Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Granta's New Issue--Nihilism in Spanish

This from The Daily Beast about Granta's newest literary magazine release which highlights Spanish-speaking authors from around the globe, though Argentina and Spain log in with 14 of 22 spots.

It sounds amazing:

The new volume of Granta highlights bright new literary stars from across the Spanish-speaking world, says critic Oscar Villalon—and they wrestle with dark themes in a way few American writers dare to.

...It would seem, according to a new generation of Spanish-language novelists, we are living in an age where Big Ideas are dead, and this is far from a good thing, considering the Big Empty that's filled the vacuum.

...In one way or the other, these authors seem to be wrestling with an understanding of the post-Big Idea world that is perhaps best distilled in Urguayan author Andres Ressia Colino's piece, "Scenes From a Comfortable Life." Jimmy Tanaka, a working-class young man who happens to be Japanese, gets an education from his girlfriend's rich, Germanic father, who supplies him with this piece of sour wisdom:

"This system is a fucking circle of doom. Produce more and more cheaply, and make the consumer swallow faster and faster. […] None of the food or the clothes or the music or the books or the drugs that you kids consume are real. It seems like food, like clothes, like music, but it's all just something like those things, made to be devoured immediately. It's a perfect system. A magnificent, gigantic, super-efficient piece of machinery that produces nothing, totally and absolutely nothing."

I have to read the issue if only to find out if there's any sign of redemption, somewhere, anywhere in these stories.

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