Fogwill in LALT

Number 15

In our August 2020 issue, we celebrate the work of women writers and translators in honor of Women in Translation Month, highlighting the work of Victoria de Stefano, Krina Ber, Rowena Hill, and Margara Russotto—four women united by the coincidence of emigrating to Venezuela and becoming renowned writers in Spanish. We also pay homage to a giant...

At seven, she learns to read and write in Caracas, with many difficulties. She believes that she will never learn to read, Ls and Ms torture her. She goes to school, after her first sobs, she...

For a time, I believed that I had a language. I was sure: it was as much as part of me as my skin. This certainty began at age four, when my father taught me to read. It was in my mouth, in everyone’s mouth, and it was in the red and blue letters of the spelling book; and from there to adverts, posters, shops, cafés, and endless signs. Hundreds of...

I would have liked to write a more objective essay about my relationship with languages, and the relationship between my languages, but I’m not a linguist and I wouldn’t be able to define details of the effort of “translation” I have had to make to adopt Spanish as my main language (beginning when I was already thirty-six), so what follows is...

The topic: a foreign language. True, nowadays it’s mine, or almost. But ten years ago the act of writing in Spanish was something that caused me waves of amazement. I was still trying to capture that amazement in my fictional diary: a short circuit between delight and surprise: In the murmur of the sea, in a glass of warm milk, and...

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Fiction

Photo: Sean Thoman

Hi Mom, how are you? Hope you’re ok. There’s one hour’s difference between Puerto Rico and Panama so it’s nine o’clock in the evening here. We’ve just put the baby down in his cot, he cried a couple of times—quite normal at the moment—but it looks like he’s gone to sleep now. It’s been a long day. He woke up for the last time (oh, he’...

Photo: Adrian Dascal

Let’s imagine a literary country, a country that doesn’t exist, that would have to be invented out of thin air like Macondo was invented, or Yoknapatawpha County, or any of those other places people believe exist. It doesn’t matter whether they believe it exists or not. The important thing here is to build it from scratch, from zero. It doesn’t...

Photo: Alex Folguera

I am alone and my skin falls from me. My teeth dislodge themselves, one after the other. This traitorous disease—I do not know its name—has unfurled itself over my miserable existence for more than a week. There’s not a single soul left—none of the three hundred other Africans who departed the Mauritanian coast bound for the Canaries. An endless...

Interviews

US-Mexico Border

In September 2019, writer Marcelo Hernandez Castillo visited the University of Oklahoma at the invitation of the Mark Allen Everett Poetry Series, participating in events sponsored by LALT’s sister publication World Literature Today. Arthur Dixon, Managing Editor of LALT, sat down with Hernandez Castillo to discuss his poetic and nonfiction...

Photo: Martha Dominguéz de Gouveia

Lina Meruane is an award-winning Chilean author, essayist and cultural journalist whose works have been translated into numerous languages, including English, Italian, Portuguese, French and German. In 2012, her novel Sangre en el ojo (translated by Megan McDowell into English as Seeing Red), about a woman coping with the onset of...

Luisa Valenzuela

Luisa Valenzuela has been recognized as an author raised among authors. Her mother, Luisa Mercedes Levinson, was a noteworthy author and frequently contributed to the cultural supplement of La Nación. From a young age, she had the privilege of frequent visits with Jorge Luis Borges, Ernesto Sábato, and Adolfo Bioy Casares. For her,...

Poetry

Photo: Asael Peña

The military parade has finished. / Now bums stroll the pier, / an alley where no one finds a peaceful death. // This year there were fireworks / and the President read a tear-jerking / and ovation-worthy speech, / followed by a minute of silence for three / pilots who died while performing supersonic pirouettes.

Photo: Manuel Cordero

The real trails low, can’t fly, a peacock’s train. / But butterfly’s a moment made a thing, / so violent in the fluttering of her wing, / a wind which lingers slowly and so vain, // which grows impatient and unfurls. A sneer / against the death she wears: a fancy’s flight, / like all the eye believes that is in sight / —or almost all—but is not...

Osvaldo Lamborghini

When passion gets strong, so strong / Heaven cocks its trigger / And then we’re done for  / My sweet, sweetheart. / It would be better, perhaps, for us… / Oh no, it would be no better for us! / (Except the thrill of perishing in the attempt) / Because the issue is our poppycock, on purpose. / Of course: there is no issue.

Editor’s Pick

Fracture

“An earthquake fractures the present, shatters perspective, shifts memory plates.” In Fracture, Andrés Neuman revisits the Latin American genre of the total novel, an all-encompassing narrative exploring every theme, social milieu, and emotional possibility. It’s a reflection on time, a powerful tale about how we reread and react to the...

Amores líquidos

The three stories in Carmen Ollé’s Amores líquidos speak to theories Zygmunt Bauman develops in his essay Liquid Love (2005): for example, that postmodern interpersonal relationships are no longer marked by a need for continuity or consistency. The first work in Ollé’s text is a novella titled “Le malheur (The misfortune of...

Marosa

The eternal little girl of hares and werewolves, who would become lost among orange blossoms and magnolias, the young woman who was a wedding columnist in her native Salto, the theater actress who abandoned her movie star dreams for her job as a city employee. The one with long hair who would walk arm in arm with her mother and sister along the...

Indigenous Literature

La Montaña de Guerrero

Hubert Matiúwàa is a poet of considerable agility. In 2016 his first book, Xtámbaa / Piel de Tierra, introduced us to a vertiginous voice which gallops forcefully in light of the violence and silence suffocating the Mè’phàà people of La Montaña in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Two years later, Matiúwàa published Ìjín gò’ò Tsítsídiín /...

La Montaña de Guerrero

It can take days to climb a mountain, or the blink of an eye. On the way, the mountain will show you, little by little, her body. What makes her habitable in spite of her inhospitality. At her peak, you’ll feel so small that the slightest breeze could easily blow you off your feet. It’s hard to climb a mountain without company. The strength to do...

Baile del Ratón, La Montaña de Guerrero

While it is true that every human group is constructed at the same time as it is territorialized in a given geographic space/time, it is equally true that every human group is only shaped as a culture at the precise moment at which it is able to symbolically configure its process of territorialization. Territorializing is, at once, a material ...