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robertogreco : alejandrozambra   8

Fiction or Standardized Test? ‘Multiple Choice’ Is Both - The New York Times
Zambra was born in Chile in 1975, and his entire primary education took place during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. His four works of fiction that have been translated into English before “Multiple Choice” have been lauded for exploring how the repressive forces of that era continue to haunt the country today. This new book, however, is the first to focus solely on the role that education and testing played in constricting the discussion of art and ideas during the dictatorship — and still plays, more than 25 years later in the different context of today. Just last week, my 16-year-old niece in Chile took a multiple-choice test in her literature class that asked her and her classmates to identify “the correct ­order” of events in a Borges story.

"I'ma leave this one right ... Here. [link to article]"

"Read this as part of the struggle vs overtesting. Bars."

See also:

"No coincidence that Milton Friedman's free market schooling ideology had its first outing in Chile." ]
tests  testing  multiplechoice  chile  education  policy  politics  2016  books  borges  miltonfriedman  debate  conversation  control  authority  authoritarianism  standardization  standardizedtesting  idranovey  alejandrozambra 
september 2016 by robertogreco
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Interviews with the Authors of McSweeney’s 46: The Latin American Crime Issue: Alejandro Zambra.
"McSWEENEY’S: Why are there so many more poets in Chile than novelists? I once met a Chilean poet who had a very complicated answer for this, which had something to do with the geography of the country, how narrow it is. What’s your opinion?

ALEJANDRO ZAMBRA: Chile is full of poets, this is true. Novelists here are lonely people. A Chilean poet named Eduardo Molina once said that "novels are the poetry of fools.” We have such a strong poetry tradition, and “we” won two Nobel Prizes because of it. Poetry is the only sport in which we’ve ever won any kind of a World Cup.

I think it has something to do with our way of approaching language. We swallow lots of sounds—we prefer to make detours and speak softly. We don’t know how to give orders, we never want to sound imperative. So we tend to use metaphors and elliptical forms. Maybe we just don’t like being fully understood… Or maybe we always want to say too many things at the same time. I’ve always thought of J. Alfred Prufrock, that Eliot character, as a Chilean."
chile  literature  poetry  jalfredprufrock  alejandrozambra  geography  2015 
august 2015 by robertogreco
Relingos | The Brooklyn Quarterly
"Spaces survive the passage of time in the same way a person survives his death: in the close alliance between the memory and the imagination that others forge around it. They exist as long as we keep thinking of them, imagining in them; as long as we remember them, remember ourselves there, and, above all, as long as we remember what we imagined in them. A relingo—an emptiness, an absence—is a sort of depository for possibilities, a place that can be seized by the imagination and inhabited by our ­phantom-follies. Cities need those vacant lots, those silent gaps where the mind can wander freely."

"We Buy Old Books

Cities have often been compared to language: you can read a city, it’s said, as you read a book. But the metaphor can be inverted.

[painting of plan of Mexico City]

The journeys we make during the reading of a book trace out, in some way, the private spaces we inhabit. There are texts that will always be our dead-end streets; fragments that will be bridges; words that will be like the scaffolding that protects fragile constructions. T. S. Eliot: a plant growing in the debris of a ruined building; Salvador Novo: a tree-lined street transformed into an expressway; Tomás Segovia: a boulevard, a breath of air; Roberto Bolaño: a rooftop terrace; Isabel Allende: a (magically real) shopping mall; Gilles Deleuze: a summit; and Jacques Derrida: a pothole. Robert Walser: a chink in the wall, for looking through to the other side; Charles Baudelaire: a waiting room; Hannah Arendt: a tower, an Archimedean point; Martin Heidegger: a cul-de-sac; Walter ­Benjamin: a one-way street walked down against the flow.

And everything we haven’t read: relingos, absences in the heart of the city.

Guaranteed Repairs

Restoration: plastering over the cracks left on any surface by the erosion of time.

Writing: an inverse process of restoration. A restorer fills the holes in a surface on which a more or less finished image already exists; a writer starts from the fissures and the holes. In this sense, an architect and a writer are alike. Writing: filling in relingos.

No, writing isn’t filling gaps—nor is it constructing a house, a building, just to fill up an empty space.

Perhaps Alejandro Zambra’s bonsai image might come closer: “A writer is a person who rubs out. . . . Cutting, lopping: finding a form that was already there.”

But words are not plants and, in any case, gardens are for the poets with orderly, landscaped hearts. Prose is for those with a builder’s spirit.

Writing: drilling walls, breaking windows, blowing up buildings. Deep excavations to find—to find what? To find nothing.

A writer is a person who distributes silences and empty spaces.

Writing: making relingos."
architecture  cities  design  spaces  space  commonplace  geography  relingos  mexicodf  df  mexico  valerialuisellu  writing  silence  via:alexismadrigal  alejandrozambra  restoration  robertobolaño  tomássegovia  gillesdeleuze  jacquesderrida  baudelaire  heidegger  hannaharendt  robertwalser  tseliot  slavadornono  walterbenjamin  emptiness  absence  possibility  possibilities  imagination  urban  urbanism  deleuze  mexicocity 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Alejandro Zambra - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
"Alejandro Zambra es un poeta y narrador nacido en Santiago de Chile, en 1975. Ha publicado los libros de poesía Bahía Inútil (1998) y Mudanza (2003) y las novelas Bonsái (2006) y La vida privada de los árboles (2007). Su novela Bonsái obtuvo en su país el Premio de la Crítica y el Premio del Consejo Nacional del Libro a la mejor obra narrativa publicada en 2006, y ha sido traducida al francés, italiano, portugués, griego e inglés."
alejandrozambra  books  chile  literature  literatura 
march 2009 by robertogreco

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