Welcome to the Public Domain: Roberto Arlt

Roberto Arlt

I was born on 26th April, 1900. I have attended to primary school until I was 8. They expelled me because I was a good for nothing. I was a student at the Army Mechanic School. They expelled me because I was a good for nothing. Since I was 15 and until my 20s, I did every kind of trade.They always fired me. I wrote El juguete rabioso (The angry toy), a novel, when I was 22.For four years, it was rejected by every editor. After that, I found an inexperienced one.

The violent servilism and the inexorable cruelty of men will never be beaten. I think we have the horrible mission / task of attending the twilight of mercy and we do not have any chance but to write torn apart to avoid throwing bombs or setting up brothels. People would show more gratitude for this last one. Man, in general, provokes me repugnance, and I have –as the only virtue- not to believe in my possible literary value for more than five minutes a day. Among women, the ones whom I am interested in are the dishonest ones, the virgins; and among the despicable union, the honest men.

Roberto Arlt, from “Cuentistas de Hoy”, 1926

The 70 insane

Last 26th July, it has been 70 years since Roberto Emilio Godofredo Arlt died and since this last January 1st, 2013, and because of our courteous and distinguished (argentinian) Law 11723 of “Intellectual Property”, his work has entered Public Domain.

It is very common to hear that internet is the impunity paradise, where the infinite and “the absence of regulations” make the net user immerse in a savage licentiousness without any rule, and with the only choices of repression and surveillance. And it is really far from reality. Unlike real world, you can spend many years in jail for opening letter you don´t have to or pay a lot of money for not erasing a comment in time. Or worse: go to jail for opening a library. In fact, and opposed to what happens in the limited material world, in the uncontrolled internet world, the only libraries that are allowed are the ones of Public Domain. In the real world, you can create a library and make a long list of best-sellers of the year for everyone and you may probably be awarded distinguished citizen. But if you try to do the same on the internet, you will get the police over you, public prosecutor Sáenz, the FBI and even anti terrorist elite commandos.

As Francisco said, the texts of many of the authors that enter Public Domain in 2013 are a few on the net (maybe the average hundred years since its publication that take them to enter Public Domain do not help to keep the memory). Arlt is not the exception and to have access to his work you must face many handy captchas, piantabots, banners given to gambling, unblockable and angry popups of all kind. I suspect that Arlt would be amused because of the characters: virtual pirates and scoundrels.

Now that they are under Public Domain, we finally can have them on the library!




More in derechoaleer’s Public Domain Library

Spanish to english translation: Bibiana Ruiz. Thank you!!

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