Writers No One Reads: Onetti

There are those days you don’t really know what to read, or where, or why. These are the days you look for writers no one reads. Such as Arlt, or Onetti. Why?

Why are they scarcely read, although they are always highly praised as important novelists? After all, their books keep on popping up in bookstores, people on holidays choose them to read, students deliver lectures about them… Onetti is no exception. There are incipient writers who feel inspired by his work.

Some English-language translators like Peter Bush bear the burden of bringing those authors into Shakespeare’s language, maybe to let sybarites feel and compare their stature. Critics often compare Onetti to William Faulkner, creating what has been called “desperate characters without dreams, but who are not lacking in humanity”. Juan Carlos Onetti’s writing is dramatic, existentialist, full of deceptions, but still intriguing.

Wish writers as Onetti were better noticed. At least, people in search for answers to their lives, would be able to see themselves in a literary mirror.


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