The Extinction of the Species

Diego Vecchio

NOVEL. ANAGRAMA, 2017. 179 PAGES.

A FINALIST IN THE 35TH HERRALDE PRIZE FOR THE NOVEL


Having been bequeathed a legacy by Sir James Smithson, Zacharias Spears founds a museum to exhibit the latest specimens sent back from the west in Washington D-C. However, the exhibits are threatened by ravenous moths. Mr Spears' dream is to make it possible for everyone to travel to remote places and periods, going back thousands or millions of years at the cost of just a couple of cents and forty minutes of their time. When crowds eager to see fossils and jellyfish floating in a solution of formaldehyde flock to the museum, it seems that he has achieved his goal.
But museums, like literature, are cannibalistic in nature, devouring their own kind just as easily as they do stones, plants, embalmed pelicans, coins, fetishes, scalps, artworks and flying and swimming reptiles that drowned or lost their feathers in the Cretaceous period. With a little ingenuity, good lighting and a caretaker to make sure no-one touches anything, you can put just about anything on display in a glass case.
The Extinction of the Species is a natural history of museums, which are founded, expand, exhaust themselves and collapse in their grand quest to treasure things that once were, no longer are and never shall be again but that stubbornly refuse to disappear. It is also a weird alternative history about faith in progress, our lust for discovery, taxonomic drive and mania for collections and restoration. This is a unique, impeccably written, delightful choral novel; one that never ends.

Article El Pais (Spanish)

«A sense of humour that pays homage to the best of surrealism and fantastic literature.» Susana Rosaro, Clarín


«Diego Vecchio has constructed a body of work full of subtle humour that only appears to have been conceived far from the noise and bustle of Buenos Aires. Its power lies in a literary language that both screams its faith in the potential of literature and exudes literature on its own account. Something that had appeared lost in contemporary literature.» Juan Fernando García, Perfil


«Creates a world like no other, making Vecchio a kind of thaumaturge.» José Castello, O Globo


«Humorous erudition and an imagination as fantastic as it is rigorous,» Mathieu Lindon, Libération

PUBLISHED BY: Spanish ANAGRAMA

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