The second installment of Argentine literary giant Ricardo Piglia's acclaimed bibliophilic trilogy follows his alter ego, Emilio Renzi, as his literary career begins to take off in the tumultuous years 1968-1975running a magazine, working as a publisher, and encountering the literary stars among whom he would soon take his place: Borges, Puig, Roa Bastos, Piñera.
"One writes," Ricardo Piglia asserts, only "in order to know literature." Spanning the years 1968 to 1975, The Diaries of Emilio Renzi: The Happy Years is a testament to Piglia's intimate, lifelong love affair with the written word. This second installment of the Argentinian master's diaries opens a window into a luminous literary community fertile with genius and ever-traipsing from bar to baras well as into a convulsing Argentina racked by the death of Perón, guerilla warfare, and a bloody military coupand establishes itself as the definitive backbone of Piglia's monumental career.
Praise for The Diaries of Emilio Renzi: The Happy Years
"Much like Susan Sontag, the American essayist and one of my favorite writers, my first introduction to Piglia is through his diaries. And what a privilege to be in someone's head even for a bit, to know what troubled or delighted them as they made their way into the world. That no matter how esteemed or revered they are in the public spotlight, they deal with the same problems most of us do: figuring out how to make rent, finding enough time to write, loss, heartbreak."
Pia Cortez, Book Look
"The Diaries of Emilio Renzi continue to be a fascinating literary-autobiographical experiment ... and, especially, a wonderful immersion in literature itself. Of particular interest in showing the transition of Latin American (and specifically Argentine) literatureno longer: 'out of sync, behind, out of place'Piglia's range extends far beyond that too. Yes, most of this is presumably mainly of interest to the similarly literature-obsessedbut Piglia makes it hard to imagine who wouldn't be."
M. A. Orthofer, The Complete Review
Praise for The Diaries of Emilio Renzi: Formative Years
"Splendidly crafted and interspliced with essays and stories, this beguiling work is to a diary as Piglia is to 'Emilio Renzi': a lifelong alter ego, a highly self-conscious shadow volume that brings to bear all of Piglia's prowess as it illuminates his process of critical reading and the inevitable tensions between art and life. Amid meeting redheads at bars, he dissects styles and structures with a surgeon's precision, turning his gaze on a range of writers, from Plato to Dashiell Hammett, returning time and again to Pavese, Faulkner, Dostoyevsky, Arlt and Borges.... this is an embarrassment of riches... No previous familiarity with Piglia's work is needed to appreciate these bibliophilic diaries, adroitly repurposed through a dexterous game of representation and masks that speaks volumes of the role of the artist in society, the artist in his time, the artist in his tradition."
Mara Faye Lethem, The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice
"For the past few years, every Latin American novelist I know has been telling me how lavish, how grand, how transformative was the Argentinian novelist Ricardo Piglia's final project, a fictional journal in three volumes, Los diarios de Emilio RenziRenzi being Piglia's fictional alter ego. And now here at last is the first volume in English, The Diaries of Emilio Renzi: Formative Years, translated by Robert Croll. It's something to be celebrated [It] offer[s] one form of resistance to encroaching fascism: style."
Adam Thirlwell, BookForum, The Best Books of 2017
"A valediction from the noted Argentine writer, known for bringing the conventions