La Vida Doble

La Vida Doble

by Arturo Fontaine
     
 

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Irene o Lorena, nunca sabremos su verdadero nombre, es una combatiente de Bandera Roja, organización revolucionaria armada que -como otras en la América Latina de ayer y de hoy- se inspira en la épica del Che Guevara. Estamos en los tiempos más duros de la dictadura de Pinochet. Irene participa en el asalto de una casa de cambio, pero la

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Overview

Irene o Lorena, nunca sabremos su verdadero nombre, es una combatiente de Bandera Roja, organización revolucionaria armada que -como otras en la América Latina de ayer y de hoy- se inspira en la épica del Che Guevara. Estamos en los tiempos más duros de la dictadura de Pinochet. Irene participa en el asalto de una casa de cambio, pero la policía secreta desbarata la operación e Irene cae prisionera. Durante veintinueve días es interrogada y torturada con crueldad y método en las mazmorras de la central de inteligencia, pero ella se comporta como se espera de una mujer adiestrada para la lucha clandestina: soporta sin comprometer ni a la organización ni a sus compañeros. Finalmente, es dejada en (supuesta) «libertad provisional», hasta que vuelve a caer presa y, poco a poco, su vida da un vuelco inesperado.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
10/01/2014
Dying in a Swedish hospice, Irene relates her past first as an antigovernment and then pro-Pinochet revolutionary (the titular "double life").
World Literature Today
“How to represent evil and torture bearably, enhance or put into perspective a lasting and frequently trite and polemical literary topic, without the culture of complaint? Arturo Fontaine’s lucid and moving novel, whose original is a literary and critical best-seller amply praised by Vargas Llosa, Fuentes, and writers of later generations, opts for a poetic coming to terms with a much-too-human predicament: Would you sell your soul to save yourself and yours? The novel’s nuanced discussion of moral dilemmas like shame and betrayal are stressed in the abundant reviews of the original, and in great measure translator Megan McDowell relays La vida doble’s brilliance in conveying those quandaries, ascertaining Fontaine’s penchant for avoiding formulas.” —World Literature Today
Bait for Bookworms
“I don't think I've seen such a complex psychological study of devotion and betrayal undertaken with such poetic beauty.”—Bait for Bookworms
Los Angeles Review of Books - Marguerite Feitlowitz
“A word about this fine translation. . . . In Spanish, Fontaine makes use of a host of verbal registers and levels of diction. One of the most poignant aspects of Irene-La Cubanita-Lorena is her exacting feel for the Chilean landscape, her knowledge of exotic trees, her sense memories of a particular beach, her native immersion in Santiago. Megan McDowell achieves the subtle shifts in this woman’s voice as she tries to order her account; she maintains tautness in an account that must never (but could easily) flag, and clarity in a realm of horror.. . . . A word about this fine translation. . . . In Spanish, Fontaine makes use of a host of verbal registers and levels of diction. One of the most poignant aspects of Irene-La Cubanita-Lorena is her exacting feel for the Chilean landscape, her knowledge of exotic trees, her sense memories of a particular beach, her native immersion in Santiago. Megan McDowell achieves the subtle shifts in this woman’s voice as she tries to order her account; she maintains tautness in an account that must never (but could easily) flag, and clarity in a realm of horror.”
—Marguerite Feitlowitz, Los Angeles Review of Books
New York Review of Books - David Gallagher
“[La Vida Doble is] a harrowing examination of political violence during the Pinochet period. . . a complex, open-minded investigation into the mentality of those involved on both sides.”—David Gallagher, New York Review of Books

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300205763
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
04/29/2014
Series:
Margellos World Republic of Letters Series
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
4.70(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


Arturo Fontaine is professor of philosophy at the Universidad de Chile. He is the author of four volumes of poetry and three novels, and he regularly publishes essays on cultural topics. Megan McDowell is a translator specializing in Chilean and Latin American literature.

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