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Déraison

D raison A boozing sex obsessed writer finds himself employed by the Catholic Church an institution he loathes to proofread a page report on the army s massacre and torture of thousands of indigenous vi

  • Title: Déraison
  • Author: Horacio Castellanos Moya
  • ISBN: 9782922868425
  • Page: 437
  • Format: Paperback
  • A boozing, sex obsessed writer finds himself employed by the Catholic Church an institution he loathes to proofread a 1,100 page report on the army s massacre and torture of thousands of indigenous villagers a decade earlier, including the testimonies of the survivors The writer s job is to tidy it up he rants, that was what my work was all about, cleaning up and giviA boozing, sex obsessed writer finds himself employed by the Catholic Church an institution he loathes to proofread a 1,100 page report on the army s massacre and torture of thousands of indigenous villagers a decade earlier, including the testimonies of the survivors The writer s job is to tidy it up he rants, that was what my work was all about, cleaning up and giving a manicure to the Catholic hands that were piously getting ready to squeeze the balls of the military tiger Mesmerized by the strange Vallejo like poetry of the Indians phrases the houses they were sad because no people were inside them , the increasingly agitated and frightened writer is endangered twice over by the spell the strangely beautiful heart rending voices exert over his tenuous sanity, and by real danger after all, the murderers are the very generals who still run this unnamed Latin American country.

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      Posted by:Horacio Castellanos Moya
      Published :2018-09-21T15:52:21+00:00

    1 thought on “Déraison

    1. Another week, another 5-star review—it can’t be helped; this one richly deserves it. This novel came to my attention after seeing a quote on Castellanos Moya from Roberto Bolaño somewhere and then finding another one on the back cover of this incredible book: One of the great virtues of [his work]: nationalists of all stripes can’t stand it. Its sharp humor, not unlike a Buster Keaton film or a time bomb, threatens the fragile stability of imbeciles who, when they read [his work], have an [...]

    2. Long-sentence Bernhardian ranting thanks in part to exposure to a one thousand one hundred page report of atrocities. The narrator seems pretty much freaked out, neurotic, lupine. Common petty vices (venery, intemperance, greed) are juxtaposed with uncommon crimes against humanity. Sex scenes are sort of hotly/humorously described. If this were less "comic," the presentation of the atrocities may have had more heft and things in general may have also been funnier, the way Bernhard's endless dead [...]

    3. Kind of like a cross between the horror of Camus and the repetitive triviality of Thomas Bernhard (but achieves the greatness of neither writers). The narrator is both unlikeable and unlikely. The former doesn't bother me but the latter does a little. The exaggerated paranoia of the narrator was at times too much and did not work for me. The humor was there but also didn't completely work. I liked how the political material came through the narrator, though, but like another reviewer on , I also [...]

    4. Something about this book didn't seem quite fully developed. The book should have been a bit longer, but I'm not quite sure what would have been added to the book that wasn't already there. Maybe bring the absurdity more to the surface of an atheist working for the Catholic Church or something. I don't know. Maybe because the blurb on the book mentioned that I wanted to see that more developed. The narrator is working for the Catholic Church doing a final copy edit on a thousand page report of f [...]

    5. msarki.tumblr/post/5841435What I noticed almost from the very start of this book was that the character was going to be a familiar one to me. Not so much a character I had already met in fiction but in truth a man I already knew to some degree in the work I last got a living from for over twenty-two years. I wrote a film script titled Alphonso Bow several years ago and this character I knew in real life made his debut on the pages of my fiction. The screenplay went on to be made into a film by m [...]

    6. Castellanos Moya, Hoacio. SENSELESSNESS. (Published 2004 as “Insentatez”; this edition published in 2008 in translation by Katherine Silver). ****. This is the first book by Moya that I have read. Moya was born in Honduras, but grew up in El Salvador. He now lives in exile in Pittsburgh, PA. The book tells the story of a young man who is hired to proof read and edit a 1,100 page manuscript that tells of the massacres and other atrocities that occurred in, presumably, El Salvador. The manuscr [...]

    7. I am not complete in the mindThe title is the opening sentence in this strangling little novella - I read Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya in something like two GRIM HOURS. It’s hard to believe I was laughing at page 60-something and then by page 135 I felt I’d been beaten up. The style is breathless and fast - starting right off with enormous sentences peppered with commas that run the length of three and a quarter pages, the violence tangental and brutal, and the narrator’s ment [...]

    8. Ja nisam sasvim čitav, glasi prva rečenica ovog kratkog romana i možda najbolje svedoči o psihičkom stanju naratora, ateiste koji je prihvatio posao crkve da lektoriše više od hiljadu stranica izveštaja o genocidu nad indijanskim plemenima u neimenovanoj srednjoameričkoj zemlji. Tekst ostavlja na njega snažan utisak, tako da počinje da nasumično zapisuje i citira pojedine rečenice koje je pročitao, istovremeno ubeđen da se zamerio vlastima zbog svog osetljivog zadatka i da zbog to [...]

    9. Better at channeling Thomas Bernhard than even Herve Guibert. Unexpectedly comic story about an editor having a nervous breakdown while cataloging atrocities in an unnamed Central American country and confronting the blasé attitudes of its citizens toward torture. Haunting and relevant. Still thinking about the ending. 4.5 stars

    10. While the obvious comparisons to Thomas Bernhard are there, this is a spleenful, paranoid monologue with a character all its own. Moya skitters between the narrator's own crippling self-awareness, the increasing (and apparently justifiable) terror that he will become a target for a military that has no qualms about massacering large swaths of the indigenous population, and also obssessing over the monsterous details of the human rights abuse report about those massacres that he is editing. And t [...]

    11. The biggest flaw in this book is that the style is consistent. Rarely a flaw in other books, this is a pronounced misstep here because the book begins and ends in different places, with the author experiencing a growing paranoia, and a kind of possession of knowledge that requires the knowledge to possess him. It begins to culminate in beautifully written sentences of horror, in which, having edited a section of a manuscript documenting the horrors of the army massacring the indians of the regio [...]

    12. If Ulysses had a compressor and was written in tandem with Chuck Bukowski. Every sentence rolled and tumbled its way down the page, spilling onto the next page, and the next, but sometimes, only sometimes, I don't think it was completely necessary for each sentence to tumble on the way it did, there being several places that, to my mind, it was quite possible to insert a period instead of a comma, the author, or narrator, sometimes the line seemed blurred, which in and of itself made for a fine [...]

    13. I first read Moya because 'Thomas Bernhard in San Salvador' was too wonderful a title to ignore, and that sucked me in to looking at his other books. Very glad I did; if Marias is Henry James meets James Bond, Moya is Bernhard meets Joseph Conrad or some other angry anti-imperialist. You get great style and the utter horror of murderous governments, without the soothing that often comes with that stuff. The narrator is an asshole, all too prone to making other people's suffering into his own. Yo [...]

    14. Thanks to a startling cover and some well-chosen blurbs (Roberto Bolano and Russell Banks), Senselessness was an impulse purchase last weekend in a Williamsburg bookshop. A strong motto from Antigone (“My lord, the good sense one has by birth never abides with the unfortunate, but goes astray.”) and a great opening sentence, long and and agile (“I am not complete in the mind, said the sentence I highlighted with the yellow marker and even copied into my personal notebook, because this wasn [...]

    15. Insensatez es una novela corta que consiste en 12 capítulos. El narrador, periodista en exilio, se dedica a la corrección del estilo de unas mil cien cuartillas del testimonio acerca de una masacre acaecida en un país (supuestamente Guatemala). Alucinado por las palabras de los indígenas que cuentan, o tratan de contar, los acontecimientos crueles como ser rebanados sus dedos, o testimoniar de la mutilación de sus esposa e hijos, el protagonista explota impulsos de locura en varias escenas [...]

    16. the first of castellanos moya's works to be translated into english, this novella is a heady mix of paranoia and politics. senselessness, however engrossing in its brevity, leaves one longing for more. rife with both horror and humor, the tale elicits an empathy all the more surprising given its concision. there are, as well, a few scenes which may not be so easily forgotten. hopefully his previous works are being considered for translation, as his writing is refreshingly intimate, lucid, and se [...]

    17. The narrator takes a job in a Latin American country editing a thousand page report about the massacre of indigenous people. Fast read. Paranoid and unlikable narrator. Absurd and dark story.

    18. TL;DR: This book is a complete and utter piece of shit, and New Directions should be embarrassed for having published it. The sentence: "wanting only to descend the peach-fuzz path that would carry me to Fatima's belly button to her fleshy cave" is argument enough, but here's some more:Up there with SALVAGE THE BONES and THE YELLOW BIRDS in terms of the most insufferable books I've been made to read as an MFA student. I honestly have not one good thing to say about SENSELESSNESS, other than the [...]

    19. Eins hrifinn og ég vanalega er af bókmenntum sem fjalla drykkfellda og veiklunda suður-ameríska karlmenn þá átti ég mjög bágt með að leiða hjá þau átakanlega vondu viðhorf og taumlausa sjálfhverfuna sem lita heimsmynd aðalpersónu bókarinnar sem einnig er sögumaður frásagnarinnar. Þéttskrifaðar fyrstupersónulýsingar á kynórum hans vöktu allavega ekki mikla lukku hjá mér við lesturinn. Ég er engu að síður með hálfgert samviskubit yfir að hafa ekki hrifist [...]

    20. Moya is one of the great world contemporary novelists. This book is like candy with an iron fist wrapped around it, or something. What I mean by that is that it's very funny and entertaining in one sense, as we follow a narrator who is a somewhat cynical and sex-obsessed horndog writer from a nearby country who has taken a unique copy-editing job: he's working for the catholic church in Guatemala (the country is never named but I recognize names, like Rios Montt, the dictator who presided over s [...]

    21. OK, I (and, I'd imagine, a lot of other Americans) first heard of this book via a George Saunders interview. So thanks George Saunders, good looking out, much appreciated.The narrator is one of the most lovable assholes I've ever encountered. Intelligent, sardonic, alcoholic, lecherous, paranoid, enamored with beautiful/haunting language, and concerned above all else with self-preservation. He doesn't care about much more than saving his own ass (and getting paid) but he doesn't BS you about it [...]

    22. After finishing the last page I sat bemused, thinking that I had been robbed of some high reading experience that I was expecting. It didn’t do much for me as a story goes. It withered down to nothing in the end really. I didn’t gain anything from reading it. The voice and style Moya used is interesting, and at times enjoyable. The rants of the character’s mind were expressive of an emotional mind. I liked digging into his psyche as the story developed. I liked how I didn’t really know i [...]

    23. Disturbing and very funny. Very disturbing. It's like reading Kafka's 'The Castle' and seeing the movie 'Rosemary's Baby' and hearing Joe Frank's early pieces on the radio. The narrator gets a temp job as an editor in a Catholic organization trying psychologically trying to heal the trauma of indigenous villages in the countryside in an unnamed Central American country. It's probably Guatemala. The narrator is a young man looking for girlfriends and the money for this job is going to pay his ren [...]

    24. This book came recommended to me by Anne McLean, translator of Javier Cercas, Hector Abad, Julio Cortazar, and others. It's brief and so goddamn powerful. The narrator has been hired to copyedit 1,100 pages of testimony by indigenous people in Guatemala who have survived torture and massacres. It's an unsettling, paranoiac, surreal, Kafkaesque tale, with a bit of Camus thrown in for good measure.I'm hoping there are other books by Horacio Castellanos Moya translated into English!

    25. read the first paragraph. it is a microcosm of the rest of the book. brilliant run-on sentences, anxiety-riddled ramblings and a woody-allen-would-be-proud paranoia-induced plot. i hope more of his stuff will be translated.

    26. Picked this up for my Central American literature challenge. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I don't know how the author managed to pull off humor in this otherwise very dark tale, but he did it really well. Aside from humor, Moya captures a horrendous time period of Central American history, and left me with chills and nightmares. Sometimes the things I read really disturb me, and those are usually the ones I feel better for having read.

    27. It's an interesting decision to make the narrator of this story an asshole, since he starts to identify, more and more explicitly, with some of the terrible crimes he is reading about, in editing a work documenting crimes against indigenous people. There is not perhaps so much of a line between the asshole and the truly evil. And then maybe there's not much between ourselves and this asshole, in our more assholic moments. And this lack of distance is maybe one source of discomfort in this book. [...]

    28. Bezumlje Naslov nije mogao da bude prikladniji. Andrićevske rečenice, kafkijanski košmar, bernhardovska nepopustljivost - upakovana u jedan kratki roman neverovatne snage i užasa, presečen banalnostima 'običnog' života u 'neobičnim' okolnostima. Protagonista koji je unajmljen da uradi nešto na šta misli da je spreman, ali nije spreman, sluti katastrofu koja može da bukne svakog časa. Od smrdljivih nogu devojke koja mu pruža oralno zadovoljstvo do samog vrha lokalnih vlasti u koju je [...]

    29. It's an important job they've given our nameless narrator, simple but important. In a fragile Mesoamerican democracy (also never named) where people still carry memories and scars of torture chambers and massacres and the people who committed the atrocities have all been pardoned and kept their old positions, the catholic church has hired him to copy edit 1100 pages of testimonies from hundreds of massacres during the recent civil war. Page upon page upon page of the most horrific descriptions, [...]

    30. Paranoia, pathos and destruction in a bizarre tale of a journalist turned copyeditor.”I am not complete in the mind”, begins the journalist who has been paid to edit a five hundred page report on atrocities committed during a series of massacres seventeen years before. It is the first gem of the poetry of the oppressed to be collected in the journalist’s notebook. It is a sentence dominates his unstable mind as he slogs through the one thousand one hundred page report that he has been paid [...]

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