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Articles tagged "Argentina"

The Right Path

Centuries ago, on the vast plains that extend between the coasts of the Black and Caspian seas, was a kingdom founded by General Poltrov. Poltrov was the product of a life of military discipline: tyrannical, cruel, and rational to the extreme. At the pinnacle of his glory, he enjoyed absolute power over his subjects, a few thousand farmers and artisans. There were only two cities on Poltrov’s territory: Lalandia in the east and Falstria in the west. But communications and...

2015 Man Booker International Prize Questionnaire: Katherine Silver

Katherine Silver is an award-winning translator of literature from Spanish and is the co-director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC) in Alberta, Canada. Her most recent translations include works by Martín Adán, Daniel Sada, Horacio Castellanos Moya, César Aira, Rafael Bernal, Jorge Luis Borges, and Marcos Giralt Torrente.  Words without Borders: It must be gratifying to see the writer you translate honored as a finalist for...

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...

State of Hypnosis

María Sonia Cristoff returned to her native Patagonia to investigate parts of the region, once flush with profits from the oil industry, that have become, either from dirty politics or global commerce, ghost towns. She collected her reports in the book Falsa Calma. “State of Hypnosis” is one of several chapters focused on the ways in which the oil industry has long been intertwined with plans for national sovereignty and shattered illusions of progress in...

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...

Alaska

The eye of the seal—my amulet—will lead me to the white bear. Is there anything more beautiful than to pursue the white bear over the white ocean? I’ve followed his trail now through many dreams; these prints in the snow, scoured by the wind and leading nowhere. I’ve looked for so long, my eyes have stopped seeing. But sometimes, in the immense whiteness, I think I hear a kind of crying, a yowl unlike any other living creature’s; and by the time the...

The White Breast, the Black Breast

My mother had a white breast and a black breast. Upon waking she would take the white breast in her hand and lifting it to my lips say: Drink, my child, and I would drink a very sweet, thick white milk. Later she would pinch the black nipple between her fingers and putting it to my mouth repeat: Drink, my child, and I would drink a dark and infinitely bitter milk. My mother had a white breast and a black breast. By day, cupping the white breast in her hand like a dove, she would...

The City of the Sun

Charged as fabulists and cast out of the city, we wander back and forth, sleeping now in caves, now in the open, feeding on herbs and roots, and when we’re lucky enough, honeycomb. Our women and children have come with us, and when we gather around the evening fire they turn, one after the other, to look at the city: after all, we lived part of our lives there. But reason insisted. How could they stand for it, our calling the stones rivers? The trees stars? How could they...

The Bather

For more than ten years, Olga had been bathing people in their homes. She didn’t earn a fortune, but she lived comfortably.  Her taxes were paid and her refrigerator was full. She even had enough for a movie once or twice a week, and every summer she could afford to take a two-week vacation to visit her sister in Entre Ríos.  Most important of all: she didn’t have to worry about the competition. Nobody else wanted to get involved in the home-bathing business....

God’s Punishment

                                                For Héctor Schmucler Let’s say the protagonist of this story is General Pompeyo Argentino del Corazón de Jesús González, announces Toto Spinetto the night he arrives in...

The Two Coins

Portitor has horrendus aguas et                                                                       flumina servat terribili squalore Charon( . ....

Magic!

“I can read minds,” said Julian. For the past half-hour, Ronnie had been sitting on the edge of the river bank, his legs dangling and his eyes fixed on the river. It was eleven o’clock in the morning of a late January day, and it was hot as far as the eye could see. The landing stage at the end of the strand, the islander who was making his way across the river in his canoe, the reeds over on the other side of the gully, everything rippling as though imprinted onto the...

from “Gombrowicz in Argentina”

Rita Gombrowicz’s Gombrowicz in Argentina (Gombrowicz en Argentine, 1984) and Gombrowicz in Europe (Gombrowicz en Europe, 1988) pull together her years of research into Witold Gombrowicz's life and work, along with her recently launched Web site on the author, www.gombrowicz.net. The books are structured as a unique biographical pastiche, comprised of interviews, commentary, photographs, and other ephemera tracing the writer's path from Poland to Argentina, where he...

Octavio the Invader

He was prepared for the terrifying violence of the light and noise, but not for the pressure, the brutal atmospheric pressure, combined with the Earth’s gravity, acting on that body which was so different from his own and whose reactions he hadn’t yet learned to control. An unfamiliar body in an unfamiliar world. Now, after the pain and anxiety of the passage, just when he was hoping to find some sort of relief, the horror of the situation struck him. Only the arduous...

The “I Ching” and the Man of Papers

The man awakens with a start. His back feels numb. He had fallen asleep in the chair, and it takes him a moment to remember where he is, but it’s the second night, and the room with its row of beds and little heads hooked up to catheters is beginning to look familiar. There’s a dense odor of disinfectant and cologne, and from above comes the discreet hum of the blades of a fan. He has a cramp in one of his legs, and when he rubs his eyes he feels the roughness of his day-old...

Five Poems from “Mouth of Hell”

The ephemeral, suddenly, dazzling, like the shrewd play of verses. Steep curve. A river of hermetic prestige diverted from its own digressions. Possible visions to capture the cry of the human. An urging, tenebrous beauty, remotely related to God, like the excrescence of something forgotten.   Flashes of euphoria and passion for objects. High in recessed tombs, men classify nothingness, as if scribbling leaves on a mystic tree. Hours, centuries pass. Sometimes they descend...

The Golden Hare

In the bosom of the afternoon the sun illuminated her like a conflagration in the engravings of an ornate Bible. Not all hares are alike, Jacinto, and it wasn't her fur, believe me, that distinguished her from the other hares, not her Tartar eyes nor the whimsical shape of her ears. It was something that went far beyond what we humans call personality. The innumerable transmigrations of her soul had taught her to become invisible or visible at certain moments, in complicity with God...

A Line in the Sand

  Ruth was making mountains with a foot. She dug with her big toe in the warm sand, made little mounds, tidied them up, carefully smoothed them with the sole of her foot, contemplated them a little. Then she destroyed them. And started all over again. Her feet were red and stung like solar stones. Her nails were painted from the night before. Jorge was digging up the beach umbrella, or trying to do so. "I have to buy a new one," he muttered as he struggled with it. Ruth pretended...

Preserves

A week, a month go by and we’re getting used to the idea that Teresita will get the jump on our plans. I’m going to have to give up the fellowship because in a few months it’s not going to be easy to continue. Maybe not because of Teresita, but out of sheer anguish, because I can’t stop eating and I’m starting to get fat. Manuel hands me food on the sofa, in bed, in the yard. Everything organized on the tray, clean in the kitchen, stocked in the pantry, as if...

Spanish


The Bonsai’s Boast

I, you mindless fools, am a pint-sized giant. Time passes me by, distance can't touch me, my breast is pure coral. All I need is water and thirst to decode the book of life. True greatness is in detail. For the author's "Spying," please click here.

Spying on You

Well, I want you, at last, with no more shackles. On the table, I stroke the shields of silence I once wore. I break a rule (now, don't tell), spy on you and am amused (don't say it), to see you smile (don't hold back). You're flustered (right?).

Naïve

To kiss you at the foot of every streetlamp on every corner of every city in every language with kisses of melon, orange and rain and light of noon in my gaze as if nothing but mistletoe ran in our blood... that's what I wish for. For the author's "Bonsai's Boast," please click here.

Woodstock

I Look: it happened here. A sense of surfeit grew from the unfeeling past- Paternal Moneymen, whose alphabet lay buried in the mud rosettas where pigs leave their traces; the torch-eyed eagle passing crooked judgment in careless corners of history; the bomb's early light; the day leaning more and more, by imperial equation, on the blind man's stick, enforcer of night's might. It happened here. Here burst forth a new sense of honor, shaky still in its will to...

from The Book of Words

One. Two. And three. During the first three years of school, we are required to cross our arms if we wish to rest them on our desktops when we aren't writing. Only when we are older, the teachers say, will we be permitted to lay one arm smooth and straight atop the other. When we pray, each hand rests flat against the other, no interlocking of fingers allowed. When it's time for recess, we exit the classroom one behind the other in single file, nice and slow, the teachers say....

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