© Ricardo Ceppi
Jorge Consiglio was born in Buenos Aires in 1962 and holds a degree in Literature from the University of Buenos Aires, where he taught Semiology. He has written articles, poems and short stories for various national and foreign cultural supplements. He has published four novels, among them Small Intentions in 2011, for which he won the Second National Prize for Novels and the First Municipal Prize for Novels.
There are three characters in this story and also three coins that insist on marking their destiny. However the desire for a genuine existence will lead them to make the most difficult decisions, and to break with customary comforts. Carl and Marina have been living together for over ten years. He is an orchestra musician, she is a meteorologist and they have a six-year-old son. Amer is a successful taxidermist. In a stopsmoking self-help group, he meets Clara, 20 years younger than him. While the relationship between Carl and Marina is breaking up, the relationship between Amer and Clara is just beginning. Or already at the end? The characters are lonely and disoriented. They are looking for something they cannot grasp. They are modern city dwellers but do not know where to go.
Three Coins (“Tres monedas”) is a disturbing novel which stops at the exact moment in which its protagonists look in the mirror and discover that they no longer recognize themselves. A short novel, by one of the most awarded writers of contemporary Argentine literature, it does not shy away from the big issues and in sober and poetic language holds out the mirror to all of us.
On the eve of an important battle, a colonel is visited in his tent by an indigenous woman with a message to pass on. A man sets about renovating the house of his childhood, and starts to feel that he might be rebuilding his own life in the process. At a private clinic to treat the morbidly obese, a caregiver has issues of her own…
In Southerly (“Villa del Parque”) acclaimed writer and poet Jorge Consiglio presents a universe of seemingly unrelated tales, linked by a certain rhythm in the prose and the subtle dimensions of violence and perversion. These are stories of immigration, marginality, history, intimacy and obsession which are masterful and deeply touching. They each present their own distinctive view of the world through the lives of their respective characters and the profound transformations they undergo.
Consiglio is a solid, firm writer. He has a creative universe that is not realistic and, at the same time, nor does it avoid representational details, some strong representational details. He is actually a writer I am truly interested in.
Consiglio writes with the sharp edge of words and he cuts where we think there is no flesh.
The narrator of Hospital Posadas, immersed in a kind of apathy, floats between literature and his work as a salesman of medical instruments, attentive to everything that can be told in a story. He especially likes watching the demolition of the building across from his window. His special attention is caught by the team leader, Oscar, a jovial man who radiates authority. The narrator believes it is Cardozo, who almost became a brother-in-law in his youth. A mysterious type who, during the Argentine dictatorship, was a secret policeman or a soldier, and seems to have been entangled in the terrible events that occurred at the Hospital Posadas. This was a large hospital outside Buenos Aires, run by the Eva Perón Foundation, where the army set up a prison and torture centre in 1976. When the head of the demolition team is punched by a young thug and denied treatment at the hospital, some sort of delayed justice appears to be taking place. Interweaving the narrator’s present with his past, Jorge Consiglio constructs a novel that witnesses the small acts that evidence the marks left by the military government of the 1970s. A novel that combines the pleasure of gazing and the inevitable deconstruction of the past whose violence returns with the gradual pauperization and deterioration of public health. A deep and brilliantly written novel by one of the most-awarded writers of contemporary Argentine literature.
Consiglio has written his masterpiece. A perfect and unfinished nightmare.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Hospital Posadas is the definitive novel by Jorge Consiglio. Already in his earlier novels the author attracted attention for his narrative dexterity and construction of solid and unforgettable characters.
Hospital Posadas is a political novel, one of the most profound in Argentine literature. Using impeccable, transparent and effective prose, Jorge Consiglio reveals that the darkest years live on in gestures and words almost as in a psychopathology of daily life.
In the best traditions of the stories of Saer and Onetti, between the complex apprehension of reality and a history that is constructed from shadows and enigmas, Jorge Consiglio bases his literature upon the tension between what is narrated and what is not, robbing destiny of its ability to weave stories.
Revista Los Inrrockuptibles, Leonora Djament
Three Coins (“Tres monedas”)
Buenos Aires: Eterna Cadencia 2018
UK: Charco Press
Buenos Aires: Eterna Cadencia 2015, 304 p.
Small Intentions (“Pequeñas intenciones”)
Buenos Aires: Edhasa 2011, Club5 2019, 186 p.
Segundo Premio Nacional de Novela 2013 and Primer Premio Municipal de Novela
Shadow Grammar (“Gramática de la sombra”)
Buenos Aires: Norma 2007, 203 p.
Tercer Premio Municipal de Novela
The Good (“El bien”)
Madrid: Ópera Prima 2003; Buenos Aires: Norma 2003, Edhasa 2013, 200 p.
Premio Nuevos Narradores de Editorial Opera Prima de España
Buenos Aires: Editorial Excursiones 2017, 92 p.
Southerly (“Villa del Parque”)
Buenos Aires: Eterna Cadencia 2016, 112 p.
UK: Charco Press 2017
The Other Side (“El otro lado”)
Buenos Aires: Edhasa 2009, 176 p.
Segundo Premio Municipal de Cuento
Buenos Aires: Simurg 1999, 125 p.
In the Open (“Intemperie”)
Córdoba: Alicón 2006, 56 p.
The Speed of the Earth (“La velocidad de la tierra”)
Córdoba: Alción 2004, 84 p.
Las arrugas de la terraza
Buenos Aires: Último Reino 1994, 65 p.
Fruits and Days (“Las frutas y los días”)
Buenos Aires: Último Reino 1992, 65 p.
Indication of the Other (“Indicio de lo otro”)
Buenos Aires: Halmárgen Editora 1986