By Álvaro Enrigue
Translated by way of Brendan Riley
A choice of associated tales, “micro-novels,” and vignettes spanning centuries and a number of continents.
Shocking, erudite, and affecting, those twenty-odd brief tales, “micro-novels,” and vignettes span an unlimited territory, from Mexico urban to Washington, D.C. to the past due nineteenth-century Adriatic to the blood-soaked foothills of California’s gold-rush state, introducing an array of bewildering characters: a professor of Latin American literature who survives a twister and, very likely, an orgy; an electrician confronting the toughest wiring activity of his profession; a hapless rubbish guy who desires of lifestyles as a pirate; and a prodigiously proficient Polish baritone waging musical conflict opposed to his church. Hypothermia explores the perilous limits of affection, language, and character, the brutal gravity of cultural misunderstandings, and the coldly smirking will to self-destruction hiding inside of our irredeemably carnal lives.
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Translated via Brendan Riley
A number of associated tales, “micro-novels,” and vignettes spanning centuries and a number of continents.
Shocking, erudite, and affecting, those twenty-odd brief tales, “micro-novels,” and vignettes span an unlimited territory, from Mexico urban to Washington, D. C. to the overdue nineteenth-century Adriatic to the blood-soaked foothills of California’s gold-rush kingdom, introducing an array of bewildering characters: a professor of Latin American literature who survives a twister and, in all probability, an orgy; an electrician confronting the toughest wiring activity of his occupation; a hapless rubbish guy who desires of existence as a pirate; and a prodigiously gifted Polish baritone waging musical struggle opposed to his church. Hypothermia explores the perilous limits of affection, language, and character, the brutal gravity of cultural misunderstandings, and the coldly smirking will to self-destruction hiding inside our irredeemably carnal lives.
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Additional info for Hypothermia
It was as if, in peering into that forbidden place, I had passed through the doorway itself, into a magically altered world from which there was no return. I blinked my one good eye, just to be sure, but this newer, brighter world remained. Even my own hands, still gripping the reins, appeared wondrous to me now. As did the steaming coat of the old horse. And leaning back into the padded seat of the buggy – the horrors of the night and my recent fear both momentarily forgotten – I laughed out loud.
It fell to my grandmother to care for me, though ‘care’ is perhaps too strong a word. When I think of her now, words like stern and unbending spring to mind. As I recall, she had just one redeeming feature: she told me bedtime stories – or, to be precise, stories about the faerie folk – drawing her cast of characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her nightly tales always began in the same way. ‘There are faeries at the bottom of our garden,’ she would say, and give a snicker of cool laughter.
Leaping into the buggy, I lashed the rump of the old horse until he broke into a stumbling gallop, and I didn’t let up until I could hear his wheezing breaths and feel the newly risen sun warm on my neck. Then and only then did I look behind. The road, streaked with morning shadow, lay empty. There was neither sign nor sound of pursuit. Yet still I sensed something not quite right. and immediately wondered why I hadn’t noticed it before! The sky was far bluer than it had ever been; the grass and trees more vividly green; the whole scene shot through by a suggestion of golden light – the same transfiguring light I had glimpsed in the hovel.
Hypothermia by Álvaro Enrigue