Cuaderno exquisito is a publishing project headed by a group of young European philology students (Belgian/Portuguese/Spanish) collecting stories for international and multilingual issues. The second edition (Cuadernito II) is already available on its WordPress blog
Cuaderno Exquisito, in a sense, became what it had always been meant to be: an assimilation of various parts not normally found together, shoved into a shared nice little red skin and electro-shocked into life. The experiment consisted in leaving stories in their original languages, side by side, so that the experience of reading the whole will truly be different, depending on where you’re coming from. The monster is a shapeshifter.
As a Portuguese reader, for instance, you may have to put some effort into reading the Spanish texts, and so be forced to spend your focused attention on the texts which are, in effect, most foreign to you. As a reader you can choose to read the whole as a collage of experiences of Europe; or, you may choose to delve into the equally profound and complex stories behind single texts.
What does the story of a Brazilian immigrant in France say about Brazil, about France, or even about Western European bureaucracies in general? How much is the lyrical homecoming of a Portuguese trucker a reflection of the relationship of the people of Lisbon with their sea, the Portuguese with their homeland, the experience of trucking across so many culturally diverse areas in general, or simply again the life of a man who spends his time moving around the European continent?
For those interested, we invite you to read the texts on the WordPress blog: two cuadernitos (Cuadernito I and Cuadernito II) preceded the publication of the limited edition print collection, which was a selection from these previous blogposts.