Horacio Castellanos Moya’s “Senselessness” chosen among “The Best Books of 2008” at NPR

By Bud Parr

For their Best Books of the Year list, National Public Radio (NPR) chose Horacio Castellanos Moya's Senselessness among the top five foreign novels of the year. Senslessness is the story of an unnamed writer copyediting oral accounts of crimes against humanity in (an also unnamed) Guatemala as he himself spirals out of control from paranoia and sensitivity to the victim's plight. "Nationalists of all stripes can't stand it" Roberto Bolaño said of Castellanos Moya's writing, likening his humor to "a Buster Keaton film or a time bomb."

You'll find an excerpt from Senselessness here at Words Without Borders from our October, 2006 issue, Latin Labyrinths: The Next Generation, and today a post on the blog called "A Dangerous Homage."


Comments

1

New Directions is supposed to be putting out more of his work in the coming years.
COMMENT: Thanks, Vincent. You’re right. We may have to wait until late next year or early the next, but there is more coming, thankfully!
COMMENT: I think they’ll be worth it. Senselessness was amazing.
COMMENT: Vincent and Lynn, I think both of you will enjoy this superb article by Bill O’Driscoll at the Pittsburgh City Paper: http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid:50720
COMMENT: Thank you, Bud Parr, for this link!

 

The last line in the article, i.e. Moya’s remark that he has been out of Central America “long enough   to know that we almost don’t exist” is apt.  I am wondering if that is why it has taken so long for him to be translated.

 

 

His trilogy which ends with Tirana Memoria is softer in tone than El Asco and Insensatez.  It doesn’t have the bite that they have, but Moya draws the characters in the trilogy with such feeling!  They are funny, moving, whatever he wants them to be, and they are living the history of Central America and making it come alive.

 

 

I think he is a wonderful, wonderful writer.
DATE: 12/18/2008 8:10:11 PM

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