Op Oloop

Overview

His life runs according to a methodical and rigid schedule, with everything--from his meals down to his regular visits to the city brothels--timed to the minute. But when an insignificant traffic delay upsets this sacred schedule, and on the day of Oloop's engagement party, the clock begins ticking down towards a catastrophe that no amount of planning will avert. A playful and unpredictable masterpiece of Argentinean literature, raising comparisons to Ulysses and serving as a primary inspiration to authors such ...

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Overview

His life runs according to a methodical and rigid schedule, with everything--from his meals down to his regular visits to the city brothels--timed to the minute. But when an insignificant traffic delay upsets this sacred schedule, and on the day of Oloop's engagement party, the clock begins ticking down towards a catastrophe that no amount of planning will avert. A playful and unpredictable masterpiece of Argentinean literature, raising comparisons to Ulysses and serving as a primary inspiration to authors such as Julio Cortázar and Alfonso Reyes, Op Oloopis the first novel by lawyer, Hellenist, boxing referee, and decagenarian Juan Filloy (1894-2000) to be translated into English.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

The Telegraph
“Lately [Filloy] has been rediscovered by younger writers and critics, who have compared him with Jorge Luis Borges and even with Balzac . . . Freud liked [Op Oloop] so much that he sent Filloy a hand-written letter of congratulations.”
La Nacion
“His work is an infinite exercise in allusive realism, in constant irony, a species of human comedy . . .”
PopMatters
“Like the best satire it is an understated undermining of a lifestyle it illustrates in perfect, chiseled detail.”
The Rumpus
“One is left with the impression of a virtuosic, wildly passionate, and often hilarious writer writing primarily for his own aesthetic amusement.”
Paste Magazine
“Occasionally ranting against the depravity of life unhinged from his beloved "method," Oloop's struggle is at turns pathetic and hilarious, though he persists to the very last.”
Complete Review
“ Op Oloop is a strange, playful novel, as Filloy twists the story around the flights of fancy and philosophy that seem to be the main excuse for it. It is decidedly odd, but sparkles in its oddity. Well worthwhile.”
Julio Cortázar
“Humor is 'all pervading' or it's nothing at all, as Juan Filloy, Shakespeare, and Max Ernst always knew.”
Luisa Valenzuela
“We Argentinians have lost the last of our true comedians, Juan Filloy, philosopher of the soul: a man whose life managed to span three centuries, because he always knew how to live outside the current of the times.”
Words Without Borders
“Chockablock with neologisms ("They'll never abelardize us!") and word play (he refers to France’s “three great clods”: Bernard, Monet, and Debussy), this pre-Oulipoian (Oloopian?) romp is a must read for lovers of Perec, and a fine introduction to this dazzling writer.”
Publishers Weekly
The first English translation of the 1934 novel by prolific Argentinean author Filloy (who died in 2000 at age 106) is a meandering day-in-the-life chronicle of Optimus Oloop, a Finnish statistician living in Buenos Aires, who is described as “method personified—an accomplished executioner of spontaneity.” His wanderings begin one morning when, on a routine trip to a Turkish-Roman bath, a minor traffic accident unglues him from his punctual reality. Filloy zips frantically between lengthy ruminations steeped in flowery, occasionally madeup language as Op unravels recklessly through his day. Like its main character in the throes of his breakdown, the narrative is at turns fascinating and impossible: Filloy shines in small moments when he displays his expert wordplay—Op's hilarious journal of the prostitutes he's known, or the occasional colorful aphorism—but more often the dense landscape of his language swallows the narrative and ditches the reader. (Aug.)
Mempo Giardinelli
His work is an infinite exercise in allusive realism, in constant irony, a species of human comedy . . .
La Nacion
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564784346
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 8/4/2009
  • Series: Latin American Literature Series
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Juan Filloy was an excellent swimmer, dedicated boxing referee, and talented caricaturist; he spoke seven languages and he practised as a judge in the small town of Río Cuarto, 200 kilometres from Córdoba,
where he spent nearly the whole of his life. He died in 2000 at the age of 106. A world champion palindromist, he made use of the entire dictionary in his books, coined new words, and used only seven letters in all the titles of his works. He received various distinctions during his lifetime and was nominated for the Nobel Prize.

Lisa Dillman is a translator from Spanish and Catalan and a lecturer at Emory University.

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