Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-xi

The first time I read the work of Ilan Stavans, I was perusing the pages of a favorite literary journal of mine, Transition. His witty and biting essay “Two Peruvians” played the personality of novelist Mario Vargas Llosa off against the persona of Shining Path leader Carlos Abimael Guzmán Reynoso. Like scores of other readers before and after, I was struck by Stavans’s touch with words: his prose was luminous, noncondescending, and thought provoking. Indeed, the...

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1. The Self and the World

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pp. 3-27

My ancestors lived in Poland and the Ukraine for centuries. They were poor and uneducated merchants, although my mother’s ancestors maintained a prominent standing within the Jewish community. In the late nineteenth century, as pogroms erupted and anti-Semitism spread, various members of the family decided to immigrate to the New World: a few came to the United States, others traveled as far as Brazil. As a result of immigration...

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2. The Uses of Catastrophe

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pp. 30-54

...n. s. In the “Letter to a German Friend” [Art and Anger], you recounthow you explored your family roots, Jewish memory, and mythology,wife visited Kafka’s Prague and several former concentration campssites. What kind of preconceptions on those subjects did you carryi. s. It was 1988 and I was looking for my roots in the Old Continent—...

3. The Task of the Intellectual

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pp. 55-77

4. Translation and Its Discontents

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pp. 78-98

5. Onto la hispanidad

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pp. 99-121

6. Lexicomania

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pp. 122-141

7. A Biographer in Macondo

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pp. 142-167

8. Of Rabbis, Books, and Mirrors

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pp. 168-194

Index

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pp. 195-207