martes, 19 de agosto de 2014

The 2014 Argentinean (& Uruguayan) Literature of Doom

With Spanish Lit Month 2014 finally winding down, I suppose now is as good a time as any to announce that I'll be hosting one of the most unpopular events in all of blogging--the Argentinean Literature of Doom--for the third year in a row this fall and winter.  Please consider reading along with me and becoming wildly unpopular too!  For those new to the event, the ALoD was originally inspired by two great posts from Tom of Wuthering Expectations that you can read all about here and here and was at least partly dedicated to testing Roberto Bolaño's thesis that a "strain of doom" evident in post-Borges Argentinean belles-lettres was due to the noxious influence of one Osvaldo Lamborghini and his art terrorist pals and successors (César Aira, take a bow).  Last year, however, I think it's fair to say that all of the other ALoD participants and I mostly used the event as a pretext to read or reread some of our favorite Argentinean authors in "like-minded company" (César Aira fans, take a bow).  Hopefully, that'll be a big enough draw to lure discriminating returning doomsters back for one more year. But where exactly do you, the prospective ALoD newcomer, fit in with all this doom business?  Should you decide to participate, you may join as easily as reading and then writing about at least one piece of Argentinean or Uruguayan literature sometime between September 1st and December 31st.  More intrepid souls can also "challenge" me to read a specific work from the vast corpus of Argentinean or Uruguayan literature with you sometime during the same time period although to be honest this hasn't been a very popular option so far.  In either case, your choice of reading material for the event doesn't have to be "doom-laden" at all; the only criterion is that the work must have been written by an Argentinean or a Uruguayan author--please, none of that reading challenge nonsense about submitting novels written by non-Argentineans and non-Uruguayans which are only set in Argentina or Uruguay.  Weak!  Uruguayan literature, in case anybody's curious, was added as an option this year both because of the strong cultural ties linking Río de la Plata men and women of letters on both sides of the river and because of Uruguayan writers' propensity for punching above their weight class relative to the population of their country.  Of course, it didn't hurt that I have a bunch of books by Mario Levrero, Onetti, and Horacio Quiroga calling my name either.  In any event, hope you can join us (below, a mini-Doom bibliography from the two previous events).

Doomsters

The Argentinean Literature of Doom: Año 2 (2013)
Amateur Reader (Tom), Wuthering Expectations

Richard, Caravana de recuerdos
Help a él by Fogwill
El limonero real by Juan José Saer
Bahía Blanca by Martín Kohan
"Evita vive" by Néstor Perlongher
"Torito" by Julio Cortázar
"El uruguayo" by Copi
El sueño de los héroes by Adolfo Bioy Casares
Autobiografía de Irene by Silvina Ocampo
Las armas secretas by Julio Cortázar
Los Fantasmas by César Aira
La última de César Aira by Ariel Idez

Rise, in lieu of a field guide

Scott, seraillon

The Argentinean Literature of Doom (2012)
Amateur Reader (Tom), Wuthering Expectations

Miguel, St. Orberose

Richard, Caravana de recuerdos
Facundo.  Civilización y barbarie by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
Siete noches by Jorge Luis Borges
Boquitas pintadas by Manuel Puig
Cómo me hice monja by César Aira
La Vida Nueva by César Aira
"El Fiord" by Osvaldo Lamborghini

Rise, in lieu of a field guide
This Craft of Verse by Jorge Luis Borges
"The Golden Hare" by Silvina Ocampo

Séamus, Vapour Trails
Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar

22 comentarios:

  1. I'll have a crack at this, Richard. I have two or three books that ought to fit the bill. Who knows, I might even write something on Argentinian wine...

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    Respuestas
    1. Jacqui, wonderful news--and our first "lady doomster" at last! Look forward to your selections as always and your wine comment has me thinking of how nice a Malbec would taste about now. Cheers!

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    2. Well, the temperature in the UK has dipped, and I'm already dusting down the reds (Malbec included) in anticipation of autumn! I have a collection of short stories by Andres Neuman, the Bioy Casares/Ocampo one (Where There's Love, There's Hate) and a couple of other possibilities. How does that sound?
      Apologies if this comment appears twice - I may have deleted my first one by mistake!

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    3. Sounds good, Jacqui--and not just the drinking plans either! I may try to get to that Bioy/Ocampo collab before the end of the year, too.

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  2. Sounds like a good time to read some horacio quiroga

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  3. I am maybe going for Quiroga, too. And there is always Aira. Always, always.

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    Respuestas
    1. Tom, I'm very happy to see you and Rise, the charter ALoD members, back again. That'll make it all worthwhile right there! In other news, Aira & Quiroga have the makings of a potential dynamic duo.

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    2. Until some poor lunatic translates Lamborghini for me, they'll have to do.

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    3. I'm still waiting for the New Directions Pearl edition of Lamborghini's "El Fiord." Have stopped holding my breath in the meantime, though.

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  4. Borges. Or Aira (too), in case the books I ordered arrive on time. Too predictable, eh.

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    Respuestas
    1. Rise, as I mentioned to Tom, it's very gratifying to see you two original doomsters back for another year--thanks! As for Borges &/or Aira, why mess with success? That kind of "predictability" is a good thing!

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  5. Respuestas
    1. Miguel, thanks for interrupting your vacation to sign up for such a perilous reading endeavor as Doom 2014 promises to be. You're a good man!

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    2. Ha ha, actually my vacations ended yesterday. I'm back in business!

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    3. Ah, well, you're a good man anyway, Miguel!

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  6. Sure! I want to try another Mujica Láinez book for one thing, plus I have that Quiroga collection out of the library already.

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    Respuestas
    1. Scott, sounds like some promising plans--thanks for "reenlisting" in Doom!

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  7. Tor.com has published “Headache,” the first ever English translation of “Cefalea” a fantastical short story by Julio Cortázar; Translation by Michael Cisco. I think it might qualify as doom. Or maybe just creepy. You can read it at: http://www.tor.com/stories/2014/09/headache

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    Respuestas
    1. MG, thanks very much for sharing that link and the visit--always good to see a new Cortázar tile published (even the short ones)! Also, glad to make the acquaintance of you and your blog. Hope you'll decide to read a title or two for this event since you had so many interesting choices lined up for Spanish Lit Month. Cheers!

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  8. Hi Richard. You list so many great titles. My next two reads are dictated by what is waiting on the library holds shelf: Neuman's Traveller of the Century and Mitchell's The Bone Clocks. Should be an interesting weekend.

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    Respuestas
    1. Glad you find some of the titles appealing, MG. For my part, I'd like to read Neuman's Traveller of the Century some day although I'm not sure if I'll find the time to squeeze it in this year. Anyway, hope you enjoy your reading weekend!

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