the centrality of France.[31] Marinello, too, in his response to the Cahiers questionnaire, introduces the term “universal.” Marinello acknowledges the harsh economic realities in Cuba that kept it subordinated to US imperialist interests, but he offers cultural activity as a vehicle by which Cuba might join a conversation about “the universal.”

This aspiration to the universal is echoed in a 1921 manifesto by the Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros, who helped publish the lone issue of Vida-Americana, which, though launched in Barcelona, self-identified as a “North, Central, and South American avant-garde magazine.”[32] “Let us become universal!” Siqueiros proclaimed, and then called for the development of a “new American art” based on the “synthetic energy” of Latin America’s pre-Columbian civilizations.[33] Ten years later, in 1931, the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier published the essay “Cardinal Points in the Latin American Novel” in the French magazine Le Cahier: Revue mensuelle des lettres et des arts (1929–40), calling for the creation of “a Latin American novel of universal inclination.”[34] Both Siqueiros and Carpentier were writing from Europe and arguing for a “universal” Latin American sensibility.

In “Three Appeals for the Current Guidance of the New Generation of American Painters and Sculptors,” Siquerios explains what he means by “universal” through the example of work by Juan Gris and Picasso, declaring: “a new group of painters and sculptors is emerging in Spain. These artists are attuned to the restlessness of our days; they experiment and liberate themselves from the enormous weight of great traditions, becoming universal” (348). By representing what Cahiers later formulated as “contemporary unrest” through new forms of artmaking, these artists approach “the universal.” However, despite mentioning Spain, Siqueiros argues that this new “universal art” would be aligned at once with the modernist present and with Latin America’s past. He proclaims, “let us love the modern machine,” and calls for an art made in a “constructive spirit,” rooted in Latin American traditions, asserting, “Let us return to the work of the ancient inhabitants of our valleys, the native painters and sculptors (Mayas, Aztecs, Incas and so forth). Our atmospheric proximity to them will help us assimilate the constructive vitality of their work” (351). In this way, he reconciles modernist constructivist principles with ancient culture. Siqueiros also disavows nationalism, instead announcing, “Let us reject theories anchored in the relativity of ‘national art.’ Let us become universal! Our own racial and local physiognomy will inevitably come to light through our work” (351).

Siqueiros’s interest in creating a modernist, “universal,” visual vocabulary emerging from the Americas was part of a dialogue between himself and the other artists featured in the magazine, such as the Uruguayan artists Joaquín Torres-García and Rafael Barradas, and Siquerios’s fellow Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Marius de Zayas, who similarly traveled between Europe and the Americas. For instance, Torres-García later went on to develop what he called “Constructive Universalism,” turning to pre-Columbian motifs as inspiration for his abstract, geometric art.[35] Torres-García also later announced “our north is the south,” as emphasized by his inverted map from 1943.[36]As for Siqueiros, a year after publishing Vida-Americana he returned to Mexico and became known as one of the three great muralists, a notably nationalist practice, but also the most widely disseminated and celebrated Latin American modernist movement.[37]

Similarly arguing for a Latin American art that was at once regionally specific and universal in reach, Alejo Carpentier, who worked on both Revista de Avance in his native Cuba and Imán in Paris, published an essay in French in 1931 on the ascendancy of the “universal” Latin American novel. As he explains, “But it is today when we can set out a South American novel of universal inclination, which can withstand the test of translation and is capable of seducing a good European reader with its power and significance” (Alejo Carpentier, “Los puntos,” 110, author’s translation). Translatability, for Carpentier, would allow writers to reach European audiences. He lists examples of recent novels and concludes “without a doubt, it won’t take long for the Latin American novel to occupy the place it deserves in world literature” (114, translated by Ramón Urzúa-Navas). Such novels, at once recognizably Latin American and universal in appeal, would catapult Latin American literature into an international literary marketplace.

Such invocations of “universality” emerged from an era when artists and writers were questioning how to be both modern and Latin American. Siqueiros and Carpentier continued to clarify how to reconcile the two in the ensuing decades, amidst shifting political and aesthetic alignments. In the 1950s Siqueiros explains:

There could be no universal art, in the broadest sense of the word, which did not spring from a national art. That only from a strongly nationalistic art could there come a powerful universal art. Thus . . . it was necessary for us to take our own country as the point of departure toward great things.[38]

The national, Siqueiros suggests here, is the point of departure for the universal. Similarly, Carpentier explains in a later interview:

I always thought that the Latin American writer—without ceasing to be universal for it—should try to express his world, a world that is even more interesting because it is new. . . . And above all, to break away from “nativism,” “typicalism,” from the picturesque impression, to “deprovincialize” his literature, elevating it to the category of universal values.[39]

In Carpentier’s formulation, the “universal” was a way to express the local while eschewing the pitfalls of primitivism. While Siqueiros’s and Carpentier’s criteria for universality reflect the media in which they worked and their respective politics, both of their texts are pleas for an expanded market for Latin American work. By invoking the term “universal,” these two texts argue for the production of art and literature that does not deny its Latin American origins, in fact, it celebrates them; yet these models emphasize translatability, legibility, and international export, which would enable a wider readership or audience. Siqueiros looks to North America and Carpentier to France as a way to showcase and strengthen a Latin American aesthetic. However, both infiltrate and usurp the very territories they address: Siqueiros absorbs North America for the South by claiming Vida-Americana as a “North, Central, and South American avant-garde magazine,” that is, a magazine of the Americas more broadly, while Carpentier publishes his text in French in Le Cahier, demonstrating how he is already a part of the literary marketplace to which he introduces foreign elements, thereby conjuring a place for Latin American literature in a French context. Moreover, both Siqueiros and Carpentier create the “universally” acclaimed Latin American art and literature that they seek to promote, and inculcate it abroad.

As evidenced by the introduction of the term “universal” in these different contexts, the questions of whether we have an “international culture,” what form it takes, what to call it, and whom it includes remain open-ended. Although for Unamuno the “universal” had a different inflection than for Siqueiros or Carpentier, he too never let go of his national identity, writing to his French audience, “I believe that we, the Spaniards, are today more capable of penetrating the universality and the eternity of a work of art than you, the French” (Unamuno, “Response,” 183). Much as in the field of transnational periodical studies today, for these artists and writers at issue is how to define broad designations like the “international” or the “universal” in such a way that does not privilege the West (and France in particular) or homogenize the work, but rather allows artists and writers to retain regional or national autonomy. In his response, Guénon calls not for a fusion of world civilizations—“it cannot be a question of a chimerical unification”—but rather an acknowledgement of “intellectually equivalent civilizations” (Guénon, “Response”) What form or designation would this take? To begin, we can nuance our understanding of the era by taking our cues from our objects of study: the work of modernist artists and writers themselves. Magazines provide a rich archive to mine from which we can recover the debates that continue to animate the field.

Questionnaires in particular, such as “Do we have an international culture?”, highlight these figures’ conflicted allegiances and their own attempts to reconcile them. As Poulaille acknowledges, “the questionnaire is not exhaustive and that these points are simple suggestions” (Poulaille, “Avons-nous une culture internationale?” 17). The multiple voices contained within such surveys, taken together, destabilize a monolithic “international” culture. In a similar gesture, in his response to the inquiry on “contemporary unrest” in Cahiers, reprinted in Spanish in Lima, José Carlos Mariátegui—the editor of Amauta (1926–30) who was committed to the indigenous cause in Peru—insists that the questionnaire cannot result in anything but “a disorienting plurality of propositions.” However, he does agree that as in all “ages of transition and crisis” there is an “unrest specific to our time,” thereby affirming the exercise.[40] As a forum for heterogeneous viewpoints, the questionnaire offers a model for retaining the tension between individual concerns and their relation to broader, collective identifications, echoing the form and function of the periodical itself. Providing access to the debates that shape the field today, these historical inquiries demonstrate that terms such as “international” have long been called into question.



[1] Henry Poulaille, “Avons-nous une culture internationale?” Créer, March 1925, Les images de Paris, nos. 65–67, February–May 1926, and Les chroniques du jour 8, no. 2, March 1927. Reprinted in Cahiers de l’Unité: Revue d'études et de méthodes traditionnelles, no. 2 (2016): 17. All translations are by the author unless otherwise noted.

[2] René Guénon, “‘Avons-nous une culture internationale?’ (Réponse à une enquête),” Les images de Paris, no. 67, May–July 1926, 16–17. Reprinted in Cahiers de l’Unité: Revue d’études et de méthodes traditionnelles, no. 2 (2016): 16.

[3] Miguel de Unamuno, Response to “Avons-nous une culture internationale?” in Les Chroniques du Jour, no. 3, April 30, 1927, 79–80. Reprinted in Manuel María Urrutia León, ed., Miguel de Unamuno desconocido: Con 58 nuevos textos de Unamuno (Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, 2007), 182–83.

[4]Enquête sur l’inquiétude contemporaine,” Cahiers de l’Étoile, no. 18 (1930): 841–43.

[5] See, for instance, Georges Henein, “Réponses à l’enquête de Troisième Convoi,” Troisième Convoi, no. 2 (1946): 15–16; Nadrealizam danas i ovde (Surrealism Here and Now), no. 3 (1932) included an “Anketa o želji” (Survey on Desire) to which André Breton, Salvador Dalí, Paul Éluard, and René Crevel responded.

[6] “¿Qué debe ser el arte americano?” Revista de Avance 2, no. 26 (1928): 235; ¿Cree usted en la existencia de una sensibilidad, de una mentalidad, argentina?” Martín Fierro 1, nos. 5–6 (1924): 38; “¿Qué somos? Cómo somos?” Índice (San Juan) 1, no. 8 (1929): 114.

[7] See Sonita Sarker, “Absence and Containment: English-Language Transnational Literary Modernist Studies Today,” Modernism/modernit, Print+ 4, no. 3 (2019),

[8] For more on the genealogy of the questionnaire, see Lori Cole, Surveying the Avant-Garde: Questions on Modernism, Art, and the Americas in Transatlantic Magazines (University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2018).

[9] G. M., “Postface à: ‘Avons-nous une culture international?” Cahiers de l’Unité: Revue d’études et de méthodes traditionelles, no. 2 (2016),

[10] Miguel de Unamuno, “L’avenir de l’Europe: Le point de vue d’un Espagnol,” trans. Marcel Faure, La Revue de Genève (Paris), no. 1 (1923): 15–23. The poll also included responses from: André Gide, Hermann Keyserling, Vilfredo Pareto, John Middleton-Murry, and Dimitri Merejkovski.

[11] “Inquiétude” has no direct translation in English, but can mean: unrest, anxiety, concern, uneasiness, or disquiet (La redaction, “Orientations,” Cahiers de l’Étoile [Paris], no. 18 [1930]: 845).

[12] “Enquête sur l’inquiétude contemporaine,” Cahiers de l’Étoile (Paris), no. 18 (1930): 841–3.

[13] Nicolás Olivari, Response to “Enquête sur l’inquiétude contemporaine,” Cahiers de l’Étoile (Paris), no. 18 (1930): 977.

[14] “¿Cree usted en la existencia de una sensibilidad, de una mentalidad, argentina? En caso afirmativa, ¿cuáles son sus características?” Martín Fierro (Buenos Aires) 1, nos. 5–6 (1924) Edición Facsímil, 38.

[15] Ricardo Rojas, “Contestaciones,” Martín Fierro (Buenos Aires) 1, nos. 5–6 (1924), Edición Facsímil, 39; Leopoldo Lugones, “Contestaciones a la encuesta de Martín Fierro” (1924), cited in Martín Fierro (1924–1927): Antología, ed. Beatriz Sarlo (Buenos Aires: Carlos Pérez Editor S. A., 1969), 36.

[16] Mariano A. Barrenechea, “Contestaciones,” Martín Fierro (Buenos Aires) 1, nos. 5–6 (1924), Edición Facsímil, 39.

[17] Evar Méndez (“El Director”), “Asunto Fundamental,” Martín Fierro (Buenos Aires) 4, no. 42 (1927), Edición Facsímil, 375.

[18] “Definición y orientación: ¿Qué somos? ¿Cómo somos?” Índice, Mensuario de Historia, Literatura, Arte y Ciencias (San Juan) 1, nos. 5–10 (1929).

[19] Antonio Coll Vidal, Response to “¿Qué somos? ¿Cómo somos?” Índice (San Juan) 1, no. 5 (1929): 34–35; For more, see Juan Flores, Divided Borders: Essays on Puerto Rican Identity (Houston, TX: University of Houston Press, 1993).

[20] Eugenio Astol, Response to “¿Qué somos? ¿Cómo somos?” Índice (San Juan) 1, no. 10 (1929): 114; Manuel Meléndez Muñoz, Response to “¿Qué somos? ¿Cómo somos?” Índice (San Juan) 1, no. 8 (1929): 91–92.

[21] His responses were published as Juan Marinello, “Sobre la inquietud cubana,” Revista de Avance (Havana) 3, no. 41 (1929): 354–57 and “Sobre la inquietud cubana 2,” Revista de Avance (Havana) 4, no. 43 (1930): 52–54; Juan Marinello, Sobre la inquietud cubana (Havana: Revista de Avance, 1930); Juan Marinello, Response to “Enquête sur l’inquiétude contemporaine,” Cahiers de l’Étoile (Paris), no. 18 (1930): 987–93. Note: the publication of Marinello’s response in Cuba a year before the results were published in France indicates that the recipients were given at least a year to respond, and that the question itself originated in at least 1929, if not earlier (Juan Marinello, Sobre la inquietud cubana [Havana: Revista de Avance, 1930], 5).

[22] Carpentier was incarcerated in Havana on July 9, 1927 for having signed an anti-imperialist manifesto, and held for seven months. Upon his release, he left the country for Paris. José Zacarías Tallet, who was jailed alongside Carpentier, replaced him on the editorial staff of Revista de Avance. Later, when Casanovas was accused of being a Communist, and was subsequently jailed and exiled, Félix Lizaso took over for him as an editor, after the magazine’s eleventh issue.

[23] “Indagación: ¿Qué debe ser el arte americano?” Revista de Avance (Havana) 2, no. 26 (1928): 235.

[24] Rufino Blanco Fombona, Response to “¿Qué debe ser el arte americano?” Revista de Avance (Havana) 2, no. 29 (1928): 361.

[25] Francisco Ichaso, “Balance de una indagación,” Revista de Avance (Havana) 4, no. 38 (1929): 264.

[26] Ildefonso Pereda Valdés, Response to “¿Qué debe ser el arte americano?” Revista de Avance (Havana) 4, no. 35, (1929): 213.

[27] Ildefonso Pereda Valdés, Response to “Enquête sur l’inquiétude contemporaine,” Cahiers de l’Étoile (Paris), no. 18 (1930): 1106–8.

[28] Michel Leiris, Response to “Conocimiento de América Latina,” Imán (Paris), no. 1 (1931): 201.

[29] Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, Response to “Conocimiento de América Latina,” Imán (Paris), no. 1 (1931): 189.

[30] “Paris, centre mondial des arts,” L’Intransigeant (Paris) 49, no. 17.948 (1928): 5.

[31] For more on the triangulation of influence between Latin America, France, and Spain, see the fraught “meridian debate” sparked by an essay by the Spanish poet Guillermo de Torre claiming Madrid as the “intellectual meridian” of Latin America (Guillermo de Torre, “Madrid, meridiano intelectual de hispanoamérica,” La Gaceta Literaria [Madrid] 1, no. 8 [1927]: 1). See also: Carmen Alemany Bay, La polémica del meridiano intelectual de Hispanoamérica (1927): Estudio y textos (Alicante: Universidad de Alicante, 1998); Juan E. De Castro, “The Intellectual Meridian Debate and Colonialist Nostalgia,” in The Spaces of Latin American Literature: Tradition, Globalization, and Cultural Production (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); Marcela Croce, ed., Polémicas intelectuales en América Latina: Del “meridiano intelectual” al caso Padilla (1927–1971) (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Simurg, 2006); and Vanessa Fernández, “A Transatlantic Dialogue: Argentina, Mexico, Spain, and the Literary Magazines That Bridged the Atlantic (1920–1930)” (PhD diss., UCLA, 2013). 

[32] Vida-Americana: Revista norte centro y sudamericana de vanguardia (Barcelona) 1, no. 1 (May 1921); For more, see Natalia de la Rosa, “Vida Americana, 1919–1921. Redes conceptuales entorno a un proyecto trans-continental de vanguardia,” Artl@s Bulletin 3, no. 2 (2014): 22–35; Carlos Segoviano, “Vida-Americana: An Intercontinental Avant-Garde Magazine,” International Yearbook of Futurism Studies 7, ed. Mariana Aguirre, Rosa Sarabia, Reneé M. Silverman, and Ricardo Vasconcelos (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017), 86–114.

[33] David Alfaro Siqueiros, “3 llamamientos de orientación actual a los pintores y escultores de la nueva generación americana,” Vida-Americana: Revista norte centro y sudamericana de vanguardia (Barcelona) 1, no. 1 (May 1921): 2–3; David Alfaro Siqueiros, “Three Appeals of Timely Orientation to Painters and Sculptors of the New American Generation,” in Resisting Categories: Latin American and/or Latino?, trans. Laura Pérez, ed. Mari Carmen Ramírez, Héctor Olea, and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto (Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston International Center for the Arts of the Americas, 2012), 348–51.

[34] Alejo Carpentier, “Les points cardinaux du roman en Amérique latine,” Le Cahier: Revue mensuelle des lettres et des arts (Paris), no. 6 (November 1931): 19–28, reproduced in Spanish translation as Alejo Carpentier, “Los puntos cardinales de la novela en América Latina,” trans. Andrea Martínez, in Alejo Carpentier, Los pasos recobrados: Ensayos de teoría y crítica literaria, ed. Alexis Márquez Rodríguez and Araceli García Carranza (Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 2003), 107–14. Note that while Siquerios uses the term “americana” Carpentier uses “Amérique latine” in the essay’s title and the phrase “sud-americans” in the essay. However, Siqueiros was writing for Hispanophone audiences while Carpentier wrote in French.

[35] For more, see Aarnoud Rommens, The Art of Joaquín Torres-García: Constructive Universalism and the Inversion of Abstraction (London: Routledge, 2016) and Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern, ed. Luis Peréz-Oramas (New York: MoMA, 2015).

[36] Joaquín Torres-García, “The Southern School” (1935), trans. Dawn Ades, in Art in Latin America: The Modern Era, 1820–1980, ed. Dawn Ades (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1989), 320.

[37] See Anna Indych-López, Muralism Without Walls: Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros in the United States, 19271940 (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009); Mary K. Coffey, How a Revolutionary Art Became Official Culture: Murals, Museums, and the Mexican State (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012); Alejandro Anreus, Leonard Folgarait, and Robin Adèle Greeley, eds. Mexican Muralism: A Critical History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012).

[38] Quoted in Philip Stein, Siqueiros: His Life and Works (New York: International Publishers, 1994), 34.

[39] Alejo Carpentier in “Habla Alejo Carpentier,” in Recopilación de textos sobre Alejo Carpentier, ed. Salvador Arias (Havana: Centro de Casa de las Américas, 1977), 18–19.

[40] José Carlos Mariátegui, “¿Existe una inquietud propia de nuestra época?” Mundial (Lima, March 29, 1930): 30.