Coincidentally, but fortuitously, all the writers chosen for this dossier are women, Jazmina Barrera (Mexico), Carmen Boullosa (Mexico), Jeannette Clariond (Mexico), Mariana Torres (Brazil), and Luisa Valenzuela (Argentina). If nothing else, this happy coincidence suggests that the male-dominated world of writers and translators is changing....Read More
Works by Jaime Luis Huenún (Williche), Natalia Toledo (Zapotec), and Mariela Fuentealba Millaguir (Mapuche) in Latin American Literature Today No. 4
Cicatrices y estrellas [Scars and stars] (2016) is a brief, but subtle and beautiful, collection of poems by the Chilean poet Francisco Véjar: an anthology published as part of the “La Rama Dorada” collection by Spanish press Huerga y Fierro. The book contains twenty-five pieces of a poetry purified by the passage of time in which...Read More
Actos de caridad/Los dos hombres/El ilustre mago by César Aira
This book combines into a single volume three scintillating short novels previously published by César Aira in small editions with very limited circulation. With this publication, Emecé continues the enjoyable task of making this author's work available to a wider audience. He is, afterall, considered one of the most important and original contemporary writers.
From Actos de caridad: "In the exercise of charity, is there not so much as a shadow of self-interest, pride or vanity? Aren't the poor being used as a step in the climb towards the prestige of sainthood?"
From Los dos hombres: "The two men seemed to have always lived in the house, alone, isolated. If they had not been born there - which seemed unlikely to me - they had been in their room since they were boys, doors shut, never leaving, so as to conceal their deformities."
From El ilustre mago: "Ovando had led me to the exact place where my brain could emit the waves that, combined with his magical abilities, would give him the power to dominate the world: his old desire as a failed writer."
Halo de la luna by Carmen Ollé
Samantha is a beautiful teenager entranced by death. She inhabits a thin, pale body. Her parents have made arrangements so that she does not leave this world without having enjoyed the supreme pleasure of an erotic night. Her nanny, an older woman, has received the task of finding a lover to carry out their designs. And so Carmen Ollé begins this frenetic story, full of intrigues which carry it into the territory of the black novel.
Imbued with the ritual rhythm that beautifies daily life in the Eastern arts, this narration is an exploration of the impulses that Eros and Thanatos still exercise in our lives, just as they always have. Influenced by these forces, Samantha's story takes place in a climate marked by banality and perversion, in which the search for pleasure as an end unto itself exacerbates greed and the desire to possess.
In the great river that separates life from death, guarded by mythical Charon, dwell the puzzles that Ollé leaves with us: Is pleasure a means of liberation or of slavery? Can fiction exorcise the hardships of a life ravaged by violence and squalor?