She reached Crete one midday in spring. The reputation of Ernesto Pérez Masón, realist, naturalist, and expressionist novelist, exponent of the decadent style and social realism, rests on a series of twenty works, beginning with the splendid story “Heartless” (Havana, 1930), a nightmare with Kafkaesque echoes, written at a time when the work of Kafka was little known in the Caribbean, and ending with the abrasive, caustic, embittered prose of Don Juan in Havana (Miami, 1979). She asked if they could meet. The sixth, final, and probably briefest part is a portrait of Poe’s friend, the dozing man. All rights reserved. Nazi Literature in the Americas ... and determining the character of the room. In high spirits, Edelmira asked for the Führer’s advice: which would be the most appropriate school for her sons? A torrent of creative activity swept her away. Nazi Literature in the Americas (Spanish: La literatura nazi en América) is a work of fiction by the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño. Luz Mendiluce ThompsonBerlin, 1928–Buenos Aires, 1976. Copyright ©2021 The Virginia Quarterly Review. The censors set to work in earnest, and made a fresh discovery: the first letters of each chapter’s second paragraph made up another acrostic: this place sucks. And there’s no way round that? At the time she weighed more than two hundred pounds (she was only five feet two inches tall) and was drinking a bottle of whiskey a day. "Nazi Literature in the Americas" poses as an academic reference work on a disturbing subgroup of reactionary writers. . Nazi Literature in the Americas is a real curiosity; it has a surface simplicity, but few readers will be able to pin down a general unease about the book's purpose and meaning. . She divided her time between a large apartment in Buenos Aires and a ranch in Paraná, which became an artistic commune over which she could reign unopposed. Nevertheless, many photographs from the period show the two women together at cocktail and birthday parties, receptions, opening nights, and sporting events. Luz did not fare much better. In other words, she ceased to suffer. She had an audience with the pope. A love that neither she nor Mendiluce was ever able to explain and that endured imperturbably all the days of her life. Every night, without fail, she begged: when could they meet again? About Nazi Literature in the Americas, Bolaño told an interviewer: The third part is devoted to the building of the room on a lawn in the garden of Edelmira’s ranch in Azul. The Argand lamp was not particularly difficult to procure. Featuring several mass-murdering authors, two fraternal writers at the head of a football-hooligan ring and a poet who crafts his lines in the air with sky writing, Nazi Literature in the Americas details the lives of a rich cast of characters from one of the most extraordinarily fecund imaginations in world literature Deranged by sorrow, she composed a death notice that took up a whole two-column page in each of the nation’s major newspapers, and was signed: Edelmira, the widow Mendiluce. In any case the Artists and Writers of the Counterrevolution or the Aryan Writers of Cuba (or the Caribbean?) This section differs in tone from the rest of the book, rather than being delivered as a dry encyclopedic entry it is narrated by a character, named Bolaño, who was a witness to some of the events. Before leaving, she presented him with several of her own books and a deluxe edition of Martín Fierro. That night she cried and danced and drank until she passed out. They returned to Argentina together but separated after four months. She rarely washed. [9], Goldman, Francisco (July 19, 2007) "The Great Bolaño. She was accompanied by a young Spanish poet, Pedro Barbero, who acted as her secretary and whom she called Pedrito. —Outside the recesses, curtains of an exceedingly rich crimson silk, fringed with a deep network of gold, and lined with the same silver tissue used for the exterior blind. During the day, a barbecue had been held there in honor of the Argentinean poetess; by night, the house had been transformed into a brothel, in honor of her husband. She was soon surrounded by a host of followers who laughed at all her jokes. In Paris, Jules Albert Ramis had translated practically all of her poetry. She took young Argentinean painters under her wing, not only buying their work (in 1950 her personal collection of paintings and sculptures was, if not the best in the Republic, certainly one of the largest and most extravagant) but also inviting them to paint at her ranch in Azul, far from the madding crowd, all expenses paid. This Pedrito, as opposed to her Argentinean husbands and lovers, was helpful, attentive (although perhaps a little uncouth), and above all loyal. —One mirror, not very large and nearly circular in shape, hung so that a reflection of a person in any of the ordinary sitting places of the room could not be obtained from it. —More than usually massive rosewood framings. Edelmira’s later years were not prolific. The first began: “Lucia was a black woman from . But she was intrigued by the idea of being mortal enemies.) At one point he came to believe that he could do without Luz and the Mendiluce clan. Claudia looked on from the doorway of the café where they had met, unmoving. Meanwhile Edelmira and her children were presented to Adolf Hitler, who held Luz and said, “She certainly is a wonderful little girl.” Photos were taken. In 1921 she published her first book of prose, All My Life, an idyllic and rather flat autobiography, devoid of gossip, full of landscapes and poetic meditations. But beyond that, it produces an unsettling mix of overt satire and covert elegy. On three occasions, he challenged the author of Paradiso to a duel. According to some critics, the acronym AWC secretly stood for the Aryan Writers of Cuba. No doubt it was the first time that anyone had made her feel that way. That was not to be Pérez Masón’s last visit to the jails of socialist Cuba. In her position anyone else would have given up, but Luz was not anyone. Claudia’s friends said the army had taken her. Giles Harvey, writing for The New Yorker, included the novel in his list of Bolaño's best work, explaining that: "This mock reference book of imaginary right-wing litterateurs — including soccer-hooligans-cum poets and a sci-fi novelist who excitedly envisages Hitler’s Reich triumphing in the United States — is every bit as fun as it sounds. Disappointed, Edelmira set off for Europe with her two small sons, two servants, and more than twenty suitcases. Many women writers in Argentina admired her and read her work, although not all of them would admit to it. And age was an illusion. About this Item: Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2011. Flirting and swooning were behind her now. They talked about Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Claudel and Soviet poetry, Paul Valéry and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. —Not one of the paintings being of small size, since diminutive paintings give that spotty look to a room, which is the blemish of so many a fine work of art overtouched. This declaration seemed to interest Luz. Amazon.com: Nazi Literature in the Americas (Audible Audio Edition): Roberto Bolaño, Jonathan Davis, Chris Andrews - translator, Blackstone Audio, Inc.: Audible Audiobooks It is … Until the triumph of the revolution, that is, for almost all of his working life, Pérez Masón taught French Literature to graduate students. Reading and a bent for interior design gave rise to her finest work, Poe’s Room (1944), which prefigured the nouveau roman and much subsequent avant-garde writing, and earned the widow Mendiluce an eminent place in the panorama of Argentinean and Hispanic letters. All of the writers are imaginary, although they are all carefully and credibly situated in real literary worlds. Nor were the curtains, the carpet, or the sofas. Her clothes were old and often ragged. Years later, in his memoirs, he would claim that the whole novel, from the first to the last page, was a handbook of cryptography, a “Super Enigma,” although of course he no longer had the text to prove it, and the exiled Cubans of Miami, who had not forgotten his early and somewhat hasty hagiographies of Fidel and Raúl Castro, Camilo Cienfuegos and Che Guevara, received his assertion with indifference, if not disbelief. The group consisted of the painter Alcides Urrutia and the poet Juan José Lasa Mardones, two entirely mysterious individuals, probably invented by Pérez Masón himself, unless they were pseudonyms used by never-identified pro-Castro writers who at some point went crazy or decided to play a double game. She got hold of Claudia’s telephone number in Rosario and called her. The third and final challenge took place in 1963; the designated field of honor was the back garden of a house belonging to Dr. Antonio Nualart, in which a party attended by painters and poets was under way, and it was to be a fistfight, in the traditional Cuban manner. Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) is widely considered the most significant and influential Latin American novelist since Gabriel García Márquez. The sleeping man is dimly visible in profile. At first she remained calm. Throughout her life she treasured the famous photo of her baby self in Hitler’s arms. She felt like a girl. Success went to Cáceres’s head. Fiction. That said, of all the writers in her family, she was the most talented. In the first category, two books deserve a special mention: Stale Hearts and Young Hearts, by Julián Rico Anaya, a novel that provoked a heated controversy both in Argentina and abroad on its publication in 1978, and The Invisible Adorers, by Carola Leyva, a collection of poems intended to put an end to the sterile debate about poetry that had been going on in certain Argentinean circles since the Second Surrealist Manifesto. Reprints. Luz pulled away, with the image of Claudia fixed in the rear-vision mirror. Luz refused to believe anything and waited. The second part is a treatise on good taste and interior design, which develops a number of Poe’s precepts. In 1917 she met the rancher and entrepreneur Sebastian Mendiluce, twenty years her senior. She established a salon in Buenos Aires to rival those of the redoubtable Ximena San Diego and Susana Lezcano Lafinur. In 1967, Luz returned to Buenos Aires, where she was to remain for the rest of her life. Juan is a novelist and politician while Luz is a talented but troubled poet who suffers failed marriages, struggles with alcoholism and overweight, and is eventually doomed by her love for a much younger woman. —The walls prepared with a glossy paper of a silver gray tint, spotted with small arabesque devices of a fainter hue of the prevalent crimson. The marriage proceeded with the family’s blessing, in spite of her fiancé’s evident deficiencies. It is a limited work, constrained by its bizarre premise, but within those limits Bolaño offers a tour de force. —Some light and graceful hanging shelves, with golden edges and crimson silk cords with gold tassels, sustaining two or three hundred magnificently bound books. —A pianoforte made of the same wood, with no cover, and thrown open. Edelmira spent the last three years of her life on her ranch in Azul, either in the Poe room, where she would doze and dream of the past, or out on the broad terrace of the main ranch house, absorbed in a book or contemplating the landscape. Obz Books. All I want is to work, he said, just work and live doing the only thing I know how to do. .”; the third: “Nothing had come easily to Juan . In 1958 she fell in love again. "[8], Paul Grimstad of Columbia University wonders whether the idea of the work was hinted by a Stanislaw Lem's review of a fictional book Gruppenführer Louis XVI in the collection A Perfect Vacuum. She attacked Argentina’s critics and literary ladies, the decadence besetting the nation’s cultural life. Her mother tried to send her to Europe, but Luz refused. Bolaño has also praised the work of J. Rodolfo Wilcock, a member of Borges' cohort, whose "La Sinagoga de Los Iconoclastas" (Temple of the Iconoclasts) similarly consists of short biographies of imaginary figures, in Wilcock's case, crackpot scholars and inventors. Composed of short biographies of imaginary pan-American authors (the nations with the most representatives are Argentina, with eight, and the USA, with seven), Nazi Literature describes, in fourteen thematic sections, the writers’ lives, politics, and literary works. The fifth part is a description of the reconstructed room, similar to but also different from the room conceived by Poe, with a particular emphasis on the light, the color crimson, the origin and state of conservation of various pieces of furniture, the quality of the paintings (every one of which is described, without sparing the reader a single detail). Her new book of poems European Hours (1923) was described in a local newspaper as “precious.” The nation’s most influential reviewer, Dr. Enrique Belmar, described her as “an idle, childish lady whose time and energy would be better spent on good works, such as educating all the ragged little rascals on the loose throughout this vast land of ours.” Edelmira’s elegant reply consisted of an invitation to attend her salon, addressed to Belmar and other critics, which was ignored by all but four half-starved accident-and-crime reporters. He reproduced Poe’s furniture, wallpaper, and curtains as exactly as possible. Nazi Literature in the Americas is a collection of brief biographical sketches of imaginary right-wing writers from North and South America. Michael Dirda, of The Washington Post found that the novel, "very much deserves reading: It is imaginative, full of a love for literature, and, unlikely as it may seem, exceptionally entertaining. It could also be any heavily built man. Countless volumes included a foreword, a preface, or a postface by the widow Mendiluce; she personally financed the first editions of innumerable works. Nazi Literature in the Americas, a wicked invented encyclopedia of imaginary fascist writers and literary tastemakers, is Bolano playing with sharp, twisting knives.As if he were Borges’s wisecracking, sardonic son, Bolano has meticulously created a tightly woven network of far-right litterateurs and purveyors of belles lettres for whom Hitler was beauty, truth, and the great lost hope. How the American Library in Paris was saved from the Nazi assault on literature A new novel dramatises the bravery of a 100-year-old institution in the French capital that refused to … Having arranged an introduction, the hostess lavished attention upon her visitor. New muses soon appeared on the scene: young female converts to the manly cause of neo-gaucho poetry who succeeded in catching the master’s eye. “We are mortal enemies,” said Claudia sadly. It was then that she wrote one of the strangest poems in Argentinean literature: My Girl, 750 lines full of love, regrets, and irony. She launched a magazine, Modern Argentina, edited by Carozzone, whose brief was to publish the latest in poetry and prose fiction, but also political commentary, philosophical essays, film reviews, and articles on social issues. One way and another, the book was a great success, but, demonstrating her humility, Edelmira barely took the time to relish her triumph, and soon left for Europe once again. Contrary to the author’s expectations, it disappeared from the bookshop windows in Buenos Aires without leaving so much as a ripple. You have read 1 of 10 free articles in the past 30 days. She grabbed the first thing she could find and returned to the bedroom in search of her husband. ", An Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right, In the Labyrinth: A User's Guide to Bolaño, "Nazi Literature in the Americas by Roberto Bolaño, translated by Chris Andrews", "The Beautiful Mind-Bending of Stanislaw Lem", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nazi_Literature_in_the_Americas&oldid=993912333, Articles containing Spanish-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Itinerant Heroes or the Fragility of Mirrors, Forerunners and Figures of the Anti-Enlightenment, Magicians, Mercenaries and Miserable Creatures, This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 03:59. A major scandal broke out. Easing her rotund physique into the driver’s seat was no simple task, but she undertook it bravely, with a smile on her face. Once again, she withdrew to her ranch in Azul, accompanied only by her daughter, the faithful Carozzone, and a young painter named Atilio Franchetti. —A profusion of sweet and vivid flowers blooming in four large and gorgeous Sèvres vases, set in each of the slightly rounded angles of the room. Condition: New. But she couldn’t. Two months later Claudia’s body was found in a garbage dump in the north of Rosario. Nazi Literature in the Americas has the appearance of a biographical encyclopedia. Lacouture was at the house of the novelist Pedro de Medina. .”; the fourth: “Gradually, tenderly, she drew him toward her . The first time, in 1945, the affair was to be decided, so he declared, on the little field he owned outside Pinar del Río, which had inspired him to write numerous pages about the deep joy of land ownership, a condition he had come to see as the ontological equivalent of destiny. The reductive force of summary after summary starts to have an effect that transcends the satire; the book begins to convey a sense of the vanity of human endeavor and the ease with which a lifetime's work might be flicked into oblivion by a witty remark."[6]. Tolkien, Bolaño was a writer with a fully-realized universe at his disposal, one with its own heroes and villains, histories and myths, and yes, like Tolkien, its own literature. The explosion was considerable. She said it had probably been one of the happiest moments of her life. Lacouture had to be hospitalized for fifteen days with severe concussion. Buy a cheap copy of Nazi Literature in the Americas book by Roberto Bolaño. All of the writers are imaginary, although they are all … Accompanied by Carozzone, her young daughter (the boys were boarding at an exclusive school in Berne), and her two Indian servants, Edelmira traveled up and down the Nile, visited Jerusalem (where she had a mystical experience or a nervous breakdown, which confined her to a hotel bed for three days), then Damascus, Baghdad . Nazi Literature in the Americas When Roberto Bolaño’s Los detectives salvajes (1998; The Savage Detectives, 2007) appeared, it made its author a literary celebrity in the Spanish-speaking world. NAZI LITERATURE IN THE AMERICAS is like that place. Every night she called Claudia: they talked, argued, read poems to each other (Claudia’s were downright bad but Luz was very careful not to say so). Maybe you’re right, Luz admitted, on the verge of tears, but maybe you’re wrong. The action took place in the sixties, during the early years of the literacy campaign. She drank a couple of tequilas in the library with Pedro de Medina and the social realist poet Augusto Zamora, both of whom tried to calm her down. And sometimes she frankly admitted that it was she: she had been dandled by the Führer. Pérez Masón answered them by publishing a curious novella under the pseudonym Abelard of Rotterdam: an erotic and fiercely anti-US fantasy, whose protagonists were General Eisenhower and General Patton. He was born in Santiago, Chile, moved to Mexico City with his family in 1968, then returned to Chile in 1973, just a month before Pinochet seized power, and was arrested. —Many paintings. According to her enemies, during 1945 and 1946, she made frequent visits to deserted beaches and little-known coves, where she welcomed the clandestine travelers arriving in what was left of Admiral Dönitz’s fleet of submarines. she asked, desperately lovesick. She discussed the subject at length with Carozzone and Atilio Franchetti. This is how she came to write the book. This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. Bolaño does not simply use his writers for target practice: he manages to sketch character portraits that are often pathetically funny, sometimes surprisingly moving, and, on occasion, authentically chilling. —A tall candelabrum, bearing a small antique lamp with highly perfumed oil, standing beside one of the sofas (occupied by Poe’s sleeping friend, the possessor of this ideal room). He even allowed himself the pleasure of belittling his wife. According to Pérez Masón, the whole thing was an ambush cleverly contrived by Lezama and Castro’s regime, in an unholy alliance forged with the express purpose of destroying him. In 1975, after many failed attempts, he managed to get out of Cuba and settle in New York, where he devoted his time and energy—working more than ten hours a day—to writing and polemics. They include The Witches, a misogynistic book full of stories opening onto other stories, which in turn open onto yet others, and whose structure or lack of structure recalls certain works of Raymond Roussel; The Enterprise of the Masons, a paradigmatic and paradoxical work, saluted on its publication in 1940 by Virgilio Piñera (who saw it as a Cuban version of Gargantua and Pantagruel), in which it is never entirely clear whether Pérez Masón is talking about the business acumen of his ancestors or the members of a Masonic lodge who met, at the end of the nineteenth century, in a sugar refinery to plan the Cuban Revolution and the worldwide revolution to follow; and The Gallows Tree (1946), written in a dark, Caribbean gothic vein, unprecedented at the time, in which the author reveals his hatred of communists (although, oddly, he devotes a whole chapter, the third, to the military fortunes and misfortunes of Marshal Zhukov, the hero of Moscow, Stalingrad, and Berlin, and that chapter, taken on its own—it has, in fact, little to do with the rest of the book—is one of the strangest and most brilliant passages in Latin American literature between 1900 and 1950), as well as his hatred of homosexuals, Jews, and blacks, thus earning the enmity of Virgilio Piñera, who always admitted, nevertheless, that the novel, arguably the author’s best, had a disquieting power, like a sleeping crocodile. 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