Los estratos
Juan Cárdenas

NOVEL | 2013 | 204 pages

Far from the preexisting models that deal with the realities of Latin America through a stark, apocalyptic realism or a trivial celebration of the exotic, Los estratos is a novel in radical support of a literature devoted to writing, one meant to be a transformation of the everyday experience and a reflection on the way in which personal, social, and historical narratives are constructed. Through one voice constantly interrupted by many others, Los estratos tells the story of a man besieged by the need to reconstruct a vague memory from his childhood, while essential elements of his private life—an unhappy marriage and a dead-end family business—collapse with each passing day. Los estratos is a machine created to reveal links between the most intimate personal experiences and political violence, which in the end turns the book into a philosophical exploration of the peculiar forms of desire typical that populate late capitalism in a society as unequal and contradictory as Colombia’s in the beginning of the 21st century. The conflicts—civil or bloody, private or public—reach a raw and symbolic dimension, making readers think as much as feel and desire.


RIGHTS: spanish EDITORIAL PERIFÉRICA I spanish (colombia) TUSQUETS I spanish (mexico) ALMADÍA I spanish (peru and chile) ESTRUENDOMUDO

The life of Los estratos is so absolutely real and bright that its hyper-realism is as hypnotic and lysergic as a videogame (…) And such a precise unreality (…) is what makes Los estratos a deeply political novel (…) Cárdenas’s language is a celebration that unfolds and folds itself up in the face of the reader with the same rhythms, just as beautiful and incomprehensible, as the rythms of life itself.
— Vicente Luis Mora, El Boomeran(g)



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