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Unmasking Monsieur Malraux

Richard Mayne, 25 June 1992

The Conquerors 
by André Malraux, translated by Stephen Becker.
Chicago, 198 pp., £8.75, December 1991, 0 226 50290 2
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The Temptation of the West 
by André Malraux, translated by Robert Hollander.
Chicago, 122 pp., £8.75, February 1992, 0 226 50291 0
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The Walnut Tree of Altenburg 
by André Malraux, translated by A.W. Fielding.
Chicago, 224 pp., £9.55, April 1992, 0 226 50289 9
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... of three of his lesser-known works carries a grandiose, Latinate tribute from the Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes: ‘No other writer of the 20th century had the same capacity to translate his personal adventure into a meeting with history and a dialogue of civilisation.’ Two of the three authors who preface the reprints endorse this lofty ...

Like choosing between bacon and egg and bacon and tomato

Christopher Tayler: The Wryness of Julian Barnes, 15 April 2004

The Lemon Table 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 213 pp., £16.99, March 2004, 9780224071987
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... readership: ‘Barnes est délicieux,’ Jérôme Garcin writes in L’Evénement du Jeudi, while Carlos Fuentes salutes, ‘from Mexico, the universal English voice of Julian Barnes’. But in England he’s often still seen as a playful, Frenchified boulevardier whose activities are wonderfully easy to describe in the language of critical theory. You ...

Creole Zones

Benedict Anderson, 7 November 1991

The First Americans: The Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriots, and the Liberal State, 1492-1867 
by D.A. Brading.
Cambridge, 761 pp., £55, March 1991, 9780521391306
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... for administrative offices. Not until the later 18th century, when the ‘enlightened’ Borbon Carlos III, strapped for cash, turned on successive sectors of the Church, did true private property in land become the norm. The second basic factor shaping Spanish creoledom was that its most important early centres were in today’s Mexico, Ecuador and ...

Andante Capriccioso

Karl Miller, 20 February 1986

The Adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha 
by Miguel de Cervantes, translated by Tobias Smollett.
Deutsch, 846 pp., £15, January 1986, 0 233 97840 2
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... Deutsch has done so, in reissuing this erroneous work – a reissue which includes two essays by Carlos Fuentes. No notes, save Smollett’s perfunctory few. No errata. ‘I am resolved to seize occasion by the forelock, which she now so complaisantly prevents’: this is to turn the meaning inside out. The 18th century’s f’s for s’s is a trap ...

Playboys of the GPO

Colm Tóibín, 18 April 1996

Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation 
by Declan Kiberd.
Cape, 719 pp., £20, November 1995, 0 224 04197 5
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... and the past the future (‘The past is the only certifiable future we have,’ Kiberd quotes Carlos Fuentes as saying), just as women will become men and vice versa (this is a major theme), Protestants will become Catholics and vice versa (one chapter is called ‘Protholics and Cathestants’) and, of course, England will become Ireland (Chapter 1 ...

Jeremy Harding goes to Beirut to meet the novelist Elias Khoury

Jeremy Harding: ‘Before everything else, a writer of stories’, 16 November 2006

... in Arabic. Writers in translation included Soyinka, Achebe, Mishima, Breyten Breytenbach and Carlos Fuentes. The less obvious choices were Ken Kesey and Julio Cortázar. In some of Khoury’s own novels there is a faint echo of Cortázar’s melancholic playfulness – the two men were friends in Paris – but Khoury’s wit is more vivacious. In ...

From Progress to Catastrophe

Perry Anderson: The Historical Novel, 28 July 2011

... became a torrent, with many tributaries beyond Carpentier and García Márquez: Roa Bastos, Carlos Fuentes, João Ubaldo Ribeiro, Fernando del Paso, Mario Vargas Llosa and many more. Here, unquestionably, was the pacemaker for the global diffusion of these forms, which, like the concept of the postmodern itself, were invented in the periphery. Not ...

Wobble in My Mind

Colm Tóibín: Lizzie, Cal and Caroline, 7 May 2020

The Dolphin Letters, 1970-79: Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Lowell and Their Circle 
edited by Saskia Hamilton.
Faber, 560 pp., £35, January, 978 0 571 35741 3
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The Dolphin: Two Versions, 1972-73 
by Robert Lowell, edited by Saskia Hamilton.
Farrar, Straus, 224 pp., £11.99, December 2019, 978 0 374 53827 9
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... school.’ On 8 May, Hardwick was still planning to move to London and wrote to Lowell to say that Carlos Fuentes was going to take their apartment on West 67th Street. A week later, after an unsatisfactory phone call, she realised that there was a problem: ‘I guess we’ll never hear from you. I’m not even sure that you are still planning for us to ...

Memories of a Skinny Girl

Michael Wood: Mario Vargas Llosa, 9 May 2002

The Feast of the Goat 
by Mario Vargas Llosa, translated by Edith Grossman.
Faber, 404 pp., £16.99, March 2002, 0 571 20771 5
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The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin America in the Cold War 
by Jean Franco.
Harvard, 323 pp., £15.95, May 2002, 0 674 00842 1
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... of progress and development but act as if they do’), and she has excellent pages on Roa Bastos, Fuentes, García Márquez, Cortazar, and especially Onetti. She also has just and subtle things to say about Neruda and his poetic gifts and his romantic Stalinism, and she finds literary and political hope in the work of writers like the Mexican ...

Lost in the Void

Jonathan Littell: In Ciudad Juárez, 7 June 2012

... had been relatively stable, at two or three hundred a year, since the 1990s, when Amado Carrillo Fuentes, nicknamed the Lord of the Skies because of his fleet of Boeing 727s, set up and consolidated the Juárez cartel. Then the army arrived and the number rose. By the end of 2008, there were 1300 dead; in 2009, 2300; in 2010, 3800. The official ...

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