Tocado por la gracia. La literatura del siglo XXI pertenecerá a Neuman y a unos pocos de sus hermanos de sangre. Un viajero enigmático. Una ciudad en forma . Buy El Viajero Del Siglo by Andres Neuman (ISBN:) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Traveler of the Century Andrés Neuman Farrar, Straus and Giroux, , pg El viajero del siglo Andrés Neuman Alfaguara, , pg.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Tocado por la gracia. Una ciudad en forma de laberinto de la que parece imposible salir. El viajero del siglo nos propone un ambicioso experimento literario: Paperbackpages. Published May 1st by Alfaguara first published To see what your ancres thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about El viajero del sigloplease sign up. Lists with This Book. View all 6 comments. This new novel by Andres Neuman, Traveler of the Centuryis the type of book I enjoy — a novel of ideas.

But in this case it is also a love story of andrds, and the author comments on history and viajerp in addition to his decided interest in philosophy. In other words it is what any good novel of ideas should be, along book that is both challenging and imaginative. While the American edition from Farrar, Straus and Giroux has a Picasso on the dust jacket, the story is set in the 19th century.

The exact period is purposely left undefined – this is not an historical novel and the Anvres is one of his works inspired by Velasquez which does not help explain the choice. The main character is an itinerant translator named Hans.

Readers who are familiar with German literature will recognize him as an everyman and he almost immediately assumes a role that reminds one of the similar role taken by Hans Castorp in The Magic Mountain. Hans arrives in Wandernburg, an unremarkable hamlet on the border of Prussia and Saxony.

He intends only to pass through, but fortune detains him: First he befriends an old street musician, and then he falls in love with Sophie, an intellectually voracious young woman sadly affianced to the pampered scion of Wandernburg’s wealthiest family. The story unfolds as a one whose themes embody both mind and flesh; Hans and Sophie love each other for their imperfect yet sensual flesh and for the liberty and equality of their fraternal thoughts.

Reading texts in various languages as they plan an anthology of European poetry, lying together in bed, they practice translation as an erotic art and lovemaking as an intellectual pursuit. This is what intrigued me – the story of these passionate readers. I was transported into Neuman’s imaginary world. The meat of the story for those who are interested in ideas is demonstrated in scenes like the discussion between Hans and Professor Deel reminiscent of Mann’s Settembrini in discussions with young Castorp about the views of Kant and Fichte on Nationhood.

Hans said that in contrast to his views on Fichte, he liked Kant better when he spoke of countries rather than individuals. Every society, said Hans, needs order, and Kant proposes a vey intelligent one. Yet every citizen needs a measure of chaos, which Kant refuses.

Episodes like this are grist for the mill of those who enjoy philosophical literature.

But also interesting are the characters in Neuman’s novel. In the scene from which I quoted Sophie is in the background, full of her own ideas, and feeling “the urge to behave in and unladylike way” by entering the fray herself at the risk of taking sides between her lover and the respected professor.


Traveller of the Century doesn’t merely challenge the reader’s intelligence; it rewards it with literary depth and beauty. I was not familiar with the author but in this novel he demonstrated the talent is required to create an accomplished vision that embodies interesting ideas and a great story. I originally decided to read this novel because the protagonist is a literary translator see the thread in the Loosed in Translation discussion group.

Traveler of the Century (El viajero del siglo) by Andrés Neuman – A Review

Unlike most novels about translators, this one, at least starting halfway through, actually deals with literary translation in an interesting way. Especially the combining of sex and translation. In an interview Neuman quotes someone saying, “Translation is sexy! Culture can really be an aphrodisiac.

I’m afraid that’s not what they teach us in school. So much it’s not really worth describing. The most striking thing about the novel is its pace. It moves slowly, leisurely, like a piece of classical music, a long piano sonata. It moves slowly not due to lots of description, which is I think a dull and relatively cheap way of stretching a story out, but through a variety of repeated themes and motifs: The novel is too long, but even the author’s self-indulgence has a charm. He is so calmly showy, clever in a way that is cleverly quiet, that is clever more at the macro level than the micro level.

The sonata is neither Romantic nor minimalist. Neuman speaks of a Schubertian inspiration, but viakero feels more like a modern Meuman. This is not an exciting novel, and yet it is a wonderful experience to read it, if one has patience and shares, or comes to share, the author’s interests. I especially liked Neuman’s approach to the historical novel, the way he finds a place between what is often the ddel historical and the modern.

Everything he does works, at least for me. Stick with this novel; the second half is definitely superior to the first half.

One touch that works very well is the use of parentheses to separate pieces of dialogue. It’s good to know that Neuman’s newest novel is scheduled to appear in an English translation next April as Talking to Ourselves, with the same translator team who did such an excellent job on this book. Principally this is a novel of ideas. Primary among them is literature, how it varies by country and nationality and the challenges of translation especially of poetry.

Another key theme is religious belief and especially dissent. Complex, multi-layered and a novel which eel repay re-reading.

Traveller of the Century, of all the books shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, is the most seductive. And will Hans the inveterate traveller become entrapped in Wandernburg, just like everybody else? Every venture outdoors involves getting lost, and yet no one — the reader least of all — seems disoriented by it. What time is it?

Before long part of the charm of Wandernburg becomes the lovely Sophie, who is — alas — engaged to a local aristocrat called Rudi von Wilderhouse.

El viajero del siglo by Andrés Neuman (3 star ratings)

To read the rest of my review please visit http: View all 3 comments. When I was about two-thirds of the way through Neuman’s very ambitious, very engrossing novel, Bromance Will Evans asked me what I thought the purpose the rapist had in this book. Not who the rapist was–something that’s held in suspense until almost the end of the book–but why he was even in there. For the last pages I thought about this and interpreted everything that happened in the book through this lens–what purpose does the rapist serve?

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And in the end, I think I came up with a reaso When I was about two-thirds of the way through Neuman’s very ambitious, very engrossing novel, Bromance Will Evans asked me what I thought the purpose the rapist had in this book.

El viajero del siglo

And in the end, I think I came up with a reason. One that opens up the book in a few interesting ways. Before I get to that, let me back up a bit. First off, this book–for anyone not already familiar with is–is pages of philo-political discussions, talks about translation, and little action aside from one physical confrontation and some damn fine sex scenes.

At its core, this novel, set in nineteenth century Germany and featuring members of all social strata, from the organ grinder living in the cave, to the town’s aristocratic benefactor, to the protagonist, the Romantic, beret-wearing, translator Hans, is really just a simple story of illicit love. Hans wanders into Wandernburg, meets Sophie, and falls in love.

And if you read this book, you will too. Which is something I want to talk more about in a second. For example, the bit about the strike at the factory and the way in which the management crushes it is quite illuminating and lays out one of main conflicts of the time. That said, the primary setting is the weekly salon, which takes place thanks to Sophie, and features all of our main characters: Hans, Sophie, her fiancee, the Levins, the conservative old professor.

Anyway, it’s during these salons that Sophie comes to life. Seriously–as a character, Sophie is fully fleshed out, and so fucking cool. What struck me about her though–especially after talking to Bromance Will about the rapist and the fap-worthy scenes–is that she’s constantly deconstructing in spot-on fashionthe way in which male writers and thinkers impose their ideas of Woman on women via their prose.

There are several points in which Sophie calls out a poet in a way that’s much more modern than what probably? Which brings me to vizjero rapist. So, one of the major planks of this book is the illicit relationship between Hans and Sophie.

It takes place on the sly, on the fringes, unacceptable by all standards especially then. One of the reasons Neuman’s world building works so well is that he sets up a lot of parallels and opposites.

In terms of the salon, Hans’s opposite is Professor Mietter, who is much more conservative and stodgy although in many ways, the two actually agreeand in terms neumann the banging, the businessman Alvaro’s ivajero with Sophie’s servant, Elsa, serves as a sort of parallel to Sophie’s relationship with Hans.

And in terms of the opposite, we have the rapist. A bit about the rapist: One of the darker, more traditionally suspenseful storylines in the book revolves around a man who neumxn women in dark alleyways and eludes the police for quite some time. In terms of page count, this is a minor bit of the book, although the rapist’s actions impact several of our key characters. The resolution of this plot anrres is somewhat anti-climactic though, and it never rises above viajsro level of sub-plot, which is why I think Will was curious about it.