Clandestine in Chile by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

source – library

This was the last choice for 2010 of the now named wolves reading group of Frances ,Richard ,Emily and el fay .this book by the nobel winning Columbian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a first hand narrative of the return to his native chile of the Chilean filmmaker Miguel Littin .Littin produce the most well-known and most popular in Chile Chilean film in 1969 El CHacal de Nahueltoro ( Jackal ofNahueltoro ) a true story about a pheasant that killed several children in chile .he has also directed films based on Alejo Carpentiers novel and one of Marquez own short stories .After the coup that saw Allende disposed in his homeland Littin went to Mexico firstly then spain (very like Bolano who also lived in both these countries ) .After the fall of Pinochet the military leader a list of Exiles that could return was released but Littins name wasn’t on the list so the book follow his decision to return anyway and make a striking film called Acta General de chile  he managed to get three european film crews under false filming schedules  to enter the country  and he returned as a Uruguayan businessman to direct the film which followed how people fought against Pinochet in chile ,at this time this was still a sensitive subject with in chile and could have led to Littin being arrested .we see him and his assistant go through and meet people but to find out what more happened maybe you should read the book .

When the immigration officer opened my passport ,I knew that if he were to look into my eyes he would discover my deception .There were three counters ,all attended by men in uniforms .I had decided to pick the youngest because he seemed to be working the fastest .

Littin’s nervous entry to Chile .

The book was taken from notes Littin kept at the time and worked into this Narrative non fiction by Marquez if in his fiction he may be the master of Magical realism may I suggest this is a work of über realism ,he really caught for me the tension and fear that Littin had in returning to his homeland to make this film at every turn there was a real sense of foreboding ,strange as reading up on Littin before the book I knew the film had been made and the back cover told me that due to the strength of the book and  film that 15000 hundred copies of this book where burnt in Chile .Now to my disappointing the film seems very hard to get hold off .A real shame the other half of what seems to artworks would work wonderfully together .But not to take away from this book which I thoroughly enjoyed and as one of the last books I read last year .Gave me an insight into a subject I knew a bit about but found a little more about and this is what you needed from good Narrative non – fiction .the book was translated by Asa Zatz .

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. amymckie
    Jan 02, 2011 @ 20:36:51

    Sounds like a really interesting book Stu!


  2. parrish
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 10:59:20

    The one of the things, I’ve learnt this last year is there appeared to be a network of Latin-American poets & writers exiled & wandering the world around this time, which is basically Bolano’s subject matter.
    Enjoyed the post, thanks


    • winstonsdad
      Jan 03, 2011 @ 22:47:06

      Yes there seems to be a lot exiles in mexico and spain and Bolano uesed exiles so much even in nazi literature a lot of them were exiled ,all the best stu


  3. Rise
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 13:01:09

    It also found it quite different in style from 100 Years of Solitude. As if it was a different Garcia Marquez who wrote this, which probably says something about a writer’s perfect control of his style.


  4. Richard
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 01:20:17

    Glad you seem to have enjoyed this as much as I did, Stu, although some of the other Wolves didn’t buy into that “real sense of foreboding” that you mention (I’m with you on that one, though). Frustratingly, my university library has 2-3 of Littín’s films available in different formats but no Acta General de Chile. Weird! Anyway, thanks for reading along with us on this book!


    • winstonsdad
      Jan 04, 2011 @ 14:29:17

      tis shame the film unavailable ,who knows got lot channels on tv it maybe shown at some point some of our channels do theme weeks ,I found the book realstic and fact that horrors of Chile weren’t mention was maybe due to fact he wqasn’t there for them but he caught Littins personal fear well ,all the best stu


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January 2011


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