In The Nation.
Graciously, Wimmer sends some kind words toward The Quarterly Conversation:
El asco struck a nerve not just in El Salvador but across Latin America. Photocopies of it were circulated where the printed book wasn't available, and in an interview with Castellanos Moya (published in the online journal The Quarterly Conversation, which does an admirable job of covering literature in translation), Mauro Javier Cardenas notes that everyone in Mexico City seemed to be reading it in the late 1990s. More than ten years after its publication, it is taught in at least one Salvadoran . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I'm not sure I can translate this properly, but this has to be one of the best lines I've read recently:
El mercado tiene dueños, como todo en este infecto planeta, y son los dueños del mercado quienes deciden el mambo que se baila, se trate de vender condones baratos o novelas latinoamericanas en Estados Unidos.
This line comes in conjunction with a very acidic essay that novelist Horacio Castellanos Moya has written on the "Bolano Myth" (published in the Argentina newspaper La Nacion). The following line explains what moved Moya to such a statement (partial . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Garth reports some interesting findings at the Anagrama panel at PEN. First he discusses Bolano's favorite authors:
The first to speak was Daniel Sada, who, according to Herralde, was on Roberto Bolaño's short-list of favorite writers, which fluctuated according to who he was friends with at any given time. The other candidates? Rodrigo Fresán, Alan Pauls, Rodrigo Rey Rosa, Javier Marías, and the man seated to Sada's right, Enrique Vila-Matas. Sada spoke about the 19th-Century tradition that shaped him, and its two great problems: managing character and managing time. He quoted Zola: "a novel with less than 25 characters is not worth reading." . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Great news for fans of Horacio Castellanos Moya. This fall we will have two new translations from the author of one of my favorite novels of 2008, Senselessness.
In September, New Directions will roll out its second Moya title, She Devil in the Mirror, translated by Katherine Silver, who also did Senselessness.
Also in the fall, Biblioasis will be publishing Moya's Dances with Snakes, translated by Lee Paula Springer.
She Devil I've known about for a while, and it's similar to Senselessness in that it's . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Words Without Borders has a short essay by the Salvadorian author and personal favorite Horacio Castellanos Moya. In it, he discusses how he discovered the death threats occasioned by his novel El Asco, whose title has been translated as "Revulsion: Thomas Bernhard in San Salvador."
Ten years ago, in the summer of 1997, I was visiting Guatemala City and staying with a friend when the phone rang in the middle of the night. It was my mother calling from San Salvador: badly shaken, she said she had just received two phone calls from a threatening man who . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Based on Amazon purchases made through links on this website, the following are the "picks" of Conversational Reading’s readers for 2008:
By a large margin, The Invention of Morel was the most popular purchase among readers of this blog. Obviously, my sincere praise of this book helped move it along, but I’m convinced that not nearly as many copies would have been purchased if this wasn’t a great book, and if Borges wasn’t Bioy’s literary collaborator. A great read, and if you haven’t had a chance to yet, definitely pick it up.
Not really a surprise, . . . continue reading, and add your comments
This year, many U.S. readers became familiar with a new voice from Latin America–Horacio Castellanos Moya, whose novel Senselessness was published by New Directions in an excellent translation. (And has since been nominated for the Best Translated Book of 2008.) The novel is narrated by an obsessive, paranoid writer whose improbable job it is to edit a 1,400-page report documenting atrocities that occurred during Guatemala’s 36-year civil war. (About 1/4 of the report is simply a listing of the names of innocents murdered.)
Like many, upon first encountering Senselessness I took this report as the product . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I will now present to you many links regarding Horacio Castellanos Moya, whom you will all remember as the Salvadoran author of the recently translated Bernhardian novel Senselessness.
First, there is this profile of him that I wrote for Boldtype magazine. Here I will quote myself:
After fleeing El Salvador, Moya eventually ended up in Guatemala in 2003, and his stay there inspired his only novel that is currently available in English, Senselessness. This passionate, sexual, paranoid rant is the story of a writer gradually driven insane as he edits a 1,100-page report documenting atrocities committed during Guatemala’s . . . continue reading, and add your comments
We are not lacking for literary responses to Hurricane Katrina; the one that has engaged me the most so far is playwright and novelist John Biguenet’s. As a New Orleans resident, Biguenet wrote about the disaster’s aftermath for the NY Times. He also used the disaster as a backdrop for a play, Rising Water (video info and stills from the performance), the first of a trilogy considering Katrina. After hearing him speak about it, I hope it’s coming to the Bay Area soon.
I recently had the opportunity to see Biguenet discuss Rising Water at . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The Smithsonian now has a flickr photostream.
* Matt Cheney releases the TOC for Best American Fantasy 28
* Blackwells in the UK is testing out the so-called book ATM in one of its stores. At 40 pages per minute, you could POD a copy of Vollmann in under half an hour.
* The Wall Street Journal shows how Amazon shows its clout, turning a summer book into a bestseller:
Driving that unexpectedly heavy demand has been strong reviews and promotional support from Amazon.com. The Web retailer chose the . . . continue reading, and add your comments