The Sixty-Five Years of Washington

Juan José Saer

NOVEL. SEIX BARRAL, 2006. 240 PAGES.

An ironic, sentimental journey, Glosa (The Sixty-Five Years of Washington) concentrates on incidental events and epiphanies, the most important aspects of the world of Juan José Saer who sees the art of fiction as being above all the definition of a voice and a space. This extremely subtle work plays with the rhythms of oral storytelling and syntax to build up a prose style in which motives, themes and variations modulate like a musical composition. 

What really happened on the night of the party given in honour of the poet Jorge Washington Noriega? During a walk through the city, Ángel Leto and the Mathematician reconstruct the party, which they didn’t actually attend themselves but know all about: there are different versions of events, all of them enigmatic and a little hysterical, which are revised and told over and over again while being constantly challenged and amended. The long conversation sees the exchange of anecdotes, memories, old stories and future histories: Ángel Leto, for example, doesn’t yet know that he is going to die in a clandestine flat, cornered and driven to suicide by a repressive regime.   

Always faithful to itself, Saer’s work offers one of the principal paths of literary innovation in post-Borges Argentine literature. 

"With meticulous prose, rendered by Dolph's translation into propulsive English, Saer's novel captures the wilderness of human experience in all its variety, as well as the "blind, incomprehensible, ceaseless drift" of time."

JASCHA HOFFMAN, THE NEW YORK TIMES

PUBLISHED BY: Latin America SEIX BARRAL | Spain RAYO VERDE | FRANCE Le Tripode | USA & UK OPEN LETTER

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