Héctor Abad Faciolince: Basura [Rubbish]

The latest addition to my website is Héctor Abad Faciolince‘s Basura [Rubbish]. The unnamed narrator moves into a flat and sees that one of his fellow residents is Bernardo Davanzati, who published a couple of novels some time ago but has now seemingly disappeared. While looking in the rubbish for a magazine he mistakenly threw away, he comes across pages full of handwritten text, clearly those of Davanzati. He takes these pages and thereafter checks every day, collecting a mass of pages. In these pages, Davanzati seems to be writing what may be a novel, or stories or his autobiography, the narrator is not sure which. Some of the writing is nonsensical, while other sections seem to tell something of the often sad story of Davanzati’s life. Eventually, he takes it further, breaking into his flat and contacting people who may know or have known Davanzati. The book raises issues of truth vs fiction, the unreliable narrator and investigation becoming obsession. Who is mad: the narrator, Davanzati or both? Sadly, the book has only been translated into Italian.

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