Posts in English

El fluir del tiempo, de Jorge Riestra

El fluir del tiempo, de Jorge Riestra

Here in Argentina people tell me, often enough that it's a kind of refrain, that there's no future for them in this country. Sometimes this takes the form of the plans they're making – the qualification they're working towards, the money they're saving – to live in...

Fetch the Bolt Cutters

Fetch the Bolt Cutters

More than most artists, each of Fiona Apple's albums seems to exist on its own. Partly it's that a gap of years separates each one, so that it inhabits its own niche in time; partly it's that Apple finds a different approach each time. The elegant teen poetry of Tidal...

La ciudad, de Mario Levrero

La ciudad, de Mario Levrero

This is my translation of the first two chapters of Mario Levrero's novel The City. The protagonist lives in a perverse universe where nothing he does produces the outcome he expects and his choices keep leading him further and further from home. By his own admission,...

Top 50 Films – the 2010s

Top 50 Films – the 2010s

These are the movies that have stayed with me most over the last decade. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) Terrence Malick captures the way we actually remember childhood – not in coherent episodes but in intensely apprehended moments, like Jessica Chastain...

Movie Diary 25/1/20

Movie Diary 25/1/20

Hustlers (2019) – This is a textbook example of how a female point of view can transform even very familiar stories. The narrative strategies that writer and director Lorene Scafaria employs – the story's events recounted to a journalist in flashbacks, the old hand...

Defensa de Violeta Parra

Defensa de Violeta Parra

The Parra family has the rare distinction of producing two major artists in a single generation: Nicanor, impudent antipoet who died only last year, and Violeta, folklorist, singer-songwriter and visual artist, who ended her own life in 1967. I read Victor Herrero...

Es que somos muy pobres, de Juan Rulfo

Es que somos muy pobres, de Juan Rulfo

Juan Rulfo is one of those authors famous for only a couple of books – his reputation rests on the short story collection El llano en llamas and the novel Pedro Páramo, both published in a burst of creativity in the 1950s. For an author whose terse style evokes a...

Sol del trópico, by Gabriela Mistral

Sol del trópico, by Gabriela Mistral

The poetry of Gabriela Mistral, who won the Nobel Prize in 1945, is very concrete, and generally it's yoked to the Chilean landscape. Often her protagonists are women: on solitary journeys that might be a pilgrimage or an attempt at flight; stuck in landscapes that...

Prosas apátridas, by Julio Ramón Ribeyro

Prosas apátridas, by Julio Ramón Ribeyro

Julio Ramón Ribeyro was a Peruvian author best known for his short stories; his work is enjoying a surge of attention in Peru on the 90th anniversary of his birth. Shopping in Lima I was torn between his collected stories, a formidable brick of a book, and his Prosas...

Habits of the Pigeons

Habits of the Pigeons

One nice thing about Ben's work on the Real Pigeons series (Book 4 is out now) is that he and I now notice pigeons much more than we used to. There are lots of different pigeons in America, too - the little brown torcazas, with their feathers like scales, the big...