ⓘ Editora Nacional Quimantu was a Chilean publishing house created in 1971 by Salvador Allendes Unidad Popular government. It was founded under the premise of off ..


ⓘ Editora Nacional Quimantu

Editora Nacional Quimantu was a Chilean publishing house created in 1971 by Salvador Allendes Unidad Popular government. It was founded under the premise of offering various literary works and a view of Chilean culture not covered by the "official bourgeois tradition" by then, at an accessible price for the countrys working class. Quimantu is mapuche for "sun of knowledge".

Now refounded as Editorial Quimantu, it is in charge of "a group of people that decided that dreams arent of much use if we dont try to make them a reality, belonging to social, cultural and political organizations in various sectors of Santiago de Chile."


1.1. History Foundation

Towards the end of 1970, the workers of Editorial Zig-Zag went on strike in order to push for the nationalization of their publishing house. On February 12, 1971, the Unidad Popular government took control of 40% of the companys assets, leading to the creation of the Empresa Editora Nacional Quimantu National Quimantu Publishing Company, Ltd. It was run by Joaquin Gutierrez, a Costa Rican close to President Allende.

The books published by Quimantu were sold at very low prices in bookshops and newspaper kiosks, in order to effectively make culture more accessible to the people. Its catalogue included classical and contemporary works of literature, history, general information and original research. It also set up weekly and monthly magazines, including Cabrochico for children, Onda for young people, Barrabases, a comics magazine, Paloma for women and La Quinta Rueda, a cultural publication.

Joaquin Gutierrez once commented, on the influence of Quimantu:

The people were walking around with their little books in order to read them on buses. The care for culture that the workers developed over that time was beautiful. We had managed to change the social connotations of having books, which until then had been the privilege of a cultural elite.


1.2. History Closure and refoundation

The Editora Nacional Quimantu was closed down after the 1973 Chilean coup detat by the new authorities, and many of its books were burned. The following year, the military restarted a publishing house, named Editora Nacional Gabriela Mistral, but it went bankrupt ten years later and closed.

In 1989, former general manager of the editorial Sergio Maurin came back from exile by the military regime and registered the name for ten years with the intention of "constituting it as an anonymous society and making it big" with other former members. The plan was abandoned upon realizing the high initial costs this implied, and its poor profitability due to the poor presence and management of bookstores and the publics lack of interest in reading.

A decade later, the idea of making an alternative, popular editorial emerged in an "extraparliamentary left-wing collective", and thus the name Quimantu was registered again in 2000, and its first title, Agenda del Che 2002 ", published in November 2001. The refounded company is currently managed by Mario Ramos, and books are distributed independently from traditional bookstores - as this would increase end consumer costs considerably - preferring popular fairs, including their own Yo me libro ".


2. Collections

Editora Nacional Quimantu published a total of around 250 titles, of which it printed around 10 million copies, between November 1971 and August 1973. One year after its foundation, it published over 500 000 copies every month. Its collections included:

  • Cuadernos de Educacion Popular Books for Popular Education
  • Nosotros los chilenos We, the Chileans
  • Analisis, pensamiento y accion
  • Figuras de America Figures of America
  • Camino Abierto Open Path
  • Quimantu para todos Quimantu for all
  • Clasicos del Pensamiento Social Classics of Social Thought
  • Cuncuna childrens books
  • Minilibros Minibooks: works of Chilean and world literature
  • president of the football club Colo - Colo from 1925 to 1926. Vera, Antonino 1973 El futbol en Chile in Spanish Editora Nacional Quimantu p. 32.
  • Raul Zenteno Historia del cine chileno p.65 Carlos Ossa Coo. Historia del cine chileno. Empresa Editora Nacional Quimantu 1971. The Last Gallop on IMDb
  • Gonzalvez Historia del cine chileno p.66 Carlos Ossa Coo. Historia del cine chileno. Empresa Editora Nacional Quimantu 1971. One Who s Been a Sailor on IMDb
  • Ercilla, was head of the Revista Mapocho and played a role in the Editora Nacional Quimantu set up by Salvador Allende s Unidad Popular government from 1971
  • Historia del cine chileno: Carlos Ossa Coo in Spanish Empresa Editora Nacional Quimantu p. 67. Langman, Larry 1995 A Guide to American Crime Films
  • a position in the government - affiliated publishing Editora Nacional Quimantu The term Quimantu was chosen because it means sunshine of knowledge