THE ABSENT CITY by Ricardo Piglia

THE ABSENT CITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

First published in 1992, this highly allusive and inventive novel from the Argentine author of Artificial Respiration (1994), etc., employs a memorable metaphor for the lingering echoes of his country’s wretched “dirty war” of 1976–83. It’s a machine, invented by the widower of a “disappeared” woman, in which her memories (they of course detail their crimes against humanity) are stored As a well-meaning reporter searches for “Elena’s machine,” so do her murderers, while Piglia portrays a tragically transformed and disfigured futuristic Buenos Aires, echoing images of its history in the works of his predecessors (including Borges, Roberto Arlt, and the forgotten Macedonio Fernandez), and with telling reference to this brilliant work’s direct ancestor: James Joyce’s Ulysses. Piglia may be the best Latin American writer to have appeared since the heyday of Gabriel García Márquez. The Absent City, in any case, is a masterpiece.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-8223-2557-8
Page count: 150pp
Publisher: Duke Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2000




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