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Magnificent: the absolute perfect combination of solid scholarship and art.

Susan Howe on Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems

Literature Class

Nonfiction by Julio Cortázar

translated by Katherine Silver

“I want you to know that I’m not a critic or theorist, which means that in my work I look for solutions as problems arise.” So begins the first of eight classes that the great Argentine writer Julio Cortázar delivered at UC Berkeley in 1980. These “classes” are as much reflections on Cortázar’s own writing career as they are about literature and the historical moment in which he lived. Covering such topics as “the writer’s path” (“while my aesthetic world view made me admire writers like Borges, I was able to open my eyes to the language of street slang, lunfardo...”) and “the fantastic”(“unbeknownst to me, the fantastic had become as acceptable, as possible and real, as the fact of eating soup at eight o’clock in the evening”), Literature Class provides the warm and personal experience of sitting in a room with the great author. As Joaquin Marco stated in El Cultural, “exploring this course is to dive into Cortázar designing his own creations.... Essential for anyone reading or studying Cortázar, cronopio or not!”


The Journal Of Albion Moonlight

Fiction by Kenneth Patchen


Inspired by one of the finest lyrics in the English language, the anonymous, pre-Shakespearean Tom O’Bedlam: ("By a knight of ghosts and shadows / I am summoned am to tourney / Ten leagues beyond The wide world’s end / Methinks it is no journey..."), Kenneth Patchen sets off on an allegorical journey to the furthest limits of love and murder, madness and sex. While on this disordered pilgrimage to H. Roivas (Heavenly Savior), various characters offer deranged responses, conveying an otherworldly, imaginative madness.

A chronicle of violent fury and compassion, written when Surrealism was still vigorous and doing battle with psychotic "reality," The Journal of Albion Moonlight is an American monument to engagement.


A Simple Story

Nonfiction by Leila Guerriero

translated by Frances Riddle

Every year, at the height of summer, the remote Argentine village of Laborde holds the national malambo contest. Centuries old, this shatteringly demanding traditional gaucho dance is governed by the most rigid rules. And this festival has one stipulation that makes it unique: the malambo is danced for up to five minutes. That may seem like nothing, but consider the world record for the hundred-meter dash is 9.58 seconds. The dance contest is an obsession for countless young men, who sacrifice their bodies and money as they strive to become the champion, knowing that if they win—in order to safeguard the title’s prestige—they can never compete again. When Leila Guerriero traveled to Laborde, one dancer’s performance took her breath away, and she spent a year following him as he prepared for the next festival. The result is this superlative piece of journalism, told with tremendous economy and power.


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March 07, 2017
Malambo Madness
November 07, 2016
Trip to Sterling Pierce