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171 words about Two Stories
Imperfect with antiprimrose
If “The Morning” and “Just Write Anything!” are reliable indicators of what Osvaldo Lamborghini (no relation) could do with language, Bolaño had every right to be scared of him. The Buenos Aires native’s style is borderline reckless, energetically unshackled from grammatical law and free of concern for uncomprehending readers. Lamborghini’s friend César Aira makes his case in Two Stories’ lengthy foreword and Jessica Sequeira nobly attempts to add further context in both a translator’s note and extensive footnotes — the stories constitute barely half of these 70-some pages — but they can only shield for so long what becomes apparent the moment the source material takes hold: This stuff isn’t for children or cowards in any tongue. Go on, wade through the mud of prostitutes and Perónism, the thrashed gauchesco and healthy fat grease, the azotainas and Argentina. Does its riotous racket horrify you? Is the ah-flow and ah-fatigue too much? If not, you might own a weathered poet’s soul and you’re in the right place. Leave Cortázar to the kids.