jueves, 1 de octubre de 2015

The 2015 Argentinean (& Algerian) Literature(s) of Doom

With the end of the year right around the corner, I thought it might make a fun comp lit experiment to add a non-Río de la Plata-based "Literature of Doom" course to the menu this year alongside the traditional South American Doom fodder--hence the 2015 Argentinean (& Algerian) Literature(s) of Doom in full effect from now until December 31st.  To participate, all you have to do is read and review at least one piece of fiction written by an Argentinean or an Algerian author, read and review at least one nonfiction work on Argentina or Algeria, or watch and review one film that falls under the same general criteria (for this year's anti-festivities, French Algerian writers and filmmakers will be accepted as Algerian writers for qualification purposes on the African side of things).  Naturally, I'll post links to your reviews at the end of each month.  So why Argentina and Algeria and what the hell's all this talk about doom?  Let's start with Argentina.  If you'll pardon me the impertinence of quoting from last year's intro post, "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)."  As far as Algeria goes, suffice it to say that its literature is a natural test case as a potential Literature of Doom co-host country as so much of the little that I know about its high-energy contemporary fiction seems fueled and scarred by the country's '50s/'60s independence movement and/or its own dirty war of the '90s.  Let's read more, shall we?  Failing that, recommendations welcome.  Out.

Doomsters

23 comentarios:

  1. Leopoldo Lugones for me this year. Plenty of Doom there.

    Maybe Aira, too. The Musical Brain is so far what it ought to be.

    I agree, Algeria is a good - and tragic - test case. In the Name of God by Khadra - what a nightmare. I don't know what Khadra's post-Algerian books are like.

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    1. Glad to have your company again, Tom, and I'm equally happy to see that you kept Lugones in reserve all year for Doom Year 4 just as promised last year. Khadra is a wonderful choice for the Algerian side of things; I might read his third Inspector Llob mystery before the year's out, but one of these days I'll get to In the Name of God or one of his other non-mystery novels to see how his style works in a different type of genre.

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  2. I was about to say "count me in," but you've already included me in the list - hurrah! I'm sure I can find one or two books from Argentina on my shelves over the few months. Mind you, I may have peaked too soon by publishing my review of Silvina Ocampo's short stories (Thus Were Their Faces) at the beginning of September! My Argentine Lit of Doom season has started a little early. ;)

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    1. I signed you up early, Jacqui, because I remembered talking with you about the Ocampo book as an early entry candidate for Doom a while back. In any event, glad to have your return participation and look forward to seeing what your other choice(s) might be. Cheers!

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  3. I guess it's time I open my Borges/Ferrari chat book again.

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    1. Miguel, delighted to hear that! Also, here's an excerpt you might appreciate from Vol. 2 of the Borges/Ferrari conversations in English:
      http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2015/sep/24/prophet-reverse-borges/

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  4. Thank you for accepting Juan Carlos Onetti - I recently acquired No Man's Land. I also have Alan Paul's Money. Others may appear before the year is out.

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    1. Grant, my pleasure--in fact, I'm going to take this opportunity to approve all Uruguayans as "exceptions" this year due to the fact that so many of them (Levrero, Onetti, and Quiroga to name just three of the big names) have shuttled back and forth between Uruguay and Argentina during their careers. I haven't read that particular Alan Pauls book, by the way, but I've enjoyed other stuff by him in the past. In short, looking forward to your reviews!

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  5. I have some Doom (of the Argentine variety) waiting to be read.

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    1. Scott, ecstatic to hear of your Doomsday commitment and very interested to see what makes the cut and ends up on your reading list. Cheers!

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  6. I am prepared, with two Aira books just finished - Literary Conference and Landscape Painter. I also have another Onetti - Body Snatcher - lined up. I also have a Galeano post in my dead letter office and maybe I can expedite its delivery for the era of DOOM. Can't guarantee when any of these will appear but hopefully some, if not all, will appear.

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    1. That sounds like a great lineup, Séamus, and I'm particularly glad to see that you already have up to two choices in mind for your "Uruguayan exception" (I'll almost certainly be reading another Onetti for Doom myself). Well played! Thanks, as always, for taking a couple of laps along the Doom highways and byways with us. Cheers!

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  7. I have put up the first of a couple of Leopoldo Lugones posts, focusing 100% on Doom - and without stretching the point. Then will come a post or two on The Musical Brain, which I will call an essential book or some such twaddle. So good. Dump the novelitas and just obsessively reread "Cecil Taylor."

    A book I do not plan to write about but is also really good is Kamel Douad's The Meursault Investigation (2013), the re-perspectiving of Camus which is in part a gimmick, sure, but is essentially original. I assume it will soon become the bane of high school students across France.

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    1. I picked up Daoud's novel just last week, Tom, and have really only held up on starting it because I wanted to reread Camus' L'étranger first. Sorry to hear you won't be writing about it but glad to hear you thought it "really good." Very much looking forward to that one. Ditto, of course, on your Lugones and Aira posts. Obsessively rereading Aira's "Cecil Taylor" sounds like a great prescription for just about anything. Or something. In other words, multiple doom "Huzzahs!" to ya.

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  8. Hi Richard, I've let myself be tempted by your literature of Doom subject and have just published an Algerian writer living in France and writing in French Mohamed Kacimi

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    1. Hi Pat. Thanks, great to hear! I think you and I are the only people writing about Algerian authors so far, but it's great to have the company either way. Cheers!

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    2. Hi Richard, I'm looking to add The Angels Die by Yasmina Khadra to be published in English next year by Gallic Books
      Pat

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  9. I didn't realize (or forgot) that this doom-extravaganza starts earlier this year. I am staying for a month away from home and a bit distracted by work-slash-family matters. But I did bring some books and forgot to include some Argentinean ones. Be back in November to probably pick up again 7 Madmen which I'm about halfway or less than halfway through.

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    1. Rise, delighted to hear about your (charter member) participation and particularly looking forward to hearing about your choice--maybe the most quintessential of all Argentinean Literature of Doom titles! Hope the rest of your month away from home is less distracting for you, though. Cheers!

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  10. Yes, yes, please. A perfect time for me to read Traveler of the Century which I purchased right after it was nominated for the IFFP a few years ago.

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    1. Bellezza, what a wonderful surprise! Although I've been obsessing over French-language novels more than Spanish-language novels of late for a change, your Argentinean choice here is one I hope to read myself when I have some extra time. Hope you enjoy it. Cheers!

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  11. Richard, you have little idea (I think) of how much you inspire me to read beyond my usual realm. I have made a poor showing of Bolano's 2666, and not yet completed Don Quixote. But, that is about to change! I'm so excited to watch Ilan Stavans' video series beginning November 6 as he leads readers through the 400th anniversary edition published by Restless Books. I'm bound and determined to read it through this time (perhaps you'll consider joining me?), but certainly to read Neuman's Traveler of The Century as well. It was spoken of so well during the IFFP of 2013, which is where I first heard of it. So glad you'll read it yourself some time.

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  12. Hi Richard, have just posted the angels die here' the link, https://patpalbooks.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/yasmina-khadra-the-angels-die/
    Pat

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