About, 184 pages, 16 euro
Ricardo Piglia (1940-2017) was a great writer and a great critic. He left lectures on Borges, the best of all (available online), and novels like Money burned (Sur) about a sort of educated, middle-class gay Bonnie and Clyde fleeing the immense Argentine province after robbing a bank, and Only for Ida Brown (Feltrinelli) which dealt with intellectual Unabomber and attacked the US university system, but also strong stories such as those of false name, in part classic and in part, like that of the title, almost experimental, by a very refined scholar.
Piglia moves on horseback (like Cortázar) between the aristocrat Borges and the petty bourgeois Arlt dei Seven crazy, the other side of Argentine literature, aggressive and popular. Writing schools should take him as a model and have his essays read as well instead of promoting the dull, pale squiggles of the hundred candidates for the Witch (with one and a half exceptions). Whether he talks about strange encounters and strange loves in environments between the unusual and the common, bourgeois or lumpen, does not change, because he sees them with alert and participating eyes, mind and heart. Piglia conquers and intrigues for his attention to the variants of the human that he has also learned from the great ones of yesterday, from Kafka and Poe. The translation is by Pino Cacucci, South American by vocation.