[AUDIO] Two Voices Salon with Will Vanderhyden and Carlos Labbé


We were very pleased to welcome translator Will Vanderhyden (in person) and author Carlos Labbé (via Skype) into the Two Lines Press offices to discuss Carlos’s novels Loquela and Navidad & Matanza, which Will has translated for Open Letter Books. They were interviewed by Two Lines Press’s Scott Esposito.

Loquela, which publishes this month, takes its title from a quote from Roland Barthes, and the novel’s innovative structure ceaselessly re-positions the reader to give a feel of what Barthes speaks of: “a word that designates the flux of language through which the subject tirelessly rehashes the effects of a wound or the consequences of an action: an emphatic form of the lover’s discourse.”

In addition, Will and Carlos discussed how Will first discovered Carlos’s works, the importance of the political in his novels, the influence of Bolaño and Cortázar on Carlos and his generation of Latin American writers, how is books may mimic serialist music, and many other things. Scroll down for the full audio of the event.


0:00 Introductions

1:50 How Navidad & Matanza and Loquela function as books and the interactions of the various “levels of reality”

7:35 The thickness of the voices in Labbé’s work and the feeling of enclosure and labyrinth created by these voices

13:00 The convergences and overlappings of the voices in Loquela, and why the book is made this way

16:04 The meaning of the word “loquela” and how (and why) Carlos chose to use it as a name for the book

22:45 How Vanderhyden first discovered Labbé’s books and why he wanted to translate him, and his early relationship with Labbé

25:50 Labbé’s feelings on seeing the English translation of Navidad & Matanza, and the importance of understanding Chilean politics to the translation of that book

29:07 Labbé’s feelings on the relationship of his work to Bolaño’s writing, and Bolaño’s influence/importance for the next generation of writers

35:00 The concept of “Neutria” from Loquela and how it relates to the ideological angles in Labbé’s work

39:53 Labbé’s books as “the story of their rules”

41:43 Labbé’s most recent book, Piezas secretas contra el mundo, which uses elements from the Choose Your Own Adventure books

47:25 Labbé’s relationship with Cortázar’s books and influence

53:50 Schizophrenia and Labbé’s work

57:20 Blanchot’s idea of loneliness, contradicted in Loquela

1:00:05 Which book of Labbé’s would Vanderhyden most like to translate next?

1:04:00 Creating a book along the lines of serialist music

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