14 feb. 2011


Ramón is known by his first name. His most famous invention is the greguería, the short humoristic aphorism in his own characteristic style. "When a woman orders fruits salad for two she perfects original sin." or "The Y is the champagne glass of the alphabet." "The baby grabbing his foot is greeting himself.' When he writes longer works, he has to rely on this genius for short aperçus to sustain him over the course of many pages.

This gives rise to an interesting structural problem. How does the aphorism become a novel?

3 comentarios:

Clarissa dijo...

My favorite ones are: "Lo que defiende a las mujeres es que piensan que todos los hombres son iguales, mientras que lo que pierde a los hombres es que creen que todas las mujeres son diferentes."

And: "No debemos ser cómplices ni de nosotros mismos."

And: "La prisa es lo que nos lleva a la muerte."

Don Ramon would have crowds of Twitter followers nowadays. :-)

Vance Maverick dijo...

Intrigued, I found a volume of these, with cute illustrations, in the children's (Spanish) section of my local library. Not sure they're really for children -- though the publisher classes them that way too.

Do you go for Hammett and Chandler, Jonathan? There's an approach to prose organized around aphorisms, if you like....

Jonathan dijo...

Yes, I like that first generation of hard-boiled crime novelists. I think the simile in that style has the function of expressing a world-view, but isn't plot the engine of organization in genre fiction? Ramón has very little plot.