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Articles tagged "Chilean Literature"

Ode to Ángel Cruchaga

Ángel, I remember in my childhood, southern and shaken by rain and wind, suddenly your wings, the flight of your sparkling poetry, the starry tunic filling the night, the roads, with phosphoric resplendence, you were a pulsating river full of fish, you were the silvery tail of a green mermaid crossing the sky from west to east, the shape of light gathered in your wings, and the wind allowing rain and black leaves to fall  on your clothes. So it was far away, in my childhood, but...

Ode to the Andean Cordillera

Once again, from up high, flying over  the sky, you appeared, white and obscure  cordillera of my homeland. Before then, the great airplane  crossed great seas, jungles, deserts. Everything was symmetry, everything was ready on the earth’s surface, everything from above was path, until, in the middle  of heaven and earth, your planetary snow lodged itself, freezing the towers of earth. Volcanoes, scars, caves, ferruginous snows, skinned titanic heights, heads of...

Ode to Juan Tarrea

Yes, you know America, Tarrea. You know it. In the helpless Peru, you looted the tombs. To the small villager, to the Andean Indian, Tarrea, protector,  gave his hand, but retreated it with its rings. He destroyed wealth. He left for Bilbao with the vessels. Later he hung from Vallejo, he was lucky to die and then he opened a small store of prologues and epilogues. Now he has spoken with Pineda. He is important. He might be selling something. He has “discovered” the New...

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...

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...

from “Tales of the Autumn in Gerona”

A woman—I should say a stranger—who caresses you, jokes with you, is sweet with you and brings you to the edge of the abyss. There, the character cries ah or pales. As though he were within a kaleidoscope and saw the eye that sees him. Colors that order themselves in an alien geometry beyond all that you are prepared to accept as good. So begins the autumn, between the Oñar River and the hill of Las Pedreras. * The stranger is sprawled on the bed. Between loveless...

Reflections

Penetrate it and you'll better understand: life is revealed to us in a painted reflection.   Last night I killed my son Mauro. OK, it wasn't exactly me who did it. All I did was give the VIP executive the order to finish him off, once and for all. And of course, it wasn't my son, either. He'd lived in our house for a few years and I guess that was enough to make me feel bonded to him. Truth is, it's not really all that clear. I should have finished with him...

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...

Bankruptcy

Don't speak to me of liquidity, I'm consumptive, debts and more debts accumulate in columns of fear. I couldn't carry the crushing mortgage I couldn't shake the bankruptcy that weighs like a hump in my back. I live in hiding from my creditors, like magpies they pursue my bounced checks, my credit cards are sneering harpies and if that weren't enough there is an order out for my arrest. What a monstrous catastrophe! From my autumnal...

from “Road Story”

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Death Penalty

The worst is waking up in the morning thinking nothing can ever be the same and you have to get up and bathe and make coffee as always and leave for work as always as if nothing had happened though everything's happened it happened it's over it came to its end "it's better this way" and you walk down the street like a sleepwalker bumping into pedestrians into newspaper vendors and you sit on a stone bench without knowing if you're alive or dead it's all...

Fantasy in Black and White

Fantasy in Black and White I'm lying on my sickbed a smoking cigarette between my fingers I drink a glass of whiskey and soda while I listen to a Duke Ellington CD His heart has died a supernatural death and his friends keep watch over him with instruments that sound like voices and voices that sound like instruments the trumpet of Cootie Williams the trombone of Juan Tizol and three saxes that wail in unison A rainbow rises in my glass and my room...

Weather Report

My wife was the weather woman She predicted her friends' sexual temperature without ever being wrong She announced with barometric precision the storms that threatened our neighbors She was wrong just once: the day she went out on the street in a summer dress despite the dark clouds the day I put my bags in the car and headed out on the road in the middle of thunder and lightning To read Oscar Hahn's "Secretary of State," please click here....

Secretary of State

You washed your conscience and hung it up on a line where the clean clothes dry But drops of dirty water fell and formed a pool and then a muddy river that flowed out to sea Through that sea battleships sail destroyers aircraft carriers atomic submarines that spit out radioactive fire Those who have nothing have only had their blood to wash and their wounded to gather and their dead to bury For Oscar Hahn's "Death Penalty," please click here.

Borges, Bolaño and the Return of the Epic

During their lifetimes, Jorge Luis Borges and Roberto Bolaño struggled against vanity and all things pretentious, aspirational, ordinary, and obliging. They are peculiar cases in literature, ones that the literary machine itself seems to reject. They were not bestsellers. During a substantial part of their lives, they existed either under the shadow of public rejection, or in the clandestinity of aesthetic infringement. The relationship they sustained with "their time" and the...

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...

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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