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Articles tagged "Chile"

Contreras’s Dream

This is an IMAGINARY STORY . . . aren't they all? ALAN MOORE History is ours, and it is made by the people. SALVADOR ALLENDE   On the night of September 9, Manuel Contreras Valdebenito wakes up screaming in his bed. Something spoke to him in his dreams: treason, life imprisonment, dishonor. An expression traveling through time. On the road to Damascus. The next day, he picks up the phone and makes a call. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte and Gonzalo Leigh Meza are arrested under the...

Pulse beyond the Horizon

After the water, there was nothing. And if you looked long enough at the horizon, you could make out a stillness that transformed when the waves crashed against the rig's legs and the rusted steel platform began to sway. The drill ate through layers of limestone into the earth's interior, it probed deep beneath the seabed while the reel on the drill floor rotated ceaselessly, and we, in twelve-hour shifts, stood by at the ready to connect more tubing to the well. The Gulf of...

Roberto Ampuero’s “The Neruda Case”

Never meet your heroes—you’ll only be disappointed, or so they say. For Cayetano Brulé, the mild-mannered protagonist of the Chilean Roberto Ampuero’s sumptuous new novel, that maxim is put thoroughly to the test when his path unexpectedly crosses with the Nobel-winning poet Pablo Neruda’s. An unusual meld of history, biography, and fiction, The Neruda Case reveals Neruda to Brulé, and to us, as all too human—and conveys with great acuity how...

Carlos Franz’s “The Absent Sea”

 “Where were you Mamá, when all those horrible things were taking place in your city?”  This question, put to Laura by her daughter Claudia, is what has drawn The Absent Sea’s protagonist back to the fictional town of Pampa Hundida at the start of novelist Carlos Franz’s exploration of the turbulent aftermath of Chile’s 1973 coup.    Pampa Hundida is a recurring setting for Franz’s work.  He places it in the northern part...

A Region of the Spirit: An Interview with Carlos Franz

Jonathan Blitzer: The stories that appear in La Prisionera, which you have recently presented here in Madrid, take place in the imaginary city of Pampa Hundida, which also exists in your novels. What is Pampa Hundida? Where is it situated, and how was it founded? Carlos Franz: Pampa Hundida is, above all, a region of the spirit, a mental space where desire runs up against obligation. Geographically, it is an oasis in the middle of the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world. It...

From “Ayer”

The bronze bells of Los Jeronimos tolled the noon hour. We were hungry. We headed for the Basilica restaurant, which was the closest, and sat down at a table.  My wife ordered:             Pickled Duck.             Goat casserole.             Blood pudding with mashed potatoes....

Alejandro Zambra’s “The Private Lives of Trees”

“He has just finished a very short book; nevertheless, it took several years to write. At first he gathered materials: he accumulated almost three hundred pages; but he gradually reversed course, throwing more and more away, as if instead of adding stories he wanted to subtract or erase them. The result was paltry:  an emaciated sheaf of forty-seven pages that he insists on calling a...

Spanish

Love of Chile

For love of Chile, for love of all things from north to south, east and west all that opens, all that speaks White-water rivers and glaciered peaks touch and speak words of love because in this world all things speak of love; stone with stone, grasses with grasses That's how all things make love, beaches, deserts, mountains, southernmost forests, glaciers, and all the waters that open and touch So that you may behold them open Only so that you may hear, Chile rises Only...

Natasha Wimmer on Roberto Bolaño’s “2666”

This essay was originally featured in the brochure for Natasha Wimmer and Francisco Goldman's December 4, 2008 discussion of Roberto Bolaño's 2666, held at the Idlewild bookstore in New York City. Francisco Goldman's essay can be found here—Editors I'm often asked what challenges I faced in translating 2666. I should say first of all that, despite appearances, 2666 was not impossibly hard to translate. In many ways, it was easier than The Savage Detectives;...

Francisco Goldman on Roberto Bolaño’s “2666”

This essay was originally featured in the accompanying booklet to Francisco Goldman and Natasha Wimmer's December 4, 2008 discussion of Roberto Bolaño's 2666, held at the Idlewild bookstore in New York City. Natasha Wimmer's essay can be found here—Editors The first Roberto Bolaño novel I read was Estrella Distante. It was Aura's copy and we were at the beach in Mazunte, and I read it pretty much in one sitting, with a few breaks to go in the water....

The Many Masks of Max Mirebelais

Roberto Bolaño's Nazi Literature in the Americas presents itself as a biographical dictionary of American writers who flirted with or espoused extreme right-wing ideologies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is a tour de force of black humor and imaginary erudition. The novel is composed of short biographies, including descriptions of the writers' works. All of the writers are imaginary, although they are all carefully and credibly situated in real literary...

from “One Year”

An Introduction to Juan Emar by Pablo Neruda1 I knew Juan Emar intimately and yet I never knew him. He had great friends who he never met. Women who never touched more than his skin. A relative they put up with the way they put up with a long chill. He was a quiet, cunning, singular man. He was a lazy man who worked his entire life. He went from country to country, with neither enthusiasm nor pride nor rebelliousness, exiling himself through his own decrees. Now we will try to give this...

from Peregrinations in Argentina

Journey to Argentina's Far North At six in the morning in Buenos Aires I board the long-distance train called El Tucumano—glittering, with an electric locomotive. I look around the carriage: it's sealed hermetically because of the desert dust that will accompany us in the last phase of our journey, at the press of a button armchairs turn into deckchairs, another button makes a small table appear . . . Luxurious comfort. We're on our way. It is still dark. The woman...

August Song

My love many things could have happened in August but will not happen many fireflies could have shone in your eyes but will not shine and the month of August will be buried without pomp or circumstance without flowers or processions like so many days that never got to be trees like so many trees that never got to be birds like so many birds that never got to fly

Co ecos Astri:  Xul Solar of Buenos Aires

Xul said of himself: "I am maestro of a writing no one reads yet" and "I am world champion of a game no one knows." But Jorge Luis Borges, who was influenced by him, said: "Xul took on the task of reforming the universe, of proposing on this earth a different order. For that, among other things, he changed the current numerical system of mathematics to use a duodecimal system, with which he painted his watercolors." But Xul remained a secret. I remember hearing about him in the 1960s, but...
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