An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter

César Aira (Author) Roberto Bolaño (Preface by)
& 1 more
Available

Description

An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter is the story of a moment in the life of the German artist Johan Moritz Rugendas (1802-1858). Greatly admired as a master landscape painter, he was advised by Alexander von Humboldt to travel West from Europe to record the spectacular landscapes of Chile, Argentina, and Mexico. Rugendas did in fact become one of the best of the nineteenth-century European painters to venture into Latin America. However this is not a biography of Rugendas. This work of fiction weaves an almost surreal history around the secret objective behind Rugendas' trips to America: to visit Argentina in order to achieve in art the "physiognomic totality" of von Humboldt's scientific vision of the whole. Rugendas is convinced that only in the mysterious vastness of the immense plains will he find true inspiration. A brief and dramatic visit to Mendosa gives him the chance to fulfill his dream. From there he travels straight out onto the pampas, praying for that impossible moment, which would come only at an immense pricean almost monstrously exorbitant price that would ultimately challenge his drawing and force him to create a new way of making art. A strange episode that he could not avoid absorbing savagely into his own body interrupts the trip and irreversibly and explosively marks him for life.

Product Details

Price
$12.95  $11.91
Publisher
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
May 25, 2006
Pages
87
Dimensions
4.95 X 0.28 X 7.12 inches | 0.21 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780811216302
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Roberto Bolaño was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1953. He grew up in Chile and Mexico City, where he was a founder of the Infrarealist poetry movement. His first full-length novel, The Savage Detectives, received the Herralde Prize and the Rómulo Gallegos Prize when it appeared in 1998. Roberto Bolaño died in Blanes, Spain, at the age of fifty.
The poet Chris Andrews teaches at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, where he is a member of the Writing and Society Research Centre. He has translated books by Roberto Bolaño and César Aira for New Directions. He has won the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize for his poetry and the Valle-Inclan Prize for his translations.

Reviews

May it herald many more such unsettling and elegant parables to come.--Mark Doty
Aira oversteps the bounds of realism, forcing the world to live up to his imagination.--Benjamin Lytal