Monday, 9 March 2009


A friend sent me a panicked message today, "help! what's that fabulous story where the man turns into the cockroach?" Amidst my laughter at the uncanny timing (having just read and reviewed it), I promptly returned with ""Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka. Then ensued an interesting chat ranging from a similar story "Axolotl" by Julio Cortazar; to an anthology A Hammock Beneath the Mangoes: Stories from Latin America, in which it appears and which I must pick up at some point (in second-hand condition as it is long out of print); to Latin American Magical Realism and its superiority to Westernised Magical Realism (I think the backdrop of South America lends itself to this form of writing); to a interesting one-sided rant (on my friend's part) about Murakami and how his writing can come across as only being written because he's Murakami; back to narration by animals/insects and a little monologue by moi about great non-human narrators such as Colette's Le Chat or Jose Eduardo Agualusa's narrating gecko Eulalio in The Books of Chameleons, which took us back to Magical Realism, and Gregor Samsa, which returned us to "Metamorphoses" and full-circle conclusion.


mjk said...

I'm flattered that you thought enough of our conversation to actually post about it!! Reading this months later reminds me that we do have some really cool, totally meaty conversation. Also that we are both very opinionated and enjoy random access conversations. I think the combination takes us great places!! ha!! xo

Paperback Reader said...

Haha, it was a great conversation, sweetie! It also reminds me that I need to read "Axolotl" now that I have the volume!

I love random, sprawling conversations and we have had so many - usually over wine! xx