The Tango Singer

Tomás Eloy Martínez

About the book

The route of the tango singer Julio Martel leads the reader through Buenos Aires and confronts him with the tragic history of this city. The gigantic and now inoperative water palace, the slaughterhouses, the mysterious Parque Cha, a quarter full of odd streets in which the protagonist gets lost, and Fuerte Apache, a slum in the outskirts of the city, from which thousands of looters in the days of the Argentine state collapse take off to storm supermarkets and banks... These locations are enlivened by a gallery of Argentine destinies that shape the metropolis at the end of the world. Behind everything is the spirit of Borges, his aleph and the features of the "chronometric Funes" from his short history "The Relentless Memory",

Buenos Aires is not surrounded by sea and hills like Hong Kong or Nagasaki, nor is it crossed by a river on which centuries of civilization have passed, such as London, Paris, Budapest, Geneva, Prague or Vienna. No one comes to Buenos Aires because he is in transit to somewhere else. Beyond the city, there is no other place. The spaces of nothing that open up to the south have been named Land of the Unknown Sea, Land of the Circle and Land of the Giants on the maps of the 16th century , imaginary names for nonexistence, states TEM. In this last corner of the living world it holds true that the real labyrinth of Buenos Aires is its people. So close and at the same time so far. Outwardly so uniformly and inwardly so differently. Full of shame, as Borges characterized the Argentine essence, and at the same time so shameless.

Buenos Aires

in the Literature Atlas

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