Published in hardcover last year but still worth mentioning is the paperback release of Roberto Bolaño’s Amulet. (May) If you haven’t read it yet, this is a good one to tide you over between the publication of Nazi Literature in the Americas and 2666, currently slated to come fro FSG in November. (As a sidenote, I really like what New Directions is doing with the covers to Bolaño’s paperback releases.)
I’m intrigued by Senselessness, forthcoming from the Honduran Horacio Castellanos Moya. (May) The book has to do with a bohemian author hired by the Catholic Church to tidy up a 1,100 page report documenting the massacre and torture of thousands of indigenous in an unnamed Latin American country.
Notable in light of the recent publication of Autonauts of the Cosmoroute is the release in paperback of Julio Cortazar’s Final Exam. (July) One of his earlier novels, it’s billed here as his "allegorical, bitter, and melancholy farewell to Argentina" with "daring typography, shifts in rhythm," and general stream-of-conscious mayhem.
He published sparsely; one story first saw print in the almanac of the State Insurance Bank. He read Freud and Proust and made memory his particular subject, but in tiny, idiosyncratic works that sometimes have to be either pieced together or filleted before they can be read. Some of his work is in shorthand that has yet to be deciphered. His first novel is 21 paragraphs long. Even without the enthusiasm of the likes of Borges, Calvino and Cortázar, and the dubious title ”father of magic realism,” he’d be a shoo-in for the avant-garde academy: seriously unsuccessful, randy, individual to the brink of solipsism, a textual challenge and sometimes literally unreadable.