Category: Uruguay

Mario Levrero: La novela luminosa (The Luminous Novel)

The latest addition to my website is Mario Levrero‘s La novela luminosa (The Luminous Novel). This is the story, in the form of a diary, of a novelist called Mario who is endeavouring to write a luminous novel, based on an image he saw many years ago. The novel is long – 544 pages – and during these many pages, he outlines what he does all the time which is pretty well everything, except write the luminous or indeed any novel. He finds numerous distractions – computer/Internet, friends, buying and reading books, dead pigeons, ants, the occasional ghost, health (mental and physical), unhealthy eating and sleeping habits, the State bureaucracy, and other issues. As he says This whole book is the testimony of a monumental failure. At times we find him exasperating, at others we might sympathise but I never found it boring.

Mario Benedetti: Primavera con una esquina rota (Springtime in a Broken Mirror)

The latest addition to my website is Mario Benedetti‘s Primavera con una esquina rota (Springtime in a Broken Mirror). This is only the second of Benedetti’s novels to appear in English. Another one will appear in June 2019. This one is set in the 1970s when the military have taken over power in Uruguay and there is considerable repression, with many Uruguayans going into exile. We follow the stories of five people: Santiago who is in a jail in Montevideo, his wife Graciela, his daughter Beatriz and his father Rafael, who are all in exile in Buenos Aires, and Benedetti himself, who was an exile during this period. Santiago has four more years to serve in prison but is eager to see his wife and daughter again. However, Graciela is having an affair with Rolando, Santiago’s best friend. Benedetti tells an excellent story of how involuntary exile affects these various people and how it changes them.

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