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Los Siete Locos (Letras Hispanicas) af…
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Los Siete Locos (Letras Hispanicas) (original 1929; udgave 2004)

af Roberto Arlt

Serier: Remo Erdosain (book 1)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
4371142,425 (3.97)56
"A weird wonder of Argentine and modern literature, a crucial work for Julio Cortazar ("If there's one person in my country I feel close to, it's Roberto Arlt"), The Seven Madmen begins when its hapless and hopeless hero, Erdosain, is dismissed from his job as a bill collector for embezzlement. Then his wife leaves him and things only go downhill after that. Erdosain wanders the crowded, confusing streets of Buenos Aires, thronging with immigrants almost as displaced and alienated as he is, and finds himself among a group of conspirators who are in thrall to a man known simply as the Astrologer. The Astrologer has the cure for everything that ails civilization. Unemployment will be cured by mass enslavement. (Mountains will be hollowed out and turned into factories.) Mass enslavement will be funded by industrial-scale prostitution. That scheme will be kicked off with murder. "D'you know you look like Lenin?" Erdosain asks the Astrologer. Meanwhile Erdosain struggles to determine the physical location and dimensions of the soul, this thing that is causing him so much pain. Brutal, uncouth, caustic, and brilliantly colored, The Seven Madmen takes its bearings from Dostoyevsky while looking forward to Thomas Pynchon and Marvel Comics"--… (mere)
Medlem:puttermeister
Titel:Los Siete Locos (Letras Hispanicas)
Forfattere:Roberto Arlt
Info:Ediciones Catedra S.A. (2004), Paperback, 344 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Argentina, Latin America, 20th C, novels, en español

Detaljer om værket

The Seven Madmen af Roberto Arlt (1929)

Nyligt tilføjet affiskadoro, privat bibliotek, MASK1970, ilya.evdakov, hadleyreads, MDMcBride, Charlotte_, denabeard, gsm235
  1. 00
    Dream of Heroes af Adolfo Bioy Casares (iijjaallkkaa)
  2. 00
    Fight club af Chuck Palahniuk (CarlosMcRey)
    CarlosMcRey: Like Palahniuk's Joe, Arlt's Remo Erdosain seeks salvation through depravity and self-destruction in the midst of an urban wasteland.
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» Se også 56 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 11 (næste | vis alle)
Anguish and self-loathe in words and sentences. ( )
  pepperabuji | Jun 18, 2020 |
En una Buenos Aires enrarecida, deambula Remo Erdosain muy angustiado, pensando qué hacer para conseguir el dinero que robó a la empresa para la cual trabaja y que debe devolver cuanto antes. Su preocupación se convierte en furia cuando descubre quién lo delató: Barsut, un primo de su mujer, al que aborrece. Como si esto no bastara, su esposa lo abandona por otro hombre. Iracundo, Remo busca venganza, y así empieza a contactarse con los personajes más delirantes, que planifican desde un secuestro hasta una revolución.
  LucreciaRomero | May 30, 2020 |


Intense, intense, intense - The Seven Madmen is Argentine author Roberto Arlt’s innovative masterpiece, a novel published in 1929 having an immense influence on "Boom" generation writers such as Gabriel García Márquez, Ricardo Piglia, Roberto Bolaño and César Aira. Also Julio Cortázar, who wrote of his deep literary connection with Roberto Arlt in the introductory essay included in this New York Reviews Books edition.

A childhood spent in squalor in a dilapidated boardinghouse on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, physically and emotionally abused by his father, Roberto Arlt was kicked out of school at age eight and ran away from home at sixteen. Augusto Remo Erdosian, the protagonist of The Seven Madmen, shares much of the same background as the author.

Masturbation, prostitution, child beatings, desperation, hopelessness, violence, murder, insanity – subjects addressed in stark, frank, even brutal language, The Seven Madmen brings to mind for me such modern day novels as Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting and Marabou Stork Nightmares. And with his plummeting dark recesses of the mind and exploring the seedier sides of human motives and actions, a number of critics have also likened Roberto Arlt to Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

The storyline in a nutshell: debt collector Erdosian will go to jail if he doesn’t cough up the money he embezzled from his employers at the Sugar Company; his wife Elsa leaves him; he borrows money to save himself from jail and then devises a plan of kidnapping, theft and murder to change his life.

However, the core of Roberto Arlt’s novel isn't so much plot as it is about residents of Buenos Aires driven to madness of one variety or the other - and at the top of the list is none other than the novel's main character, Remo Erdosian.

Erdosian is study in frustration, a man attempting to work out his anxiety and rage, his “anguish zone” by, among other dreamy illusions, picturing himself as the star in a rags to riches North American film. In this way, Roberto Arlt anticipates a major theme of Manuel Puig - poor Argentinians will use Hollywood films to escape their crushing poverty (the silver screen replaces religion as the opium of the people).

Among Erdosian’s other fantasies are setting up his state-of-the-art laboratory to invent gadgets and discover new formulas that will prove him the next Thomas Edison and thus make him rich. Or, slightly more probable, the ways he will inflict injury and destroy that loathsome cur with shaven head, bird of prey nose and greenish eyes - his wife’s disgusting cousin, Barsut. Either way, Erdosian can envision himself the supreme victor, vanquishing adversaries both near and far.

Erdosian’s hypersensitivity adds fuel to the massive fire that is his agony, his torment and affliction. Does this sound too melodramatic? In his Introduction, Julio Cortázar cites Arlt’s tendency throughout his career to lapse into melodrama, sentimentality and vulgarity. But in this instance, having just been issued an ultimatum by his bosses and in the evening humiliated by his wife Elsa leaving him forever, hand-in-hand with a hefty Captain no less, such extreme heart-wrenching woe seems entirely appropriate.

Poor Erdosian! All alone in his bed that night, squeezing his eyes shut, burying his head in his pillow, he feels he's carrying all the world's suffering inside his skin. “Where on earth could there possibly be anyone whose skin was so gourged with bitterness. He felt he was no longer a man, but a wound that writhed and screamed with every throb of his veins.” And again: “Erdosian felt himself crushed by a sense of pure dread. His life could not have been flatter if he had gone through the rollers of a sheet-metal mill.”

After living through that torturous night with Erdosian, readers can appreciate the protagonist’s sensitivity and despair, both of which combine to form a film coating all his subsequent interactions.

First off, Erdosian meets repeatedly with the Astrologer. Listening to the Astrologer’s plans of forming a secret society comprised of an elite master race where the mass of humanity, those lower, base humans, will either be murdered or forced into slavery, has an eerie, nightmarish tone. Let’s not forget, published in 1929, The Seven Madmen predates the rise of the Nazis.

A Pharmacist by the name of Ergueta tells Erdosian he has figured out the patterns of world history and unfolding day-to-day events by reading the signs of the Fourth Seal and the Pale Horsemen from the Bible. Ergueta also claims, thanks to his great innocence, Jesus has revealed the secret law of static synchronicity to him alone so he can win at roulette. Later on in the tale, Hipólita, Ergueta’s wife, asks Erdosian for help since her husband lost their life savings at a casino and is now committed to an insane asylum.

Erdosian makes for an ideal listener. A man known as the Melancholy Thug reveals the bare bones truth regarding his role as a pimp for a string of Buenos Aires prostitutes and how he is doing society and those young ladies a great favor by protecting them from arrest by the police and violence from their customers. A gold prospector speaks in glowing terms of all the gold he owns only to admit the gold is still in the ground – it’s only a matter of him finding it and digging it up. Hipólita recounts how back when she was sixteen-years old, she read books and magazines, even consulted a lawyer, all in an effort to find out how she could sell herself - becoming a prostitute was a great step up, a path to freedom, from her job as a domestic housekeeper. These snippets to highlight The Seven Madmen contains doses of black humor between ample helpings of nitty-gritty realism.

The Seven Madmen gives a reader the sense what passes as civilized society is but a thin outer crust over an ocean of pain and madness. All you have to do is scratch the surface and the vast majority of people, especially hordes of poor people, are seething with resentment over their childhood (usually the victims of child abuse), inadequate education and inability to do anything but barely eek out an abysmal, disgusting hand-to-mouth existence. Life has become a life sentence where individuals are sentenced to their own private madhouse.


Argentine author Roberto Arlt, 1900-1942

“Who can say what had already died in him? All that remained of his feelings was an awareness which existed outside all that was happening to him, a soul as keenly thin as a sword-blade, which slithered like an eel through the murky waters of his life.” - Roberto Arlt, The Seven Madmen ( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
This was a weird one because we spent the whole early part getting deep into the head of the one subterranean man, trying to decide where to place him in the constellation of Meursaults and Raskolnikovs that we all have in our heads and once again come back to the same old questions about self-actualization and desperation to feel and murdering a dude, etc.; but then as soon as the plot to murder the dude gets off the ground the guy--Erdosain--has a scene in a tree where he gets a bit Passion of the Christlike and remembers the infinite certitude of joy in which he walked as a child etc., and you see that there's no legitimate existential crisis here--this guy was just gifted with a talent to feel and, as the edge came off it as it always does, couldn't figure out how to keep feeling except by murdering a dude. It'd've taken a little self-awareness, but we see in the way things are with him and his wife, not devoid of tenderness, and the peace he finds with the sneering redhead and the family he takes care of/wrecks up that he could have been a man of honour and a source of gentle strength for all about but took the cheap path, letting humiliation stew and harden him and homing in on murder in the same way as his present-day equivalent, the man who resorts to ever more extreme pornography to, again, feel.

And once you know that you're in the rare position of being able to appreciate the skill and nuance with which Arlt renders Erdosain but also to dismiss him as a piece of shit, any sympathy one might feel sharply curtailed as we see him take the murderer's portion for cheap reasons, only a third of the way through the book--and then we get a sense of anticipation from seeing the other madmen come in and their plot come together, and this book is certainly very, very good on the feels that brew up fascism, the pornography or perversion of the early-mid-20th century, and in particular, incidentally, in a way I've not seen really covered before even in books like Morante's History which covers fascism in Italy but a way which perhaps is easier to grab on to in the Argentine context for some reason, not sure how to get into the early 20th century Catholic head in that regard really, but in any case the directness with which the fascist feel emerges from the death of God/end of religious ecstasy (the biggest feel to date??). That is fine, but you can see that this is a part 1 of 2 (planned as one volume but Arlt ran out of self-publishing money) because the pacing is really setting the stage and creating the atmosphere and as such taking the time to really lay out the dead soul of Erdosain, the protagonist whom, as noted above, the reader is in the rare position of being able to write off early. Volume 2 is called The Flamethrowers, and I look forward to seeing this masterful stylist and psychologist blow it all up. ( )
2 stem MeditationesMartini | Jun 3, 2017 |
Bolano compares his fellow writer Roberto Arlt to a character from one of Dostoyevsky’s later novels, and indeed it is Raskolnikov that comes to mind most often when reading about the ordeal of Remo Erdosain. With this difference I must add ,that Raskolnikov’s self-mortifying rambling takes place after the crime and that of Arlt’s character before the crime.

Erdosain, a nobody lost in a great city, himself acting and reacting on the basis of his own mad illusions, moves through a world of hookers, pimps, murderers, thiefs, thugs and other looneys, characters all who live their lives in accordance with their own mad and criminal logic, their self-constructed desperate schemes, their perverse apocalyptic nightmares.

For the reader of the 21th century it is chilling to realize how all these evil plans have turned out to become painful reality in our last century and that Argentine’s most forgotten writer, Roberto Arlt, has turned out to be one hell of a prophet. ( )
9 stem Macumbeira | Jan 8, 2017 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (26 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Arlt, Robertoprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Caistor, NickEfterskriftmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Cortázar, JulioIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Sabarte Belacortu, MarioleinOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Wellinga, KlaasEfterskriftmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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Remo Erdosain (book 1)

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"A weird wonder of Argentine and modern literature, a crucial work for Julio Cortazar ("If there's one person in my country I feel close to, it's Roberto Arlt"), The Seven Madmen begins when its hapless and hopeless hero, Erdosain, is dismissed from his job as a bill collector for embezzlement. Then his wife leaves him and things only go downhill after that. Erdosain wanders the crowded, confusing streets of Buenos Aires, thronging with immigrants almost as displaced and alienated as he is, and finds himself among a group of conspirators who are in thrall to a man known simply as the Astrologer. The Astrologer has the cure for everything that ails civilization. Unemployment will be cured by mass enslavement. (Mountains will be hollowed out and turned into factories.) Mass enslavement will be funded by industrial-scale prostitution. That scheme will be kicked off with murder. "D'you know you look like Lenin?" Erdosain asks the Astrologer. Meanwhile Erdosain struggles to determine the physical location and dimensions of the soul, this thing that is causing him so much pain. Brutal, uncouth, caustic, and brilliantly colored, The Seven Madmen takes its bearings from Dostoyevsky while looking forward to Thomas Pynchon and Marvel Comics"--

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