26 oct. 2010

I've been teaching Obabakoak. In case you don't know it, this is a fantastic novel or fictional creation by Bernardo Atxaga, the Basque writer. It comes right out of Calvino, in some sense, but with a more narrow geographic focus than Once on a Winter's Night a Traveler. Calvino skips around with his narrations, but Atxaga focuses on a more narrow territory, only skipping a few times to Ireland or Amazonia.

Calvino's novel was was published in 79, Atxaga's in 88. Of course that whole postmodern metafiction stuff now seems much more cliché, but that is partially because of its success, and Atxaga is quite original within the cliché, if that's not too much of a contradiction. In other words, the techniques no longer seem innovative, but he puts them to innovative use.