Spring 2011 Quarterly Conversation Up Now

The Spring 2011 issue of the Quarterly Conversation is up now. There are some interesting articles in this issue. I found the ones below of particular interest.


“I run with the future ahead of me and the cops behind me”: A roundtable on Margarita Karapanou

“I run with the future ahead of me and the cops behind me”: A roundtable on Margarita Karapanou

By Hilary Plum

There are writers who make you want to go back into writing. Karapanou makes you want to go back into living your life. She also belongs to this rare community of writers who work beyond influence; they are on their own. When I was in my twenties I tried to imitate my favorite writers, but with Karapanou it never worked. Her voice was so unique and what I wished for was just to listen to her voice. Her atmosphere influenced some of my stories but at that young age I always felt that I failed to create an atmosphere as extraordinary and magical as hers. As she doesn’t belong to a group of writers, her influence within Greek literature is difficult to be measured. I am afraid Greek literature looks always for ethnic characteristics, for more “Greekness” and Karapanou goes beyond Greekness. She is not at all interested in that stuff. Her Hydra is primarily a psychological landscape.


Notes Toward an Understanding of Thomas Bernhard

Notes Toward an Understanding of Thomas Bernhard

By E.J. Van Lanen

Bernhard’s novels move from the present to the past. There is an action, usually a suicide, that has happened before the novel begins. In The Loser it is the suicide of Wertheimer; in The Lime Works it is Konrad’s apparent brutal murder of his wife; in Woodcutters it is the suicide of the “movement-teacher” Joana; in Wittgenstein’s Nephew it is the death of Paul Wittgenstein; and in Concrete it is the continuing inability of Rudolf to write his treatise on Mendelssohn Bartholdy. By the time these novels have begun, all of these actions have already happened. What remains to Bernhard’s characters is to make some sort of sense of these actions, to provide a justification for the suicide, to explain their writers’ block, to seek out from all their relations with society, with history, with their own minds that have made this action somehow necessary or inevitable. They seek causes and try to discover in everything the logic that is dictating events.


Fictional History: The Irreverent Chronicles of Alfredo Iriarte

Fictional History: The Irreverent Chronicles of Alfredo Iriarte

By Andrea Rosenberg

Alfredo Iriarte’s Tropical Bestiary: Dictator Chronicles, a collection of biographies of nine Latin American dictators, is a text that refuses to be faithful to established institutions and ideologies. It resists and undermines mainstream historiography, and rebels against what Iriarte viewed as a whitewashing of barbarism and cruelty with glorious myths of national progress. Iriarte’s approach is both to emphasize horrific and grotesque moments in Latin American history, and to fictionalize history, abandoning strict historical accuracy and incorporating apocrypha and popular legends into the portraits, preferring literary qualities over stodgy factual precision.


IN TRANSLATION

From Tropical Bestiary: Dictator Chronicles by Alfredo Iriarte

From Tropical Bestiary: Dictator Chronicles by Alfredo Iriarte

Translated by Andrea Rosenberg

In Tropical Bestiary: Dictator Chronicles, Colombian author Alfredo Iriarte wrote hilarious, grotesque biographies of nine Latin American dictators. The following chapter narrates the heartwarming tale of Bolivian dictator Mariano Melgarejo and his equine sidekick Holofernes. A profile of Alfredo Iriarte can be found here in the current issue of The Quarterly Conversation.


REVIEWS

 


Six Novels in Woodcuts by Lynd Ward

Six Novels in Woodcuts by Lynd Ward

Review by John Lingan

Writing with twenty-six years’ hindsight, Eisner reclassified his trilogy as a work of “literary comics,” and claimed among his forebears Lynd Ward, the illustrator, printing press impresario, and woodcutter whose own Depression-era work has been recently compiled in two volumes by the Library of America and deemed Six Novels in Woodcuts. The Library’s collection, described on its packaging as “The Collected Works of America’s First Graphic Novelist,” has been edited and introduced byMaus author Art Spiegelman, and accolades from other contemporary comics legends, including Eisner, adorn the books’ gorgeous Art-Deco dust jackets.


The Autobiography of Fidel Castro by Norberto Fuentes

The Autobiography of Fidel Castro by Norberto Fuentes

Review by Jordan Anderson

The novel takes the structure of what might be termed a “false” autobiography of the dictator, as imagined by Fuentes. (It is notable that the real Castro has written and published both the first volume of an autobiography covering his childhood and development as a revolutionary, as well as a “spoken autobiography” transcribed and organized by journalist Ignacio Ramonet.) Fuentes’s often violent descriptions of Castro’s mindset are beautifully composed, with a highly strung treatment of a life led under a seemingly unsustainable and unstable amount of pressure.


I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita

I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita

Review by Rone Shavers

Weighing in at slightly over 600 pages, author Karen Tei Yamashita’s National Book Award-nominated I Hotel is an encyclopedic compilation of facts, personages, and allusions both common and obscure that could very well represent a turning point in Asian-American literature. A novel that took its author 10 years to write, I Hotel actually consists of ten “hotels”: loosely-associated novellas that detail the variegated strands of activism within San Francisco’s Asian-American community, circa 1968-1977. Yet such a description only hints at the obvious, surface-level aspects of the novel, while just underneath much more is going on.


Manazuru by Hiromi Kawakami

Manazuru by Hiromi Kawakami

Review by Gregory McCormick

Born in 1958 in Tokyo, Kawakami is one of Japan’s most celebrated novelists. She burst onto the scene in 1994 with her first short story which won the Pascal Short Story Prize for New Writers. Her novel, Manazuru, was published in Japan in 2007. It tells the story of Kei, a middle-aged Tokyo mother trapped in the confines of a rhythmic, if slightly off-kilter, life.

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One thought on “Spring 2011 Quarterly Conversation Up Now

  1. Cooperative approaches;

    Today: Listening to the cooperative future.

    By Joseph Yorg, the cooperate.

    Do you doubt it, if our eyes are raised a raucous last dying world order is the great calamity of the past that refuses to give way to cooperatives.

    The seeds of future cooperative were planted in the year 1844 in the belly of the industrial revolution England today and strengthened and we are shown a safe harvest forward, brimming with collective buenafortuna.

    Notionally established social injustice through a social order embodied in state estates perpetuating inequalities of opportunity, are openly challenged at its core, no longer serve a world hungry for peace, harmony and equidad.Queremos a world where the human species is the reflection of herself and not beasts.

    We welcome the agony of a senile social order and gave his all and now claims his overcoming humanity towards a higher stage where hunger, illiteracy, injustice and all the tragedies are studied in old history books.

    We are listening to the cooperative future, the near-future societies built on the basis of good living, the self-help and mutual aid, knowing that we run the risk that we attribute thoughts from a crazy fever of idealism, but respond to it is enough just looking at reality which is presented to us and wonder what is the remedy for such calamity.

    What to do with so much insecurity, whose roots are in extreme poverty, “what to do against violent and warlike passions, what to do with deafness reactionary political decision-makers?

    That is why we remain faithful to the exertions of cooperative education and promotion, as they are valuable elements in promoting the moral renewal that young people want and they found in the cooperative values and principles needed to guide such PROESA.

    The human species faces the serious risk of extinction, nature itself being wound who alerts us to it!

    The cooperation should not be imposed by force, not to seek a path of capitulation to extortion or installed between men and women of their productive relations scheme harmonic and equitable cooperation will have his coming announced by the rainbow, after the storm and the darkest night ever known to mankind: capitalism.

    In the fraternity, a cooperative hug!

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