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Articles tagged "Venezuela"

The Witness

He rested in wildflower-whelmed cemeteries in the yards of wooden churches. —José Antonio Ramos Sucre, “El peregrino de la fe” When I chanced upon a weblog, whose text was also written out longhand in John Alejandro’s notebook, I discovered how the circumstances surrounding the strange case of María de los Ángeles could be reconstructed, or an idea put forward of what might have happened, by applying the speculative techniques of certain gothic...

From the Translator: One-handed Translation

When presumably innocent Susan Harris and Samantha Schnee were in touch about translating a story by Israel Centeno titled “Romanza Pornomilitar,” selected by editor Ana Nuño for the special Venezuelan issue, the answer, honestly, was a no-brainer. I was “encantada” (a word I once used as a pleasantry with Portuguese writer Lobo Antunes, who responded; “if you are truly “encantada,” you’d be kneeling before me kissing my feet.” I...

An Introduction to New Venezuelan Writing

It surely is far from good manners to start an introduction with a caveat, but if the subject to be addressed is related to Venezuela, as this one is, it also may be dishonest, even slightly deceitful, to simply begin in medias res. At any rate, I think the reader should know that this introduction has gone through half a dozen versions since the first draft was almost finished, for it was then that a very serious crisis erupted in Venezuela. Starting on February 4, thousands of students...

A Mexican Story

My friend Lencho Mejía has been murdered thirty-seven times in Los Angeles, five in Tijuana, and once in a Romanian-Argentinian co-production filmed in Honduras, which came very close to being nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Only twice, though, has he had the chance to say anything before dropping dead: “You fucking bastard!” On both occasions. He had to say it quickly and quietly, but he put a lot of feeling into it. Everything he learned from...

José Antonio Ramos Sucre’s “Selected Works”

Lift a stone and find . . . a lyrical fabulist. Anglophone readers have, to date, known very little of Venezuelan poet José Antonio Ramos Sucre. With Selected Works (UNO Press, 2012), poet and translator Guillermo Parra brings us 129 short genre-bending pieces (arguably poetry) from three of Ramos Sucre’s most significant collections, Timon’s Tower, The Forms of Fire, and The Enamel Sky. Parra thus provides a long-awaited glimpse into this discrete yet key writer....

Requiem

That day—I remember it clearly, I had decided while I was waiting for the bus into town: I would steal a book. When it finally came, I sat next to a woman who was coming from the hot springs; so I turned on my Walkman and listened to Charly García for the fifteen minutes it took us to get to the business district, along the Avenida Bolívar. At the bookstore I greeted the owner; as usual, he asked after my dad. “Good, Fernández, we're all...

Living to Write: An Interview with Doménico Chiappe

Jonathan Blitzer: “The Writer of Memories,” the story we’ve published in this issue of the magazine, is the first one to appear in your book of stories, Párrafos Sueltos (2003). And in several senses, the story contains some of the central themes of your work: immigration, the notion of place and location, the weight of literary tradition (and the anxiety that provokes). But in a fundamental way this story demonstrates an interest of yours that runs even...

Contraband Forms: An Interview with Ernesto Pérez Zúñiga

Jonathan Blitzer:  You have written three books of poems, two short-story collections, and three novels.  But for the first part of your career—and while you lived in Granada, where you grew up—you dedicated yourself almost exclusively to poetry.  When, and why, did you turn to prose?  And does it have anything to do with your relocating to Madrid? Ernesto Pérez Zúñiga:  During the months I was living in Línea de la...

Ride of the Valkyries

For Vasco Szinetar The president sits in the backseat of the car and watches confusedly as his wife struggles to climb in. Her clothes are cumbersome, extravagant, even though she dressed in a hurry. He remembers when she used to dream of wearing such elegant garments, when she was still a bit young to put them to much use: that night in the cinema where Elizabeth Taylor was the girlfriend and Spencer Tracy the confused father; where Orson Welles was the powerful magnate and Libertad...

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