The Worst Editing Job in the World

By Susan Harris

. . . is the task accepted by the narrator of Horacio Castellanos Moya's Senselessness. In this extract from our issue of October 2006, a self-described "depraved atheist" writer is hired by the Catholic Church to edit an eleven-hundred-page report on the military's massacres of Indian villages.  Caught up in the stark precision and inadvertent poetry of one survivor's testimony, he concludes that the entire population of the country, both victims and attackers, is "not complete in the mind"; and that, having agreed to immerse himself in the document, he himself is "the least complete in the mind" of them all.

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