What the Night Tells the Dayby Hector Bianciotti, Linda Coverdale (Translator), Octavio Paz (Foreword by)
Compared to Conrad, Nabokov, and Beckett by Octavio Paz, Argentine-born Hector Bianciotti is one of the leading literary figures in his adopted homeland of France. What the Night Tells the Day, his first novel to be translated into English, is the fictionalized story of Bianciotti's youth among poor immigrant peasants in rural Argentina during the late years of the Perón regime, and a moving and sensitive portrayal of a boy's discovery of his own homosexuality.
Meet the Author
Hector Bianciotti was born in 1930 in Argentina. He left for Europe in 1955 and has lived in Paris since 1961.The author of many books, including the prizewinning Sans la Miséricorde du Christ, he is currently the literary correspondent for Le Monde.
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What the Night tells the day by Hector Bianciotti, translated from the French by Linda Coverdale This is a coming of age tale narrated in the first person by Mr. Bianciotti. Born to Piedmontese Italian immigrants in a farm in the Pampas, Argentina, the author starts with his youth in the farm. Fascinated by his great aunt - Pinotta, the author soon discovers masturbation as he interacts with one of the farm helpers: Tomasito Carraca. His mother and father are poor and proud Italian immigrants. His mother was a pious Catholic, his father probably an atheist. However, his father wants the author to be educated. Thus he is shipped to Córdova, Argentina where he starts education by the Franciscans. It is clear that he continues having issued with masturbation - as he confesses to Father Salgado, his spiritual director. Somehow, the author decides he has a calling to be a priest, and after getting the required permission from his family, he moves to Moreno, Argentina. he continues under the auspices of the Franciscans, but goes to school with the "Maristas." The author takes pain in describing how on his arrival to Moreno there was a solar eclipse - at the ending of which he sees the face of an older seminarian who he falls madly in love. After succeeding in his studies he realizes that he can't become a priest, so he's sent back to live with his family - who now live in Villa del Rosario. There he becomes the clerk for the local notary. He doesn't last long there and he moves to Buenos Aires. There he fathers a son by Judith, and has numerous lovers, the most prominent one being Matías. The book ends as the author is about to move to Europe, where he currently resides in Paris. The book is quite boring. In spite of narrating the coming out experiences of a teen in Latin Argentina, the author never gets the reader involved in the story. Perhaps because none of the main characters are developed: we never get the name of the author, nor the name of his parents. There is no climax and no suspense - there is a minimal plot which is poorly developed. I was very disappointed with the book.