Empty Words

by Mario Levrero

In a deadpan satire on the ‘realistic novel’ the author’s alter-ego uses a hand-written diary as ‘graphological therapy’ to cure writer’s block. His plan to calm the frustration of the creative process by writing about nothing, concentrating on calligraphy instead of content, fails dismally amid his own neurotic mind-chatter and procrastination, plus myriad domestic interruptions, largely featuring the amusing antics of Pongo the family dog.


To be honest, the world of the computer is very similar to the world of the Unconscious, with lots of hidden elements and a language to decipher. I probably feel there's nowhere left to go when it comes to investigating my unconscious; the computer also involves much less risk, or risk of a different kind.
The strangest thing about all this is the value I ascribe to investigating something that is, quite definitely, of no use to me whatsoever. And yet I clearly do see it as immensely valuable, as if there were vitally important clues hidden in the workings of the machine. (Once again I got distracted by the topic and paid no attention to forming the letters properly, or to the size of my writing).
Translated by Annie McDermott


The Spirit of Science Fiction by Roberto Bolana
Human Matter by Rodrigo Rey Rosa

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