Duplications and Other Stories

Overview

An imaginative and fantastic collection, the short stories gathered here repeatedly ask, What if? and explore situations that depart from the normal expectations of daily life. Storefront mannequins come to life at night; a witness to a street stabbing becomes the victim of the very crime he saw; a woman neglected by her husband undergoes an unexpected transformation. The stories revel in the strangeness of life and challenge readers to look beyond the merely...

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Overview

An imaginative and fantastic collection, the short stories gathered here repeatedly ask, What if? and explore situations that depart from the normal expectations of daily life. Storefront mannequins come to life at night; a witness to a street stabbing becomes the victim of the very crime he saw; a woman neglected by her husband undergoes an unexpected transformation. The stories revel in the strangeness of life and challenge readers to look beyond the merely logical.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Jaramillo cleverly blends the absurd and the fantastic into quotidian situations . . . Readers may open the volume at random and be enchanted."  —Library Journal
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Panamanian author Levi's latest collection of stories, and his first book translated into English, overcomes a persistently prosaic translation to challenge the darker corners of the human imagination. Almost prose poems in their precision and use of language, each of the eight stories is divided into a series of vignettes exploring incidents, relationships or emotions from diverse viewpoints. Almost inevitably, an otherworldly twist or two is plunked in to unsettle the reader at the end. In ``Metamorphoses,'' for example, a woman recalling her violent rape escapes by evolving into the sunset; a wife continually degraded by her neglectful, philandering husband transforms herself into a lawn table to punish him; and a young lover changes into a lamppost in a spiritual death brought on by love. In ``Incidents,'' a young woman observes two mannequins making love in a store window, and an aging woman's reflection in a mirror narrates the woman's-and the mirror's-eventual death. The stories' urban squalor and moody perspective add to a dark view of human interactions limited topetty misunderstandings, bothered sex and brutality, but they revel in the power of the human imagination to describe those interactions in outlandishly original ways. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Panamanian publisher, scholar, and editor Jaramillo cleverly blends the absurd and the fantastic into quotidian situations; narrators variously metamorphose into sunsets, picnic tables, overgrown plants, lampposts, and pigeons. The 43 short stories begin innocuously enough, only to catch the reader off-guard with unexpected denouements. Given the length (averaging four pages) and arrangement of these pieces, readers may open the volume at random and be enchanted. The bold, quick strokes suggest the narrative finesse of Julio Cortzar's End of the Game (1967); temporal obsession and the use of doppelgnger ("Time is a ghost with a slow infallibility that we cannot hold back") recall Borgesian themes. A recommended relative newcomer to the growing Latin American short fiction family.-Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC, Dublin, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780935480658
  • Publisher: Latin American Literary Review Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Series: Discoveries Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Enrique Jaramillo Levi is a poet, professor, fiction writer, publisher, and founding editor of Maga: revista panameña de cultura. He has lectured at several universities in the United States, Panama, and Mexico. He is the editor of the anthology When New Flowers Bloomed: Short Stories by Women Writers of Costa Rica and Panama. Leland H. Chambers is an award-winning translator and an emeritus professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Denver, where he was the editor of the literary magazine Denver Quarterly. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

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Table of Contents

Surveillances 9
Duplications 25
Simultaneities 45
Alienations 75
Metamorphoses 89
Incidents 111
Re-Incidents 131
New Duplications 147
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