Hotel Cordel takes its cue from traditional Spanish “Cordel” literatures. A nineteenth century pamphlet culture that owes to the Portuguese literatura de cordel (translating as a “string” or “thread” literature), Pliegos de cordel [Cordel sheets] are a cousin to the bibliothèque bleue [blue book] in French publishing tradition; a brother to the German Volksbuch [people’s book]: an inexpensively printed pamphlet containing folk novelettes, poems, political statements and songs. So named because they were hung from strings in marketplaces to display these texts to their potential readers, “Cordel” sheets would conform to the traditional chapbook format; printed on a single sheet and then folded into a paper concertina of either 8, 12, 16 or 24 pages.
Re-versioning this format, Hotel Cordel runs as a series of collaborative pamphlets that’ll see Hotel partner with other small press projects, publishers, artists and curators to produce a series of minor texts in the Cordel tradition.
#1 — ‘A House on Fire,’ A Hotel Europoe Project
Translations and transmutations of a poem by Attila József [†]
† — Forthcoming