Op Oloop Paperback – Aug 4 2009
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His work is an infinite exercise in allusive realism, in constant irony, a species of human comedy . . .
Like the best satire it is an understated undermining of a lifestyle it illustrates in perfect, chiseled detail.
Lately [Filloy] has been rediscovered by younger writers and critics, who have compared him with Jorge Luis Borges and even with Balzac . . . Freud liked [Op Oloop] so much that he sent Filloy a hand-written letter of congratulations.
One is left with the impression of a virtuosic, wildly passionate, and often hilarious writer writing primarily for his own aesthetic amusement.
Op Oloop is a strange, playful novel, as Filloy twists the story around the flights of fancy and philosophy that seem to be the main excuse for it. It is decidedly odd, but sparkles in its oddity. Well worthwhile.
Occasionally ranting against the depravity of life unhinged from his beloved "method," Oloop's struggle is at turns pathetic and hilarious, though he persists to the very last.
Chockablock with neologisms ("They'll never abelardize us!") and word play (he refers to France s three great clods: Bernard, Monet, and Debussy), this pre-Oulipoian (Oloopian?) romp is a must read for lovers of Perec, and a fine introduction to this dazzling writer.
Humor is 'all pervading' or it's nothing at all, as Juan Filloy, Shakespeare, and Max Ernst always knew. --Julio Cortazar
We Argentinians have lost the last of our true comedians, Juan Filloy, philosopher of the soul: a man whose life managed to span three centuries, because he always knew how to live outside the current of the times. --Luisa Valenzuela
About the Author
Juan Filloy was an excellent swimmer, dedicated boxing referee, and talented caricaturist; he spoke seven languages and he practised as a judge in the small town of Rio Cuarto, 200 kilometres from Cordoba, where he spent nearly the whole of his life. He died in 2000 at the age of 106. A world champion palindromist, he made use of the entire dictionary in his books, coined new words, and used only seven letters in all the titles of his works. He received various distinctions during his lifetime and was nominated for the Nobel Prize.
Lisa Dillman teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University and has translated numerous works of fiction by Argentine, Mexican, Catalan, and Spanish writers. She lives in Decatur, Georgia.