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El fondo del cielo Review

Moleskine Literario posts a review of El fondo del cielo by Rodrigo Fresan. Cielo, you might recall, was Enrique Vila-Matas’ recommendation from The Quarterly Conversation’s Translate This Book! roundtable.

It does sound interesting:

Entre la imposibilidad de verse a uno mismo fuera del Universo, y la necesidad imperiosa de ver un planeta distinto al nuestro, se forma esta novela que según el autor “quizá no sea la novela de amor más grande pero sí –seguro- la más larga” pues alcanza desde el estallido del Big Bang hasta el final de la Era de Las Cosas Extrañas, dentro de 7.590 millones de años.

And then there’s this:

De manera voluntaria, Fresán ha querido hacer una novela de, con y sobre la ciencia ficción, donde diferentes dimensiones temporales y espaciales existen paralelo. Evadir esa complejidad sería darle la espalda al logro mayor del libro, como es el conseguir que todas esas dimensiones tengan sentido y se engarcen con precisión en el argumento. Sin embargo, me permito desmontar la novela en dos bloques distintos solo para poder reseñarla y admirarla. Como si fueran dos versiones de la misma novela, o dos novelas enlazadas que luego, al terminar de leerlas, formarán una sola obra espléndida sobre personajes que no pertenecen a ningún mundo escrita, al mismo tiempo, por Kurt Vonnegut, por un lado, y John Cheever por otro.

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Fresan’s Kensington Gardens is one of the best books I’ve read in the past few years. Really hoping to read this one at some point in the future.

Fresán is a great writer. I must say that El fondo del cielo is good, but with a very bad start (there’s too sentimental stuff roundin’ around and his always great beginnings are lost here). As a narrator it doesn’t succeed, but it has an undeniable force.
If I were a Fresán translator I’d chose Mantra and La velocidad de las cosas over this last one. North America is going to BLOW UP literally when this books appear….La velocidad de las cosas and Mantra are simply masterpieces of a contemporary of Bolaño, that means comparable to the best Vila-Matas, to the best Bolaño…..


The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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