Collection: Compactos 50
Literary Category: contemporary fiction
The Art of Flight, originally published in 1997, is the first novel in Sergio Pitol’s “Trilogy of Memory,” a collection of essays and stories that blends the genres of memoir and creative essay in an imaginative swirl of reflection and contemplation.From the 1960s through the 1990s Pitol worked as a cultural atta-ché in Mexican embassies throughout the world, and served as ambassador to Czechoslovakia. An erudite scholar of literary his-tory and world culture, Pitol is also renowned for his translations from Russian, Polish, English, and German into Spanish, including Joseph Conrad, Jane Austen, and Witold Gombrowicz. A unique, timeless, international literary voice in the mold of Henry James, Thomas Mann, and Jorge Luis Borges, Pitol’s work has been translated into more than ten languages.
The Journey features one of the world’s master storytellers at work as he skillfully recounts two weeks of travel around the So-viet Union in 1986. From the first paragraph Pitol dislocates the sense of reality, masterfully and playfully blurring the lines be-tween fiction and fact. This adventurous story, based on the au-thor’s own travel journals, parades through some of the territo-ries that the author lived in and traveled through (Prague, the Caucasus, Moscow, Leningrad) as he reflects on the impact of Russia’s sacred literary pantheon in his life and the power that literature holds over us all.
The Magician of Vienna, the heartbreaking final volume in Sergio Pitol’s groundbreaking memoir-essay-fiction-hybrid finds Pitol boldly and passionately weaving fiction and autobiography to-gether 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 autobiog-raphy–and vice versa–as Pitol writes to forestall the advance-ment of degenerative memory loss.