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Showing posts from November, 2014

Germán Espinosa - It’s not every day you discover a literary masterpiece that pushes all the right buttons for you, which you enter like a parallel world to be inhabited and explored for several months, and which you are extremely loath to leave once the final page is turned. Such is Germán Espinosa’s incredibly dense, profoundly learned and wantonly baroque creation, a novela total

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Germán Espinosa, La tejedora de coronas (The Weaver of Crowns)


It’s not every day you discover a literary masterpiece that pushes all the right buttons for you, which you enter like a parallel world to be inhabited and explored for several months, and which you are extremely loath to leave once the final page is turned. Such is Germán Espinosa’s incredibly dense, profoundly learned and wantonly baroque creation, a novela total whose breathtaking pre-Google erudition goes hand-in-hand  with awe-inspiring stylistic virtuosity. The Weaver of Crowns is the most outrageous omission in the lives of English language readers I have encountered so far. For my money, if there is a single Spanish language novel that absolutely has to be translated into English, it is hands down the magnum opus of the Colombian genius, unjustly dubbed “Gabo without Nobel”.  I was more impressed by Espinosa’s book than by anything I’ve read by Marquez, all the more regretting the fact that it has never…

Gerald Murnane - Murnane, a genius, is a worthy heir to Beckett. Murnane wrote in another novel, “One of the first things I discovered about the world was that I seemed shut out of the best part of it”, and his fiction has been a relentless quest to reveal that “best part”

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Gerald Murnane, A Million Windows, Giramondo, 2014.

read it at Google Books

A publisher many years ago said that Gerald Murnane was a Proust who had never left Combray. Both parts of this statement remain true some 30 years after Murnane started publishing; he is a writer of the first rank, a writer that critics such as Frank Kermode and Northrop Frye, the most eminent of people around, were dazzled by at a glimpse, and yet any given work by him has a greater resemblance to any other such work than is usual in a writer of such marked distinction. Murnane is constantly revisiting, with endless variegations and minute tonal shifts and dislocations and re-emergences of patterning, the apparent tiny variations of his obsessive compass: woman, landscape, grasslands. It is as if the mind knew no other music than the topography of its own backyard, as if it could only articulate through particular words, all but lost to collective memory unless those memories abide in the endless…