Cortázar’s only graphic novel – an account of an Argentinian vision, or a vision of hell


La raíz del ombú (2014.11.1003)

On August 26th this year, our team unfortunately missed the opportunity to write a blog-post on the centenary of Julio Cortázar – one of the pre-eminent Latin-American “boomers” of the 1960s. However, on that same day we were fortunate enough to purchase a fascinating item by the author: La raíz del ombú is Cortázar’s only graphic novel, created in collaboration with artist Alberto Cedrón between 1977 and 1981.

Although Cortázar had previously explored the interplay between text and images (see for example his Fantomas contra los vampiros multinacionales, 1994.8.201 and Ub.8.472) this is his first “full” graphic novel. In the words of Cortázar himself in the introduction, the work is “an account of an Argentinian vision, […] a current vision of hell”. It is an allegory of Argentina’s unsettled and often violent history from 1930 to the late 1970s, built around Alberto Cedrón’s memories, dreams and obsessions. Continue reading

RIP Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez passed away on April 17th 2014 at the age of 87. He was unquestionably Colombia’s greatest writer – his country’s president even described him after his death as “the greatest Colombian who ever lived” – and one of the most important of all Spanish language (and indeed world) authors. His influence and importance on the Latin American and world stage cannot be overstated, nor the full scope of his work easily summarised. Continue reading

Where is 21st century Latin American fiction heading?

A screenshot of the collaborative online translation project “Palabras errantes” presented at the seminar.

A screenshot of the collaborative online translation project “palabras errantes” presented at the seminar.

What are the new trends in Latin American fiction? Can we go beyond the general conviction that, after the ‘60s “boom”, Latin American fiction experienced a steady decline both in the quality and quantity of literary works produced? How are researchers, librarians and publishers reacting to this in the UK? These and many more questions were answered at the seminar 21st Century Fiction from Latin America  held on Wednesday 12th of February 2014 at Senate House, London.

The panorama of 21st Latin American fiction is hugely vast and exciting, as was evidenced by the very stimulating contributions presented at the Seminar. Here we mention some of them. Continue reading