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Yesterday de Juan Emar
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Yesterday (edició 2021)

de Juan Emar (Autor), Megan McDowell (Traductor)

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1011,490,724 (5)1
Membre:Helenliz
Títol:Yesterday
Autors:Juan Emar (Autor)
Altres autors:Megan McDowell (Traductor)
Informació:Peirene Press Ltd (2021)
Col·leccions:Just added, Llegint actualment
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Yesterday de Juan Emar

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A Surrealistic Day
Review of the Peirene Press paperback edition (June, 2021) translated from the Spanish language original "Ayer" (1935) published by Editorial Zig Zag

See photograph at https://www.librosdelayer.cl/resources/upload/galeria/364e9710a58370d0da02a07a8c...
Photograph of the map of San Agustin de Tango drawn by Gabriela Emar as the frontispiece in the original 1935 edition (downsized to 1 page in the Peirene edition). Image sourced from https://www.librosdelayer.cl/productos/detalle/7996/juan-emar-ayer. If you click through to the source, you can examine the map in finer detail.

Yesterday is a day in the life of the protagonist and his wife as they wander around their city of San Agustin de Tango (an almost homophone of Santiago in Chile). The encounters are increasingly bizarre and are interrupted by two meal breaks. Each event ends with the couple encouraging haste in moving on to the next step by trading calls of "Let's go! Let's go!" At the end of the day back at home the protagonist has an existential crisis where he needs to reprocess all the events with the aid of his wife before he can finally go to sleep and be at rest.I had begun again at the beginning. I had begun with the guillotine, the guillotine which let to the zoo, which led to lunch which led to Ruben de Loa's studio, which led to the waiting room and the square, which led to dinner, which led to my family's house, which led to the tavern, which led to the pisser, which led to the hole and the fly that tore time in two and illuminated everything, which ... which, no doubt, will make me climb up towards the lime flower tea, doubtless, beacuse this was the truth of how things had happened.So how should one interpret all of this? I thought that I would investigate a possible symbolic approach. I was curious enough to research a bit about the history of Chile in the 1920s and 1930s when it went through the instability of 10 different governments in the space of only a few years (one of them lasting only 24 hours) before some relative democratic stability began from 1932 onwards (at least until the repressive Pinochet regime of 1973-1990). Perhaps each event or repast in the book is symbolic of those events in Chile's history? Or perhaps it is just about one couple's interpretation of it. In any case, I was thoroughly entertained and delighted with my first reading of Juan Emar.

I read Yesterday as part of my annual subscription to Peirene Press. Yesterday is the first of Peirene's Metamorphoses series for 2021.

Trivia and Links
If you are reading this prior to June 22, 2021, you can still register and watch the free online book launch for Yesterday by Peirene Press. Translator Megan McDowell joins Chilean poet and novelist Alejandro Zambra – author of the introduction to Yesterday – in a conversation chaired by writer and lecturer in Latin American literature Carlos Fonseca. The event will also include readings in Spanish and English and an audience Q&A.

Translator Megan McDowell may have had this translation 'in the drawer' for quite some time, as an excerpt appeared as early as August 2010 in Words Without Borders. Thanks to Paul Fulcher's excellent review for that link!

Yesterday is told over the course of a 24-hour day, and is thus a so-called "circadian" novel. James Clammer, whose recent novel Insignificance (2021) also takes place during the course of one day, assembled a list of Top 10 Novels Told in a Single Day. ( )
  alanteder | Jun 12, 2021 |
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