The Diaries of Emilio Renzi: The Happy Years

Restless Books
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 The second installment of Argentine literary giant Ricardo Piglia’s acclaimed bibliophilic trilogy follows his alter ego, Emilio Renzi, as his literary career begins to take off in the tumultuous years 1968-1975—running a magazine, working as a publisher, and encountering the literary stars among whom he would soon take his place: Borges, Puig, Roa Bastos, Piñera.


“One writes,” Ricardo Piglia asserts, only “in order to know literature.” Spanning the years 1968 to 1975, The Diaries of Emilio Renzi: The Happy Years is a testament to Piglia’s intimate, lifelong love affair with the written word. This second installment of the Argentinian master’s diaries opens a window into a luminous literary community fertile with genius and ever-traipsing from bar to bar—as well as into a convulsing Argentina racked by the death of Perón, guerilla warfare, and a bloody military coup—and establishes itself as the definitive backbone of Piglia’s monumental career.



Praise for The Diaries of Emilio Renzi: Formative Years


“Splendidly crafted and interspliced with essays and stories, this beguiling work is to a diary as Piglia is to “Emilio Renzi”: a lifelong alter ego, a highly self-conscious shadow volume that brings to bear all of Piglia’s prowess as it illuminates his process of critical reading and the inevitable tensions between art and life. Amid meeting redheads at bars, he dissects styles and structures with a surgeon’s precision, turning his gaze on a range of writers, from Plato to Dashiell Hammett, returning time and again to Pavese, Faulkner, Dostoyevsky, Arlt and Borges.... this is an embarrassment of riches... No previous familiarity with Piglia’s work is needed to appreciate these bibliophilic diaries, adroitly repurposed through a dexterous game of representation and masks that speaks volumes of the role of the artist in society, the artist in his time, the artist in his tradition.”


—Mara Faye Lethem, The New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice


“For the past few years, every Latin American novelist I know has been telling me how lavish, how grand, how transformative was the Argentinian novelist Ricardo Piglia’s final project, a fictional journal in three volumes, Los diarios de Emilio Renzi—Renzi being Piglia’s fictional alter ego. And now here at last is the first volume in English, The Diaries of Emilio Renzi: Formative Years, translated by Robert Croll. It’s something to be celebrated… [It] offer[s] one form of resistance to encroaching fascism: style.”


—Adam Thirlwell, BookForum, The Best Books of 2017


“A valediction from the noted Argentine writer, known for bringing the conventions of hard-boiled U.S. crime drama into Latin American literature...Fans of Cortázar, Donoso, and Gabriel García Márquez will find these to be eminently worthy last words from Piglia.”


—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review


“When young Ricardo Piglia wrote the first pages of his diaries, which he would work on until the last years of his life, did he have any inkling that they would become a lesson in literary genius and the culmination of one of the greatest works of Argentine literature?”


—Samanta Schweblin, author of Fever Dream


“Ricardo Piglia, who passed away earlier this year at age seventy-five, is celebrated as one of the giants of Argentine literature, a rightful heir to legends like Borges, Cortázar, Juan Jose Saer, and Roberto Arlt. The Diaries of Emilio Renzi is his life's work... An American equivalent might be if Philip Roth now began publishing a massive, multi-volume autobiography in the guise of Nathan Zuckerman…. It is truly a great work.... This is a fantastic, very rewarding read—it seems that Piglia has found a form that can admit everything he has to say about his life, and it is a true pleasure to take it in.”


—Scott Esposito, BOMB Magazine


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About the author

About the Author:

Ricardo Piglia (Buenos Aires, 1940–2017), professor emeritus of Princeton University, is unanimously considered a classic of contemporary Spanish-language literature. He published five novels, including Artificial Respiration, The Absent City, and Target in the Night, as well as collections of stories and criticism. Among the numerous prizes he received were the Premio de la Crítica, Premio Rómulo Gallegos, Premio Bartolomé March, Premio Casa de las Américas, Premio José Donoso, and Premio Formentor de las Letras.


About the Translator:


Robert Croll is a writer, translator, musician, and artist originally from Asheville, North Carolina. He first came to translation during his undergraduate studies at Amherst College, where he focused particularly on the short fiction of Julio Cortázar.


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Additional Information

Publisher
Restless Books
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Published on
Nov 20, 2018
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Pages
512
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ISBN
9781632061997
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Biographical
Fiction / Hispanic & Latino
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Stephen Hero is an early version of Joyce's A Portrait of the artist as a Young Man. It was originally rejected on grounds of indecency—so the story goes— by twenty publishers, whereupon Joyce threw the manuscript in the fire, but Mrs. Joyce rescued several unburnt portions.

Although Joyce later entirely rewrote his novel of a young Irishman's rebellion against church, country and family, this early version is beautifully composed, the mood being more discursive and personal than in A Portrait. Many episodes later cut for the sake of good novelistic form, especially autobiographical episodes of sensual and family life, are fully presented, with some of the most vivacious dialogue Joyce ever wrote. Between them, the two versions give us a clear example of Joyce's literary development as well as many details of his life.

This edition of Stephen Hero for the first time printed the five missing pages of the novel found among the papers in the Joyce Collection of the Cornell University Library. These pages fill gaps in the text as edited in 1956 by John J. Slocum and Herbert Cahoon and also extend the narrative. The main text of Stephen Hero is a connected, nearly self-contained passage of 383 manuscript pages which turned up soon after Joyce's death. It was first edited by Theodore Spencer and published by New Directions in 1944. In this edition, introductions by the successive editors discuss the literary and bibliographical aspects of this important early work by one of the great modern masters.
A giant of contemporary Latin American literature, Argentine novelist Ricardo Piglia’s secret magnum opus was a compilation of 327 notebooks that he composed over nearly six decades, in which he imagined himself as his literary alter ego, Emilio Renzi. A world-weary detective, Renzi stars in many of his creator's works, much like Philip Roth's Nathan Zuckerman. But the Renzi of these diaries is something more complex—a multilayered reconstruction of the self that is teased out over intricate, illuminating pages.

As Piglia/Renzi develops as a reader and writer, falls in love, and tussles with his tyrannical father, we get eye-opening perspectives on Latin America’s tumultuous twentieth century. Obsessed with literary giants—from Borges and Cortázar (both of whom he knew), to Kafka and Camus—The Diaries comprise a celebration of reading as a vital, existential activity.

When Piglia learned he had a fatal illness in 2011, he raced to complete his mysterious masterwork as rumors about the book intensified among his many fans. First released in Spanish as a trilogy to tremendous applause, The Diaries of Emilio Renzi cements Piglia’s place in the global canon.

“[A] masterpiece.… everything written by Ricardo Piglia, which we read as intellectual fabrications and narrated theories, was partially or entirely lived by Emilio Renzi. The visible, cerebral chronicles hid a secret history that was flesh and bones.”

—Jorge Carrión, The New York Times

“A valediction from the noted Argentine writer, known for bringing the conventions of hard-boiled U.S. crime drama into Latin American literature...Fans of Cortázar, Donoso, and Gabriel García Márquez will find these to be eminently worthy last words from Piglia.”

—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review


“When young Ricardo Piglia wrote the first pages of his diaries, which he would work on until the last years of his life, did he have any inkling that they would become a lesson in literary genius and the culmination of one of the greatest works of Argentine literature?”

—Samanta Schweblin, author of Fever Dream

“Ricardo Piglia, who passed away earlier this year at age seventy-five, is celebrated as one of the giants of Argentine literature, a rightful heir to legends like Borges, Cortázar, Juan Jose Saer, and Roberto Arlt. The Diaries of Emilio Renzi is his life's work...An American equivalent might be if Philip Roth now began publishing a massive, multi-volume autobiography in the guise of Nathan Zuckerman…It is truly a great work...This is a fantastic, very rewarding read—it seems that Piglia has found a form that can admit everything he has to say about his life, and it is a true pleasure to take it in.”

—Scott Esposito, BOMB Magazine

“His death left us, his many Hispanic readers, feeling orphaned.”

—Valeria Luiselli, author of The Story of My Teeth

"Here through the Boom and Bolaño breech storms Ricardo Piglia, not just a great Latin American writer but a great writer of the American continent. Composed across his entire career, The Diaries of Emilio Renzi is Piglia's secret story of his shadow self—a book of disquiet and love and literary obsession that blurs the distinctness of each and the other."

—Hal Hlavinka, Community Bookstore (Brooklyn, NY)

“In this fictionalized autobiography, Piglia’s ability to succinctly criticize and contextualize major writers from Kafka to Flannery O’Connor is astounding, and the scattering of those insights throughout this diary are a joy to read. This book is essential reading for writers.”

—Publishers Weekly

“The Diaries of Emilio Renzi is a rare glimpse into the heart of twentieth-century Latin American literature, with the inimitable Ricardo Piglia as tour guide. More than just a traditional diary, Renzi is an illuminating voyage into the hearts of books and writers and history. An inspiring work and an important achievement.”

—Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore (Houston, TX)

"The best Latin American writer to have appeared since the heyday of Gabriel García Márquez."

—Kirkus Reviews

“The great Argentine writer…. In a career that spanned four decades, during which he became one of Latin America’s most distinctive literary voices.”

—Alejandro Chacoff, The New Yorker

The New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of the Department Q series is back, with a terrifyingly relevant stand-alone novel about an America in chaos.

"The president has gone way too far. . . . These are practically dictatorial methods we're talking about."

Sixteen years before Democratic Senator Bruce Jansen was elected president of the United States, a PR stunt brought together five very different people: fourteen-year-old Dorothy "Doggie" Rogers, small-town sheriff T. Perkins, single mother Rosalie Lee, well-known journalist John Bugatti, and the teenage son of one of Jansen's employees, Wesley Barefoot. In spite of their differences, the five remain bonded by their shared experience and devotion to their candidate.

For Doggie, who worked the campaign trail with Wesley, Jansen's election is a personal victory: a job in the White House, proof to her Republican father that she was right to support Jansen, and the rise of an intelligent, clear-headed leader with her same ideals. But the triumph is short-lived: Jansen's pregnant wife is assassinated on election night, and the alleged mastermind behind the shooting is none other than Doggie's own father.

When Jansen ascends to the White House, he is a changed man, determined to end gun violence by any means necessary. Rights are taken away as quickly as weapons. International travel becomes impossible. Checkpoints and roadblocks destroy infrastructure. The media is censored. Militias declare civil war on the government. The country is in chaos, and Jansen's former friends each find themselves fighting a very different battle, for themselves, their rights, their country . . . and, in Doggie's case, the life of her father, who just may be innocent.
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