The Magician of Vienna (Paperback)
"We can read The Magician of Vienna not just as a work of literature but as one of the Holy Books in which we store humanity's imaginary." -- Mario Bellatin, author of Beauty Salon
The heartbreaking final volume in Sergio Pitol's groundbreaking memoir-essay-fiction-hybrid "Trilogy of Memory" finds Pitol boldly and passionately weaving fiction and autobiography together to tell of his life lived through literature as a way to stave off the advancement of a degenerative neurological condition causing him to lose the use of language. Fiction invades autobiography--and vice versa--as Pitol writes to forestall the advancement of degenerative memory loss.
"Pitol's writing - the way he constructs sentences, inflects Spanish, twists meanings and stresses particular words - reflects the multiplicity of languages he has read and embraced. Reading him is like reading through the layers of many languages at once." -- Valeria Luiselli, author of The Story of My Teeth
Sergio Pitol, the greatest living Mexican writer, winner of the Juan Rulfo and Cervantes prizes, is profoundly influential to the current generation of Spanish-language writers, including Valeria Luiselli, Enrique Vila-Matas, and Yuri Herrera.
About the Author
Sergio Pitol Demeneghi is one of Mexico's most acclaimed writers, born in the city of Puebla in 1933. He studied law and philosophy in Mexico City. He is renowned for his intellectual career in both the field of literary creation and translation, and is renowned for his work in the promotion of Mexican culture abroad, which he achieved during his long service as a cultural attache in Mexican embassies and consulates across the globe. He has lived perpetually on the run: he was a student in Rome, a translator in Beijing and Barcelona, a university professor in Xalapa and Bristol, and a diplomat in Warsaw, Budapest, Paris, Moscow and Prague. Pitol is a contemporary of the most famous authors of the Latin American "Boom," and began publishing novels, stories, criticism, and translations in the 1960s. In recognition of the importance of his entire canon of work, Pitol was awarded the two most important prizes in the Spanish language world: the Juan Rulfo Prize in 1999 (now known as the FIL Literary Award in Romance Languages), and in 2005 he won the Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious literary prize in the Spanish language world, often called the "Spanish language Nobel." Deep Vellum will publish Pitol's Trilogy of Memory in full in 2014-2015 (The Art of Flight; The Journey; The Magician of Vienna), marking the first appearance of any of Pitol's books in English. George Henson is a literary translator and lecturer of Spanish at the University of Oklahoma. He has translated the three volumes that comprise Sergio Pitol's Trilogy of Memory, The Art of Flight, The Journey, and The Magician of Vienna. Other translated books include Elena Poneiatowska's The Heart of the Artichoke and Luis Jorge Boone's Cannibal Nights. He is a frequent contributor to World Literature Today and Asymptote.