The Absent City-pb by Ricardo PigliaThe Absent City-pb by Ricardo Piglia

The Absent City-pb

byRicardo Piglia

Paperback | October 1, 2000

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Widely acclaimed throughout Latin America after its 1992 release in Argentina, "The Absent City" takes the form of a futuristic detective novel. In the end, however, it is a meditation on the nature of totalitarian regimes, on the transition to democracy after the end of such regimes, and on the power of language to create and define reality. Ricardo Piglia combines his trademark avant-garde aesthetics with astute cultural and political insights into Argentina's history and contemporary condition in this conceptually daring and entertaining work.
The novel follows Junior, a reporter for a daily Buenos Aires newspaper, as he attempts to locate a secret machine that contains the mind and the memory of a woman named Elena. While Elena produces stories that reflect on actual events in Argentina, the police are seeking her destruction because of the revelations of atrocities that she--the machine--is disseminating through texts and taped recordings. The book thus portrays the race to recover the history and memory of a city and a country where history has largely been obliterated by political repression. Its narratives--all part of a detective story, all part of something more--multiply as they intersect with each other, like the streets and avenues of Buenos Aires itself.
The second of Piglia's novels to be translated by Duke University Press--the first was "Artifical Respiration"--this book continues the author's quest to portray the abuses and atrocities that characterize dictatorships as well as the difficulties associated with making the transition to democracy. Translated and with an introduction by Sergio Waisman, it includes a new afterword by the author.


Title:The Absent City-pbFormat:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 9.23 × 5.41 × 0.47 inPublished:October 1, 2000Publisher:Duke University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0822325861

ISBN - 13:9780822325864

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"[A] worthy successor to the likes of Borges and Cortazar . . . . Waisman's introduction and Piglia's afterward provide helpful thematic and historical background, and overcoming the plot's difficulties should satisfy anyone interested in seeing how intricate literary puzzles reflect the political significance of the narrative imagination. Macedonio's recreation of Elena represents the need to transform a repressive 'objective' reality into a hopeful virtual reality, and Piglia's hall-of-mirrors novel reiterates why such a transformation must remain eternally deferred--yet always possible." --Thomas Hove, "Review of Contemporary Fiction"