Obooki’s Theoretical Latin-American Readalong

Here are the books for my Latin-American Read-a-long which I will be doing in 2012. As usual with all things Latin American, I’m not expecting anyone to join in, but if you do, these are all (with a few exceptions) Latin American classics which remain largely unread in the English-speaking world – so next time someone says to you that Latin American literature is all magic realism á la Gabriel García Márquez and has only discovered realism recently with the advent of Roberto Bolaño, you can point out to them how wrong every part of that statement is. – Really, of course, it’s just an excuse for me to get on and read all these books I bought years ago and have left on my shelves. (I’ve carefully connected it with my TBR project).

Having twelve months, I decided not only to have twelve different authors, but twelve different countries too – which means I won’t be able to read that great unread Latin-American novel, Three Trapped Tigers (Three Tearful Tigers? Three Tristful Tigers? Three Tigers In Tears? Several Sad Snowcats? – to be fair, the English title Infante’s Inferno is far better than the Spanish original), because I’d rather read Paradiso, or anything by Alejo Carpentier. (Easy to choose a Paraguayan novel, very hard to pick a Mexican one!)

The only one of these I don’t have already is I, The Supreme – but it’s always lying about in secondhand shops. (I used to have a copy of it).

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6 thoughts on “Obooki’s Theoretical Latin-American Readalong

  1. To the Uruguay section, you might consider adding a collection of the short stories of Horacio Quiroga-he is often called the Edgar Allan Poe of the Amazon-I read four of his stories not long ago-very good and very horrifying stories-On your list I have read The President-I read it just before I made a trip to the highlands of Guatemala and saw several of the places mentioned in the novel-I have also read 100 Years of Solitude

  2. I am too much of a cheapskate ever to be able to buy a collection of Horacio Quiroga stories. They are never cheap. I’ve read a few too in anthologies (I liked the one about the pillow especially). – I’ve read Asturias’ The Mulatta and Mister Fly, which is possibly the strangest novel I’ve ever read. And I’ve read most of Marquez, just not his most famous work.

  3. Nice list, Obooki! I’m reading the most overrated title from the list right now, ha ha, and I hope to get to the Lezama Lima, Onetti, and Roa Bastos picks sometime next year (poor Roa Bastos keeps getting overlooked año after año on my blog, though). That Onetti title has become rather difficult (or at least expensive) to find new in Spanish in my neck of the woods for some reason.

  4. Hmm, I wonder which the most overrated can be. – The last one? You have his picture on your blog at least. Or, I’ve heard The President is overrated. – Yes, somehow Roa Bastos is an easy book to avoid. – I only chose that Onetti since it seems to be his most famous, and that was the point of the challenge: otherwise, I’d have avoided it as usual and read one of the others I have.

  5. I justed benched García Márquez (the book isn’t bad or anything, mind you, but GM struck me as a talented midfielder who was wasting time not creating any scoring opportunities) and brought in Pío Baroja as a striker. Feeling better about my reading month already. Maybe I’ll join you for 100 Years again next December after all.

  6. Sounds like Arsenal should sign up GGM.

    I liked Baroja, particularly for the first paragraph of the novel I read, which seemed to sum up the worthlessness of most modern fiction quite neatly.

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