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The Art of Reading:Stories and Poems book coverThe Art of Reading:Stories and Poems

by Julio Ortega

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Paperback Original, 128 pages

A native of Peru, Julio Ortega is an accomplished scholar, poet, playwright, and novelist, with 15 books as well as several critical editions to his credit. Ortega's The Art of Reading gathers stories, poems and a play that, collectively, defy categorization. Numbered among the most profound critics of Latin American literature by authors such as Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz, Ortega's own creative work derives from a deep understanding that literature is a tranformative art form, requiring a co-creative commitment from the reader. Here we find that conversations with Ortega's friends and peers – dead, living, and mythical, among them Jorge Luís Borges, Guy Davenport and John Hawkes – enter the realm of reflective metafiction. A poet whose lifework consists of nothing but blank pages is discussed at length. Cervantes wanders these pages like a ghost. Ortega's own poetry scintillates with imaginative linguistic insights. "The syllable, Sibyl, / speaks all languages," he writes, yet finds in an essay on his own experience of writing in a language other than his native Spanish that there are "Too many questions for a handful of words." But perhaps his poetry expresses it best: "It's a way of saying / almost believing / so as not to abandon the dance."

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Buy This Book : $16

ISBN 0-916727-36-X 978-0-916727-36-9
US $16.00
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