Alan Pauls [ Argentina ]
Alan Pauls, the Argentinian novelist, essayist, critic and scriptwriter, was born in 1959 in Buenos Aires. He studied Literary Studies at the University of Buenos Aires, where he also later worked as a lecturer for Literary Theory. He founded the magazine »Lecturas críticas« and worked as an editor for the daily paper »Página/12«.
His first novel »El pudor del pornógrafo« (1984, tr: The Pornographer's Shame) is a traditional epistolary novel with the letters exchanged between the narrator, an advisor in erotic matters, and his lover. When a long-awaited reunion has to be repeatedly postponed, the written expression of desire and passion of both characters grows more intense. Pauls achieved international recognition with his award-winning fourth novel, adapted for the cinema by Héctor Babenco, »El pasado« (2003; Engl. »The Past«, 2007). The translator, Rimini, leaves his wife Sofia, with whom he has shared twelve symbiotic years of absolute love, in order to begin a new life. In 1980s Buenos Aires he throws himself into amorous adventures, excessive work and drug abuse, but he is unable to break free of Sofia's obsessive love and their shared past. This virtuoso novel, constructed in different time levels, illuminates the characters' psychological abysses with great linguistic intensity. The complex syntax, the differing registers and the wealth of metaphors condense the novel to a multi-layered study in experience and forgetting, love and jealousy. Pauls is currently working on a trilogy about Argentina in the 1970s. The first part, »Historia del llanto« (2007, tr: The History of Tears) was published in German translation in 2010. In this book the author directly addresses the political history of Argentina for the first time. Against the backdrop of the ideological conflicts in the 1970s, the novel shows the mental and spiritual development of the sensitive and educated son of a progressive middle-class family. The focus is on how the young protagonist confronts his peers and the formative events of the era. The author explained: »I wanted to combine the intimate with the political, two areas which are still divided in Argentinian culture«.
Alan Pauls has won the Premio Herralde (2003). The Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño called him »one of the best living Latin American writers«. Pauls lives together with his wife and daughter in Buenos Aires.