Roberto Arlt

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Roberto Arlt

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Nov 22, 2017, 8:13am

Good news for fans of Latin American literature. Roberto Arlt's half-novel, The Seven Madmen, available in its second translation from nyrb, is now going to be re-issued in its slightly more US English friendly first translation by Naomi Lindstrom in the coming year. But the real news is that the second half of that novel, The Flamethrowers, is finally being issued in English translation, which is why the Lindstrom is being brought back. River Boat Books will be issuing the two together, so for the first time in literary history, the dark, backroom, mad uncle of LatLit will be published as he long ago should have been.

I have been involved in many discussions about the merits of the Lindstrom versus the Caistor translations, and the consensus seems to be that readers generally prefer the one they read first. Both translation are excellent, though Caistor had trouble in that Lindstrom had already translated the character names as well as possible, so that the Melancholy Ruffian had to become the Melancholy Thug (if I recall). Anyway, the Flamethrowers translator worked with Lindstrom to some degree, so those two go best together. That translator, by the way, agrees entirely with the evaluation of the two I present--both excellent, but...

So keep track of River Boat, because they will issue advance copies before the publicaition.