The Siege in the Room: Three Novellas

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Dalkey Archive Press, Jul 24, 2012 - Fiction - 149 pages
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This volume brings together three short novels by Catalan literature's great maverick and recluse, each depicting a brutal, abstract world where words are the only reality -- shifting between the erudite, the archaic, and the vulgar. Carrer Marsala, which won prizes from the City of Barcelona and the Generalitat de Catalunya -- neither of which BaušÓ bothered to accept -- is a relentless monologue delivered by a paranoid hypochondriac obsessed with dental hygiene, sex, and his own squalid rooms in Barcelona. In The Old Man, the narrator observes a strange building where a decrepit prisoner is ritually beaten by a policeman once a week. The Warden details the narrator's own captivity, and his relationship with the woman who keeps him prisoner. In Martha Tennent's haunting translation, reminiscent of a Mediterranean Beckett or Thomas Bernhard, Miquel BaušÓ's work is a pungent reminder of the ways the world fails its prophets and pariahs.

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About the author (2012)

Miquel BaušÓ (1940–2005) was perhaps the most radical stylist, iconoclast, and visionary in Catalan literature: eschewing publicity, insulting his peers, and writing unclassifiable books. Today he is seen as a cult figure, and his works as contemporary classics.

Martha Tennent, a translator from Catalan and Spanish, was born in the United States, but has lived most of her life in Barcelona. She recently translated the novel The Violin of Auschwitz by Maria └ngels Anglada.

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