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Articles tagged "Apocalypse"

Saint Lionel

Vanoli’s campy cyberpunk roadtrip follows two low-ranking members of a barrabrava or soccer hooligan gang, which are entirely female in Vanoli’s bleak future some indeterminate number of decades from now. In the intervening decades, the Argentine countryside has been rendered massively toxic while the gritty urban landscape, for the lumpen protagonists, looks eerily contemporary save for a few advances in medical and drug technologies. The girls team up with a rural motorcycle...

Hunting for Trilobites: An Interview with Dror Burstein

I met Dror Burstein on a cool May morning on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. His wry, slow-burning humor is easy to relate to the gently idiosyncratic style of his writing. Words without Borders published his story “The Dakar Courier” in 2010, and I was fresh off reading Netanya, his latest book to appear in English (just released by Dalkey Archive Press in a mesmerizing translation by Todd Hasak-Lowy). We talked about the lack of trilobites in Hebrew literature (the...

The Last Day on Earth

There seemed to be no one left in the barrio now and the windows were bare and the wind stirred through gates and the rats crossed noiseless rooms and the smell of the honeysuckle was fading. At night there were neither the cries of a sleepless child nor the clatter of dishes deep in the kitchens. In the gardens, it was not the sound of fountains but those of a dry, broken-off branch, a well's pulley creaking in the wind, an orphaned cat whispering an astonished meow and the acacias...

From the Translator: The Eternonaut

I discovered El Eternauta while translating a poem. Until recently I considered myself to be primarily a translator of poetry. I’d made a few forays into prose, but poetry is always where I’ve situated myself as a writer, and following the conventional wisdom that one must be a poet in order to translate poetry I stuck to it. The poem, by the contemporary experimental Puerto Rican poet Nestor Barreto, is called El Eternauta, and was ultimately too hard at the time, too much in...

The Ark

I shall destroy man whom I have created from off the face of Belgium: both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them. Make thee an ark of resinous wood, just like that of Noah, and shalt thou pitch it within and without with pitch. The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to...

Seizing Cervantes

When it all began, that is, when the Skeptic Party rose to power in the United Kingdom, in 2070, I was completely in favor. The group’s plan to completely forbid religious practice pleased me greatly. I was brought up in an intellectual environment, the son of a family that never believed in any god and always associated the religious figure with some guy with a double-digit IQ or a fanatical human bomb. I admit, I voted for the Skeptic Party as soon as it came into existence. But...

The Eagle

I only learn to be content. —Shogun Tokugawa     For Brisa Tinoco  and those who have emailed asking  if it’s true an old eagle  sits alone on the mountaintop,  tearing out its plumage,  removing its beak and talons,  to be reborn  and live another thirty years as a seer.   You see that creature with the two-meter-long beard  suckling at the breast  of the ancient woman  who...

Ketchup

I read in the newspaper that the Apocalypse wasn’t going to happen. To celebrate this piece of good news, I went to McDonald’s and ordered a hamburger. “How fortunate,” I thought, enthusiastically seasoning my hamburger with ketchup, “that there won’t be any angelic horns, no earthbound star plunging toward us on a path of fiery destruction.” Until that day I had eaten without enthusiasm, as I had been living in the shadow of impending...

God’s Obituary

Deceased yesterday morning, aged ninety-one, the English scientist Allan J. Winchmaster, the father of Genetic Architecture, better known as God. Winchmaster was found dead in the easy chair of his country home, in the area surrounding Bristol, England. The cause of death has yet to be determined. Winchmaster suffered from stomach cancer, but there is the suspicion that he may have been poisoned. In recent decades, the scientist lived with constant death threats. His body was cremated in...

House No. 451

It’s old and dilapidated, with dirty, tattered curtains covering the windows, the roof on the verge of collapse and the antenna dangling from the gable on its wire. There are cracks in all the outside walls and the paint, once white, is now stained brown and flaking off in many places. The garden is a jungle: trees and hedges growing unchecked, moss in the grass on the lawn, dandelions and daisies everywhere, and an ancient swing hanging from a tree. One of its ropes has frayed...

Velocity

I met her on the day that I divorced the sow. She came up to me and asked if I wanted a hug. She was wearing a black T-shirt with the words “International Hug Day” emblazoned on it. Behind her trailed a flock of smiling huggers. On any other day I would have yelled at them to go get a real job, since I knew they were the type who turn the celebration of “international days”—days like “No-Smoking Day,” “Family Day,” “Accident-Free...

The Zacharias Ascaris Affair

It all began five years ago, going on six. Ballast Publishing, a fledgling British publishing house, had just launched the first (and last) novel of its catalog, The Zacharias Ascaris Affair. No one, absolutely no one, could have foreseen the upheaval that this book would set in motion. Admittedly, the adventures of the young Zacharias Ascaris, though narrated with an undeniable flair for suspense, were in no way extraordinary. A group of adolescents, a few twists, a love story, a touch...

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