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Nazi Literature in the Americas

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Nazi Literature in the Americas Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A playful and entirely original novel masquerading as a mini-encyclopedia of nonexistent Nazi literature in our hemisphere by Roberto Bolaño: "his generation's premier Latin-American writer" (The New York Times).

A tour de force of black humor and imaginary erudition, Nazi Literature in the Americas presents itself as a biographical dictionary of writers who espoused extreme right-wing ideologies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Composed of short biographies about imaginary writers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Columbia, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the USA, Nazi Literature in the Americas includes descriptions of the writers' works, cross references, a bibliography, and also an epilogue ("For Monsters"). All the writers are carefully and credibly situated in real literary worlds. There are fourteen thematic sections with titles such as "Forerunners and Figures of the Anti-Enlightenment," "Magicians, Mercenaries and Miserable Individuals," and "North American Poets."

Brisk and pseudo-academic, Nazi Literature in the Americas delicately balances irony and pathos. Bolaño does not simply use his writers for target practice: in the space of a few pages he manages to sketch character portraits that are often pathetically funny, sometimes surprisingly moving, and, on occasion, authentically chilling. A remarkably inventive, funny, and disquieting sui generis novel, Nazi Literature in the Americas offers a clear view into the workings of one of the most extraordinarily fecund literary imaginations of our time.

Review:

"The title chosen by Bolao (1953 — 2003) for this slim, fake encyclopedia is not wholly tongue-in-cheek: given the very real presence of former (and not-so-former) Nazis in Latin America following WWII, this book, despite being fiction, still had j'accuse-like power when first published in 1996. The poets described herein, though invented, seem — even at their most absurd — plausible, which is the secret to this sly book's devastating effect. And as one proceeds from an entry on Edelmira Thompson de Mendiluce ('In high spirits, Edelmira asked for the Fhrer's advice: which would be the most appropriate school for her sons?') to one on Carlos Ramrez Hoffman ('His passage through literature left a trail of blood and several questions posed by a mute'), it becomes clear that there is a single witness to all of these terrible figures, one who has spent time in one of Pinochet's prisons and is bent on coolly totting up the crimes of fascism's literary perpetrators. Some readers will recognize figures and episodes from Bolao's other books (including The Savage Detectives and Distant Star). The wild inventiveness of Bolao's evocations places them squarely in the realm of Borges — another writer who draws enormous power from the movement between the fictive and the real." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Cross-referenced, complete with bibliography and a biographical list of secondary figures, Nazi Literature is composed of a series of sketches, the compressed life stories of writers in North and South America who never existed, but all too easily could have." New York Times

Review:

"Despite the layers of protective irony, despite the fact that the writers never seem as grotesque as we imagine fascist writers will be, the humor remains tense, even disorienting." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Nazi Literature in the Americas is not a typical novel....[T]hat all-too-rare book that will read you just as much as you read it." Miami Herald

Synopsis:

A tour de force of black humor and imaginary erudition, Nazi Literature in the Americas presents itself as a biographical dictionary of writers who espoused extreme right-wing ideologies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Composed of short biographies about imaginary writers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Columbia, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the USA, Nazi Literature in the Americas includes descriptions of the writers' works, cross references, a bibliography, and also an epilogue ("For Monsters"). All the writers are carefully and credibly situated in real literary worlds. There are fourteen thematic sections with titles such as "Forerunners and Figures of the Anti-Enlightenment," "Magicians, Mercenaries and Miserable Individuals," and "North American Poets."

Brisk and pseudo-academic, Nazi Literature in the Americas delicately balances irony and pathos. Bolaño does not simply use his writers for target practice: in the space of a few pages he manages to sketch character portraits that are often pathetically funny, sometimes surprisingly moving, and, on occasion, authentically chilling. A remarkably inventive, funny, and disquieting sui generis novel, Nazi Literature in the Americas offers a clear view into the workings of one of the most extraordinarily fecund literary imaginations of our time.

About the Author

Roberto Bolano (1953-2003) was born in Santiago, Chile. He won the extremely prestigious Herralde de Novela Award and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780811217057
Author:
Bolano, Roberto
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Translator:
Andrews, Chris
Author:
Andrews, Chris
Author:
Bolao, Roberto
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
February 2008
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
280
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Nazi Literature in the Americas Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$23.95 In Stock
Product details 280 pages Norton - English 9780811217057 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The title chosen by Bolao (1953 — 2003) for this slim, fake encyclopedia is not wholly tongue-in-cheek: given the very real presence of former (and not-so-former) Nazis in Latin America following WWII, this book, despite being fiction, still had j'accuse-like power when first published in 1996. The poets described herein, though invented, seem — even at their most absurd — plausible, which is the secret to this sly book's devastating effect. And as one proceeds from an entry on Edelmira Thompson de Mendiluce ('In high spirits, Edelmira asked for the Fhrer's advice: which would be the most appropriate school for her sons?') to one on Carlos Ramrez Hoffman ('His passage through literature left a trail of blood and several questions posed by a mute'), it becomes clear that there is a single witness to all of these terrible figures, one who has spent time in one of Pinochet's prisons and is bent on coolly totting up the crimes of fascism's literary perpetrators. Some readers will recognize figures and episodes from Bolao's other books (including The Savage Detectives and Distant Star). The wild inventiveness of Bolao's evocations places them squarely in the realm of Borges — another writer who draws enormous power from the movement between the fictive and the real." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Cross-referenced, complete with bibliography and a biographical list of secondary figures, Nazi Literature is composed of a series of sketches, the compressed life stories of writers in North and South America who never existed, but all too easily could have."
"Review" by , "Despite the layers of protective irony, despite the fact that the writers never seem as grotesque as we imagine fascist writers will be, the humor remains tense, even disorienting."
"Review" by , "Nazi Literature in the Americas is not a typical novel....[T]hat all-too-rare book that will read you just as much as you read it."
"Synopsis" by , A tour de force of black humor and imaginary erudition, Nazi Literature in the Americas presents itself as a biographical dictionary of writers who espoused extreme right-wing ideologies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Composed of short biographies about imaginary writers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Columbia, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the USA, Nazi Literature in the Americas includes descriptions of the writers' works, cross references, a bibliography, and also an epilogue ("For Monsters"). All the writers are carefully and credibly situated in real literary worlds. There are fourteen thematic sections with titles such as "Forerunners and Figures of the Anti-Enlightenment," "Magicians, Mercenaries and Miserable Individuals," and "North American Poets."

Brisk and pseudo-academic, Nazi Literature in the Americas delicately balances irony and pathos. Bolaño does not simply use his writers for target practice: in the space of a few pages he manages to sketch character portraits that are often pathetically funny, sometimes surprisingly moving, and, on occasion, authentically chilling. A remarkably inventive, funny, and disquieting sui generis novel, Nazi Literature in the Americas offers a clear view into the workings of one of the most extraordinarily fecund literary imaginations of our time.
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