Showing posts from January, 2018

Julieta Campos - Brainy and beautifully rendered, her books investigate the operations of desire and memory and they way in which they leave traces, and wounds, in both body and society

Julieta Campos, Fear of Losing Eurydice, Trans. by Leland H. Chambers, Dalkey Archive Press, 1994.            

This lyrical novel by one of Mexico’s leading women writers explores both desire and the desire to tell a love story. In an idle moment between grading assignments, a French teacher sitting in a cafe in a Caribbean seaport town sketches an island on his white napkin.
Like Proust's petite madeleine, the island opens up a host of images: "Island: the sum of all improbabilities; intoxicating improbability of fiction. Island: image of desire . . . All the islands formulated by human beings and all islands appearing on the maps comprise a single imaginary archipelago—the archipelago of desire." Monsieur N.'s original plan to use a Jules Verne novel about shipwrecked schoolboys as a translation exercise for his pupils becomes an obsession to collect every reference to islands he can find and to meditate on them in a diary of his imaginary travels—his Islandiary. P…

Laura Solórzano - her inner life is tumultuous, brimming with excitement about the materiality—the fleshiness—of words and their multiple connections with human and non-human life altogether. Under her gaze, the mere act of feeding a child with a wooden spoon appears as a threatening choreography of angst and love

Laura Solórzano, Lip Wolf,Trans. by Jen Hofer,  Action Books, 2007.

Readers beware. You are about to go into the lion’s den. […]There’s no room for nonsense: Solórzano seems to have no interest in dazzling the reader with her prodigious linguistic performance or her defiance of challenging self-imposed constraints. Her diction is unerringly original yet it is also continues the often forgotten legacy of some of the masters of the Latin American historical avant-garde such as Oliverio Girondo, from Argentina, and the Mexican Xavier Villaurritia. How fortunate is she to have her poems be in the hands of Jen Hofer, as judicious a translator as anyone would ever hope for. Her account of the never-ending process of translation evinces just how much thought goes into every one of her choices. And how fortunate are we: she’s been brave and generous enough to venture into the lion’s den just for the sake of sharing this striking work with English-language readers.– Mónica de la Torre

“wolf sp…

Inés Arredondo delves into the dark side of gendered desire. This masterful collection of short stories depicts a world in which love and destruction seem interchangeable. Here women fall pray to the desire for younger boys while powerful, decrepit men roam fields and parties alike seeking to devour the flesh of young girls

Inés Arredondo, Underground River and Other Stories, Trans. by Cynthia Steele, University of Nebraska Press, 1996.

read it at Google Books

Inés Arredondo (1928–1989) published just three slim volumes of stories over twenty-three years, yet her reputation as a great writer, “a necessary writer,” is firmly established in Mexico. Her works dwell on obsessions: erotic love, evil, purity, perversion, prostitution, tragic separation, and death. Most of her characters are involved in ill-fated searches for the Absolute through both excessively passionate and sadomasochistic relationships. Inevitably, the perfect, pure dyad of two youthful lovers is interrupted or corrupted through the interference of a third party (a rival lover or a child), aging, death, or public morality.
Set at the beginning of the twentieth century in the tropical northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, the stories collected in Underground River and Other Stories focus on female subjectivity. Arredondo’s adult male chara…

Benjamin DeVos - Are you sick of your ordinary life? Then embrace the madness for a moment, and enter a world where Shia LaBeouf is a cat, Zach Galifianakis is a werewolf, and Ryan Gosling is a serial killer of handsome actors

Benjamin DeVos,Lord of the Game,Apocalypse Party, 2017.

This is the story of a young man and his life in the city of Philadelphia. On his journey, he experiences many things, such as a pigeon-shooting simulation. A no-holds-barred fight in a slaughterhouse on the edge of town. A psychotic drug dealer named Satan. A legally-blind maintenance man. Multiple pig carcasses. A sequence of dead-end jobs. A series of homeless people. And much more. This novella is like traveling through a massive garbage shoot that ends where it began. Come one, come all, through this emotional black hole. You will feel better about yourself when it is over.

Benjamin DeVos, Madness Has a Moment and Then Vanishes Before Returning Again, Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2016.     

Popular culture is strange. Celebrities that occupy the cult are even stranger. Are you sick of your ordinary life? Then embrace the madness for a moment, and enter a world where Shia LaBeouf is a cat, Zach Galifianakis is a werewolf, and Ryan Gosli…