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April 25, 2017
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Recent releases

By Herald Staff

El motel del voyeur By Gay Talese (Alfaguara) 232 pages.

Sounds like a fantasy but is in fact a true story subjected to investigative journalism. Just before publishing Thy Neighbor’s Wife in 1981, Gay Talese received a letter from a mystery man in Colorado confiding that he had invested in a voyeur’s paradise — purchasing a motel whose ventilation shafts acted as an “observation platform” to spy on customers. Talese then travelled to Colorado where he made the acquaintance of Gerald Foos and could check out with his own eyes the truth of his story. He further accessed some of his many diaries — a secret register of the changing social and sexual mores of the United States. But Foos had also witnessed a murder, thus giving him powerful motives to cling to anonymity, and Talese thought that the story would never emerge. Yet 36 years later here it is in all its sensationalism.

 

Discépolo By Sergio Pujol (Planeta) 452 pages

In the author’s view, tango’s Enrique Santos Discépolo (1901-51) is a great life which unfolds in an infinity of little stories amid the contexts of his times — the revolutionary dreams of the early 20th century; the magical worlds of theatre, cinema and radio in an age of transition; porteño night life with its Bohemians and its suicides; the hopes and fears of a complex and at times violent society, immortalized in the lyrics and melodies of “Yira yira” and “Cambalache”. This edition of the 1997 original adds some new letters and photographs of “Discepolín,” as well as his stay in Mexico. Discépolo wrote and composed for the youth of his times, inspiring musical historian Pujol to say in the prologue: “Not only was he ... an avant garde existentialist in his lyrics; it could also be said, at the risk of exaggeration, that he was our first punk — in tango rhythm, of course.”

 

Escritos críticos y afines By James Joyce (Eterna Cadencia) 480 pages

This is a compendium of James Joyce essays with a difference — and not just because it is published in Spanish. Pablo Ingberg’s painstaking translation seeks to reflect all the eccentricities and even errors contained in Joycean prose, as no translator has done before him. The original texts of these essays is not only in English but also Italian from Joyce’s Trieste days when he was trying to explain Daniel Defoe, William Blake and Charles Dickens to local audiences (indeed in one posthumously published text he renamed himself Giacomo Joyce). Born in Dublin in 1882 only to die in Zürich in 1941, James Joyce is considered one of the most important writers and literary innovators of the 20th century. Apart from Ulysses (1922), his most famous works include The Dubliners (1914), Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegan’s Wake (1939).

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