(Current fiction and quality fiction of the past.)
“Redeemers: Ideas and Power in Latin America” (Harper) by Enrique Krauze, the author of “Mexico: Biography of Power,” among other books, delves into the ethereal haze where literature merges with politics.
Krauze, in his mid-sixties, was described by Paul Berman (“The Flight of the Intellectuals”; “Power and the Idealists”) in a piece for The New York Times as “a canny operator within the upper murks of Mexican politics.” True, he’s the editor of a slick magazine called Letas Libres (a current issue asks, “¿Dónde está Gaddafi?”) but it’s the qualities of “Redeemers” translators that attracted Examiner.
They are Hank Heifetz and Natasha Wimmer. Although Krauze has written for The New York Times, The New Republic, Dissent, The Washington Post, and The New York Review of Books, Examiner can safely state that the skilled touches of Heifetz and Wimmer elevate “Redeemers” to the realm interpretive loveliness. Anyway, Krauze lives in Mexico City, where he is the director of Clío TV Productions as well as the editor in chief of Letras Libres (think ofVanity Fair andFortune merged, sort of).
According to the publisher, “Redeemers” tells how writers José Enrique Rodó, Mario Vargas Llosa, Octavio Paz, and Gabriel García Márquez reinforce the importance of imagination to inspire social change. The book is a collage of the distinct but interconnected experiences and views of 12 fascinating cultural and political figures. It’s well worth reading if you’d like a better understanding of how literature merges with politics in Latin America..
Natasha Wimmer is the translator of Roberto Bolaño’s “The Savage Detectives,” “2666” and, most recently, “Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles, and Speeches (1998–2003).” Examiner wrote: “Having read both the Spanish and English versions of ‘2666,’ it’s impossible for the Examiner not to praise the translation by Natasha Wimmer as absolutely superb” (Examiner- Bolaño).
Hank Heifetz, a poet and novelist as well as a Sanskrit scholar, is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Performing and Creative Arts at CUNY, Staten Island and Visiting Lecturer at Yale University. His excellent translations are responsible for a majority of the book.
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