Thursday, June 26, 2014

An Intro to Magical Realism - Piano stories by Felisberto Hernández

Piano stories by Felisberto Hernández ; with a preface by Francine Prose and an introduction by Italo Calvino ; translated from the Spanish by Luis Harss. 

Wonderful, magical, confusing, mysterious, thought provoking: everything I love in a story collection.

After I finished one of the stories (The Two Stories)I spent a half hour contemplating on the meaning of a short paragraph:

                         "In spite of everything, I seem to be getting
                           better all the time at writing about what happens
                           to me. Too bad I'm also doing worse."

The author was a pianist and draws on that experience in several of the stories. My First Concert was lively and fun.

The Stray Horse and The Green Heart explore memories and how they evolve. There is a story about a doll fetish, one about a strange injection for advertising copy, another about a flooded house. Some are dark, some are humorous, and some are darkly humorous (or humorously dark).

Magical realism at it's beginning. Several authors acknowledge their debt to Hernández and the preface by Francine Prose and the introduction by Italo Calvino are worth reading.

This edition is translated by Luis Harss.  The copy I read is from a public library. I think i need to buy this.

Picked this off the library shelf at the same time as Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky. Serendipitous magic.

  Spanish Lit Month

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