Ricardo Piglia Duke University Press, 1994 Library of Congress PQ7798.26.I4R4713 1994 | Dewey Decimal 863
Acclaimed as one of the most important Latin American novels in recent decades, Artificial Respiration is a stunning introduction for English readers to the fiction of Ricardo Piglia. Published in Argentina in 1981, it was written at a time when thousands of Argentine citizens "disappeared" during the government’s attempt to create an authoritarian state. In part a reflection on one of the most repressive and tragic times in Argentine history, this is one of those rare works of fiction in which multiple philosophical, political, and narrative dimensions are all powerfully and equally matched. As a prize winning detective novel, Artificial Respiration reaches through many levels of mystery to explore the forces that have been at play in Argentina throughout its violent history. The narrator, a writer named Renzi, begins to look for an uncle who has vanished, a man he knows only through a web of contradictory family stories and an exchange of letters. Through these letters he learns about his uncle’s research into the life of Enrique Ossario, secretary to the 19th-century Argentine dictator Rosas and spy for the dictator’s enemy. As Renzi’s search leads further into his uncle’s work and to conversations with his literary and chess-playing friends, the reader is led by Piglia to consider the nature of Argentine identity, its literature and history, and its relation, for example, to Europe, exile, and democracy. Finally, and made most vividly appreciable by the retelling of a story in which Kafka meets Hitler, it is the encounter between literature and history that is explored.
Blood Pact and Other Stories
Mario Benedetti Northwestern University Press, 1997 Library of Congress PQ8519.B292A23 1997 | Dewey Decimal 863
This collection includes the best of renowned Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti's stories from over 40 years of publishing. In these stories of powerful sudden impact, Benedetti plumbs with deep psychological insight both the dreams and frustrations of the middle-class in a bureaucratic society, as well as the pain and disorientation of political exile.
Certificate of Absence
By Sylvia Molloy University of Texas Press, 1989 Library of Congress PQ7798.23.O454E513 1989 | Dewey Decimal 863
Originally published in 1981 as En breve cárcel,Certificate of Absence is the first novel of the Argentinian scholar-critic Sylvia Molloy. Innovative in its treatment of women's relationships and in its assertion of woman's right to author her own text, the novel has won wide approval in Latin America and the United States.
The novel centers around a woman writing in a small room. As she writes, remembering a past relationship and anticipating a future one, the room becomes a repository for nostalgia, violence, and desire, a space in which writing and remembering become life-sustaining ceremonies. The narrator reflects on the power of love to both shelter and destroy. She meditates on the act of writing, specifically on writing as a woman, in a voice that goes against the grain of established, canonical voices.
Latin American male writers are prone to self-portrayal in their texts. Certifcate of Absence is one of the few novels by Latin American women that successfully use this technique to open new windows on women's experiences.
The Argentine scholar Noé Jitrik has long been one of the foremost literary critics in Latin America, noted not only for his groundbreaking scholarship but also for his wit. This volume is the first to make available in English a selection of his most influential writings. These sparkling translations of essays first published between 1969 and the late 1990s reveal the extraordinary scope of Jitrik’s work, his sharp insights into the interrelations between history and literature, and his keen awareness of the specificities of Latin American literature and its relationship to European writing. Together they signal the variety of critical approaches and vocabularies Jitrik has embraced over the course of his long career, including French structuralist thought, psychoanalysis, semiotics, and Marxism.
The Noé Jitrik Reader showcases Jitrik’s reflections on marginality and the canon, exile and return, lack and excess, autobiography, Argentine nationalism, the state of literary criticism, the avant-garde, and the so-called Boom in Latin American literature. Among the writers whose work he analyzes in the essays collected here are Jorge Luis Borges, Esteban Echeverría, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, José Martí, César Vallejo, José Bianco, Juan Carlos Onetti, José María Arguedas, Julio Cortázar, and Augusto Roa Bastos. The Noé Jitrik Reader offers English-language readers a unique opportunity to appreciate the rigor and thoughtfulness of one of Latin America’s most informed and persuasive literary critics.
In Jorge Luis Borges's finely wrought, fantastic stories, so filigreed with strange allusions, critics have consistently found little to relate to the external world, to history--in short, to reality. Out of Context corrects this shortsighted view and reveals the very real basis of the Argentine master's purported "irreality." By providing the historical context for some of the writer's best-loved and least understood works, this study also gives us a new sense of Borges's place within the context of contemporary literature. Through a detailed examination of seven stories, Daniel Balderston shows how Borges's historical and political references, so often misread as part of a literary game, actually open up a much more complex reality than the one made explicit to the reader. Working in tension with the fantastic aspects of Borges' work, these precise references to realities outside the text illuminate relations between literature and history as well as the author's particular understanding of both. In Borges's perspective as it is revealed here, history emerges as an "other" only partially recoverable in narrative form. From what can be recovered, Balderston is able to clarify Borges's position on historical episodes and trends such as colonialism, the Peronist movement, "Western culture," militarism, and the Spanish invasion of the Americas. Informed by a wide reading of history, a sympathetic use of critical theory, and a deep understanding of Borges's work, this iconoclastic study provides a radical new approach to one of the most celebrated and—until now—hermetic authors of our time.