Friday, April 20, 2012

Featured: Oliverio Girondo

Oliverio Girondo, Scarecrow And Other Anomolies
translated by Gilbert Alter-Gilbert
Paperback (out of print)

The first appearance in English of one of the most fantastic writers of Latin America, who was also something of a prankster. After writing the indescribable collection of short pieces called Espanatapájaros ("Scarecrow") in 1932, Oliverio Girondo rented a landau coach from a mortuary and hired liveried footmen and coachmen to attend the vehicle. In place of the floral wreathes he stacked copies of the book, printed with his own money,and in one seat propped up a huge scarecrow he had made out of papier-mâché, with a top hat, button eyes and painted white gloves (see photo below). Then Girondo got in and, drawn by six horses, paraded through the streets of Buenos Aires announcing publication of Espanatapájaros through a megaphone, handing out copies and directing the bewildered public to a shop on la Calle Florida. There, on the sidewalk, a bevy a pretty girls selected by the author hawked the book, its cover bearing a likeness of the same well-heeled scarecrow. By such means the edition of 5,000 copies sold out in fifteen days. The dummy scarecrow retired to the vestibule of Girondo's estate on Calle Suipacha, where it greeted unsuspecting visitors forever after. It was donated to the city museum after Girondo's death in 1976.

This book, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday

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