- Event: May 23rd – Walks with Walser
- "To a Politician" by Bernadette Mayer
- THE INDIVIDUAL'S SOLILOQUY
"José Maria de Eça de Queirós, where have you been all my life?"—Lorin Stein, PARIS REVIEW
Some of the teeth of the comb were envious of human class differences. They strived desperately to increase their height, and, when they succeeded, began to look with disdain on their colleagues below.
After a little while, the comb's owner felt a desire to comb his hair.
But when he found it in this state, he thew it in the garbage.
"Oh," said the mouse, "the world gets narrower with each passing day. It used to be so wide that I was terrified, and I ran on and felt happy when at last I could see walls in the distance to either side of me—but these long walls are converging so quickly that already I'm in the last room and there in the corner is the trap I'm running into." "You only have to change your direction," said the cat, and ate it up.
Magnificent: the absolute perfect combination of solid scholarship and art.—Susan Howe on Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
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!”
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.
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.