Juan Rodolfo Wilcock, Temple Of Iconoclasts
"One of the greatest and strangest . . . writers of this century." - Roberto Bolaño
From an armchair in England, Rosenblum hatches a complicated plot to return the world to the year 1580-reintroducing ruffs, doublets, codpieces, and sundry period diseases. By sheer force of will, Littlefield discovers that he's able to crystallize table salt into the shapes of "chickens and other small animals." Babson founds an international organization with the declared aim of annulling the law of gravity. These are only a few of the dozens of eccentrics, visionaries, and downright crackpots who populate the pages of Juan Rodolfo Wilcock's charming fiction in the form of a biographical dictionary. Temple's brief portraits blend mordant satire and profound imaginative sympathy, taking in the whole dazzling spectrum of human folly-including a handful of colors that only Wilcock's Swiftian eye could possibly have perceived.
"Rodolfo Wilcock is a legendary writer. . . . His greatest work, The Temple of Iconoclasts, is without a doubt one of the funniest, most joyful, irreverent, and most corrosive books of the twentieth century . . . a festive, laugh-out-loud read . . . a writer whom no good reader should miss." - Roberto Bolaño
"Fictitious histories so engaging as to seem true and true histories so amusing as to seem fictitious." - Roberto Calasso, author of The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony
"Compellingly whimsical, alienated, pseudo-scientific, bizarre: all these adjectives describe this fiction in the form of a short reference work, the first book by admired Argentinian-Italian novelist Wilcock to be published in English...Venuti renders Wilcock's Italian into lucid, captivating English, and offers a biographical introduction. [Perfect for] lovers of postmodern mind games." - Publishers Weekly
Born in Buenos Aires in 1919, Juan Rodolfo Wilcock was a member of the circle of innovative writers that included Borges and Bioy Casares. Self-exiled in Rome, he became a leading Italian writer, publishing numerous books of poetry, journalism, fiction, and translation.