SEVEN VOICES by Rita Guibert


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In the Preface to her ""book of personal, tape-recorded interviews,"" Rita Guibert complains that Americans are almost completely unaware of the existence of Latin American writers. She may have passed the information on to her ""seven voices,"" for they have certainly given her lively responses. The erudite Pablo Neruda even professes ignorance: speaking of the much-remarked similarity between No Orchids for Miss Blandish and Sanctuary, he says: ""I've never been able to determine which was the first of the two -- Faulkner or James Hadley Chase."" The dissident Cuban novelist, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, now living in London and sounding like the ghost of Oscar Wilde, demolishes Castro, the New Left (""communism is merely the poor man's fascism"") and the Che myth (""He is a myth for middle-class youth. . . . Guevara is unknown in China and Russia, as a result of government decrees""). The anti-imperialist Cortazar has some substantial observations on ""the idea of autochthony in Latin American literature""; Borges provides some wonderful illustrations of the differences between Spanish and English culture; Paz, the most intelligent of the lot, speaks brilliantly about uniformity and plurality in the historical consciousness; Asturias and Marquez tend to comment on each other. All are engaging and distinctive. The best survey of increasingly important literati since In the Mainstream.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Knopf