Lecture Series

"Best sellers". A study of popular literature

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Best sellers have always been a key element of the editorial industry, but their role along the last years has become increasingly fundamental. In parallel to them, there has been a revival of the interest for the traditions of popular literature composed of best selling books. Going from the time of Dumas, Verne or Conan Doyle, until the current Dan Brown or J.K. Rowlings, these have generated symbols of great dissemination that have contributed to the conformation of the Western cultural imagination.

The publication in Spain of the book by Sergio Vila-Sanjuán Código best seller (2011), where he traces their history and proposes a canon for these works, is what triggers these series of conference in the Fundación March. The philosopher José Antonio Marina, great specialist in the social dimension of reading, will speak about the best seller as a paradigm of the literature experienced, the one that mainly exists in the conscience of the reader. The editor Daniel Fernández will analyze the fundamental reasons, the secrets, and the practical mechanism by which a book gets to become a best seller. Sergio Vila-Sanjuán will review the different typologies (historical portrait, fable, thriller, denounce novel,...) that the tradition of best seller has produced along the two last centuries.

Lastly, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, creator of captain Alatriste and one of the main best sellers of all time in Spain, pioneer among us if the "quality best seller", will explain how he chooses his topics, his way of working, and how the international dissemination of his work has worked, through a conversation with Vila-Sanjuán.