Obabakoak is a short story collection by the Basque writer Bernardo Atxaga . The title can be translated as “Individuals and things of Obaba”. The book won. Obabakoak is a shimmering, mercurial novel about life in Obaba, a remote, exotic Basque village. A schoolboy’s mining engineer father tricks him into growing. The British press in particular praised Atxaga, writing that Obabakoak was “an exciting intellectual event” (cf. Pavey) and a “brilliant novel, full of life” (cf.
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Byatt Obabakoak is a shimmering, mercurial collection about life in Obaba, a remote, exotic Basque village. A schoolboy’s miningengineer father tricks him into growing up, an unfortunate environmentalist rescues deceptively harmless lizards, and a rescue mission on a Swiss mountain-climbing expedition in Nepal turns into murder.
Obaba is peopled with innocents and intellectuals, shepherds and schoolchildren, while everyone from a lovelorn schoolmistress to a cultured but self-hating dwarf wanders across the page.
Hints of darker undercurrents mingle with moments of wry humor in this dazzling collage of stories, town gossip, diary excerpts, and literary theory, all held together by Bernardo Atxaga’s distinctive and tenderly ironic voice. An unforgettable work from an international literary giant, whom The Observer London listed among the top twenty-one writers of the twenty-first century. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
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Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a ohabakoak filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I’m quoting Graywolf Press: I hoped I had bought the spanish edition – so I am sorry to say: It was not obabakoam succes. Obabakoak is a collection of finely honed, humorous and ironic short stories. The stories are all set in Obaba, a somewhat magical imaginary region in the Basque country.
Obabakoak. Bernardo Atxaga
A magnificent work of universal scope. Written by Bernardo Atxaga, a contemporary author who writes in euskera, the language of the Basque country, Obabakoak is alternately called a novel and a short story collection. Too loose to fit the definition of a novel for most people, it still has some repeating characters, and the ending of the book depends on the reader’s careful notice of details among the stories at the beginning.
The integration of the beginning and the end make this a more connected group of offbeat stories than one usually sees. Set in Obaba in the Basque country, obabakosk book allows myth and magic to overlap with theological questions in a story about a poor, ignored, and lonely boy who may or may not have turned into a white boar, which attacks and kills the cruelest people in the village and terrifies the priest.
Animism adds pleasure to the life of an eleven-year-old girl living in the most remote corner of the village, as she walks with her grandfather, saying hello to the bat Gordon, her dog Toby, her horse Kent, and Frankie the chicken. In other stories, a nine-year-old boy meets a man who cannot stop talking and cannot function because his memories are so vivid, and then later meets an old friend in a psychiatric hospital who has had electroshock treatment and now has no memories at all.
A young boy is seduced by the village teacher, frustrated because she has not heard from her lover obabakoal home, wantonly destroying the boy’s life.
Angels appear and disappear, dreams and nightmares bernxrdo real, and characters becomes incarnations of the devil. Atxata religion seems to inform the lives of the characters, religion here is a cultural characteristic built from the stories the characters have shared from their own lives, and not a religion based on external doctrine. The deaths, and even murders, which are at the root of many of these stories are often attributed more to fate or superstition than to any sense of religious destiny, and as the stories of these deaths are repeated a village heritage and history are formed.
The second half of the book, “In Search of the Last Word,” consists of many very short stories, most of them traditional plots common to other parts of the world, and as Atxaga develops these stories, the characters also talk about writing and what stories tell bernzrdo the culture and the characters who tell and retell them. One section, entitled “How to Write a Story in Five Minutes,” a playful and teasing examination of the creative process, is hilarious, while another, “How to Plagiarize,” gets into bernaro ironies and humor of developing themes that have existed for generations.
The conclusion will leave the reader with a huge smile of recognition as old characters come back for wtxaga encore, not necessarily pleasant. Ultimately, “Life,” however, “is a journey full of difficulties in which Chance and Free Will intervene in equal measure, a journey, in which, despite those difficulties And the book is really fun!
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The international reception of Bernardo Atxaga’s works
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