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Respiración artificial por Ricardo…
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Respiración artificial (original 1980; edição 2001)

por Ricardo Piglia

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Acclaimed as one of the most important Latin American novels in recent decades, Artificial Respiration is a stunning introduction for English readers to the fiction of Ricardo Piglia. Published in Argentina in 1981, it was written at a time when thousands of Argentine citizens "disappeared" during the government's attempt to create an authoritarian state. In part a reflection on one of the most repressive and tragic times in Argentine history, this is one of those rare works of fiction in which multiple philosophical, political, and narrative dimensions are all powerfully and equally matched. As a prize winning detective novel, Artificial Respiration reaches through many levels of mystery to explore the forces that have been at play in Argentina throughout its violent history. The narrator, a writer named Renzi, begins to look for an uncle who has vanished, a man he knows only through a web of contradictory family stories and an exchange of letters. Through these letters he learns about his uncle's research into the life of Enrique Ossario, secretary to the 19th-century Argentine dictator Rosas and spy for the dictator's enemy. As Renzi's search leads further into his uncle's work and to conversations with his literary and chess-playing friends, the reader is led by Piglia to consider the nature of Argentine identity, its literature and history, and its relation, for example, to Europe, exile, and democracy. Finally, and made most vividly appreciable by the retelling of a story in which Kafka meets Hitler, it is the encounter between literature and history that is explored.… (mais)
Membro:Avencejo
Título:Respiración artificial
Autores:Ricardo Piglia
Informação:Barcelona Anagrama [2001]
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Artificial Respiration por Ricardo Piglia (1980)

Adicionado recentemente porTess_W, Avencejo, SantiagoC, Toresana, hpmg, CENlibrary, terraleste

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Emilio Renzi is a young writer whose first book is about an uncle with a tumultuous life, who left his wife for a cabaret dancer named Coca, maybe stole his wife's fortune, was imprisoned for the theft, got out and pretty much fell off the face of the map, but at the same time paid back the money he'd stolen. I like how Renzi describes his novel as "employing the tone of The Wild Palms; better: employing the tones that Faulkner acquires when translated by Borges, which resulted in a story that sounds like a more or less parodic version of Onetti." That's a pretty funny description of an imaginary Argentine book. He then receives a letter from the uncle in question, Marcelo Maggi, who's living up on the border between Argentina an Uruguay in Concordia, Entre Ríos. The uncle makes a few comments and rectifications regarding the fictional version of his story, as told by his nephew. Their epistolary relationship continues through the first part of the book, and Renzi learns of the importance of a trunk full of documents pertaining to a certain Enrique Ossorio, a bounty that had a lot to do with Maggi's marriage and subsequent abandonment of his wife. Ossorio was the secretary of Juan Manuel de Rosas, a traitor (or maybe a hero) who lived a long and complicated exile in the middle of the 19th century. He ended up on the East River, writing a utopic book that consists of letters received from a date far in the future (a date that corresponds with the Renzi/Maggi correspondence). The first hundred pages of the book are a mix of letters (not just betwen Renzi and Maggi), journal entries written by Ossorio, and the investigations of a man named Arocena who is trying to decipher a message embedded in code in some of the letters. Over the course of their correspondence, Renzi agrees to make a trek up to Concordia to see uncle Marcelo.

That visit takes place in the second part of the book, but instead of encountering Maggi in Concordia, Renzi makes the acquaintance of a Polish ex-student of Wittgenstein named Tardewski who now lives in Concordia and teaches private lessons in logic to high school students preparing to take a national entrance exam. Tardewski and Maggi are buddies who both frequent the same club. While they sit at the club, Tardewski and Renzi talk about a few of the more compelling members of Maggi's social circle. Their conversation often strays onto literary grounds, especially when they're joined briefly by a guy named Marconi whose ears perk up when he hears them talking about Borges. This was my favorite part of the book. Piglia puts some ingenious/hilarious comments on Argentine literature into the mouths of his characters. One affirms that "Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote" is actually a biting parody of the Frenchman Paul Groussac, who came to Argentina and became an influential member of intellectual circles in the later years of the 19th century. Another speaks of the involuntary humor of Leopoldo Lugones, suggesting that one might find a more refined comic talent in his La guerra gaucha than in the renowned jokes of Macedonio Fernández. At one point somebody suggests that the vein through which Argentine literature flowed was abruptly cut off by the death of Arlt in 1942. They then discuss Arlt's fiction, his style and his originality/genius, eventually bringing the conversation full circle by pointing out that one of Borges' stories can be read as a retelling/homage to El juguete rabioso. It's a fun 30-40 pages. I feel like the fictional setting, and the way that it's not Piglia speaking but rather the characters he's created, makes it possible for him to voice some really inspired readings of the Argentine canon. It's fiction and it's literary criticism, and the fact that it's the former makes it easier to make the extravagant declarations that make it so inspired as the latter. After they're done at the club, Renzi and Tardewski go back to the hotel where Maggi resides, and as they wait for him, Tardewski tells his life story. He's something of a mix between Wytold Gombrowicz and a character from an Onetti novel, and he once made a monumental discovery concerning a possible series of meetings between Hitler and Kafka, and the way that the two men mutually influenced each other. The excitement that the extended discourse on literature and the fundamental importance of Bob Arlt had inspired in me was somewhat cooled during this final section of the book, but I basically read the whole thing in one sitting and I think I was just fatigued. As I think about it, that story of Tardewski's was pretty extraordinary too, and it might have more universal appeal (considering that more people are familiar with Wittgenstein, Hitler and Kafka than are familiar with Arlt and Leopoldo Lugones).

There was one really odd thing about the form of this book. The conversations were often indirect, and sometimes doubly indirect, and you end up reading a lot of phrases like this one: "...the woman said, Marconi recounted, Tardewski tells me," or "Marcelo used to say, Renzi tells me." People retell things that other people told them, and the chain of communication is represented in its entirety. I can't think of many books that do this. It seems very convoluted and I'm pretty sure these are constructions that writers generally avoid because they're awkward. One book that does make extensive use of these sort of chains of communication is Don Quijote (Cide Hamete writes about what Don Quijote says and his words are translated into Spanish), but I can't really think of any others that go to such great lengths to document the degrees of indirectness of statements being made by different characters. This book by Piglia is about readers and writers, and I think that may have something to do with this formal oddity. Renzi is a writer who reads the story of Maggi's life and interprets it. Maggi is a historian who reads Ossorio's documents and interprets them. Tardewski is a philosopher who's accidentally given Mein Kampf when he goes to the library to pick up a book on the ancient philosopher Hippias. All the characters are interpreting things written by other people, and maybe that's why Piglia goes to such lengths to represent the ways that they interpret things other people have told them as they converse with each other.

All in all, this was a really fun book for me to read. I underlined sentences I found particularly interesting, because I think it's a book that begs to be deciphered, as Arocena tries to decipher the letters that come into his hands. I read it quickly, and I'm hoping that future readings unlock more secrets embedded in the text, the sort of text-within-the-text that Maggi looks for in the life of Ossorio, or that Arocena looks for in the letters. ( )
1 vote msjohns615 | Jan 8, 2012 |
I couldn't move through this book easily, because I kept trying to read it like a more traditional narrative. I had to keep reminding myself which character was which, and asking myself who exactly was telling the story. Reading from a review that this book is actually about the history of Argentinian fiction (in a way) helped, because I could let go of those expectations. But I still wasn't able to finish.
  allison.sivak | Feb 7, 2011 |
It's interesting that no one else has this book. This is the best work of fiction that I've ever read coming out of Latin America and I've read most of the major authors. In any case it's set during the dirty war during the late 70's and the early 80's when the Military junta controlled Argentina after a coup. They were finally brought down in the wake of the Falklands debacle. Estimate as high as 30,000 people 'disappeared' during this time for a variety of reasons such as being dissidents or even witnesses in the wrong place at the wrong time. This novel written during that time deals with that situation in an oblique way--as a detective type of novel as a writer named Renzi searches for his lost uncle--finally seeming to catch up with him in a rural village he runs into a friend of his uncle--somewhat based on the Polish writer Gombrowicz who relates to Renzi a story from his youth searching through the archives of the library of the British Museum in London he had come across some letters from Kafka relating of some encounters with a young Austrian anti-semite named Adolph. The uncle does not appear leaving one to draw the sinister conclusion that he himself has disappeared.. ( )
1 vote lriley | Jul 17, 2006 |
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Acclaimed as one of the most important Latin American novels in recent decades, Artificial Respiration is a stunning introduction for English readers to the fiction of Ricardo Piglia. Published in Argentina in 1981, it was written at a time when thousands of Argentine citizens "disappeared" during the government's attempt to create an authoritarian state. In part a reflection on one of the most repressive and tragic times in Argentine history, this is one of those rare works of fiction in which multiple philosophical, political, and narrative dimensions are all powerfully and equally matched. As a prize winning detective novel, Artificial Respiration reaches through many levels of mystery to explore the forces that have been at play in Argentina throughout its violent history. The narrator, a writer named Renzi, begins to look for an uncle who has vanished, a man he knows only through a web of contradictory family stories and an exchange of letters. Through these letters he learns about his uncle's research into the life of Enrique Ossario, secretary to the 19th-century Argentine dictator Rosas and spy for the dictator's enemy. As Renzi's search leads further into his uncle's work and to conversations with his literary and chess-playing friends, the reader is led by Piglia to consider the nature of Argentine identity, its literature and history, and its relation, for example, to Europe, exile, and democracy. Finally, and made most vividly appreciable by the retelling of a story in which Kafka meets Hitler, it is the encounter between literature and history that is explored.

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Duke University Press

2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Duke University Press.

Edições: 0822314142, 0822314266

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