Eduardo Berti, born in 1964 in Buenos Aires, alongside his writing also works as a music journalist and script writer for documentary films. His literary career began in 1994 with the story volume ´Los pájaros´ for which he received the critic’s prize of the Argentinean ´Revista Cultural´.
Today, Eduardo Berti lives in Paris where, amongst other things, he also works as correspondent for the ´3 puntos´ magazine. His first novel ´Agua´, which came out 1997 with ´Tusquets´, helped him to go beyond the borders of Argentina and receive wider recognition from readers and critics. Shortly later the novel was translated into Italian and French and made Berti accessible, for the first time, to a non-Spanish speaking public.
The book tells the story of a technician, Luis Agua, who upon the job of an electricity company in Portugal in the 1920s, tries to convince the rural population of the blessings of electric light. This doesn’t quite succeed in the little village of Vila Natal. Luis quickly realizes that the villagers share a secret with the widowed lady of the nearby castle in which a valuable bracelet plays an important part. Only gradually does Luis manage to bring light into the village darkness and into the schemes of the villagers. An intrigue with kafkaesque dimensions has begun.
Berti shows here, alongside an extraordinary feel for tragic-comic characters and situations, an in-depth knowledge of modern literature which also influences the tone of his second novel, ´La Mujer de Wakefield´. This also came out with Tusquets in 1999 and was shortly later translated into French and Japanese and, in 2001, reached the finale of the Prix Fémina Etranger. As the title already suggests, Berti takes Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ´Wakefield´ as starting point for his story. Berti, as opposed to the American writer, focuses on the fate of the woman and not on the husband who disappears one day and it is shortly later revealed that he leads a secret double life only a few streets away. ´La Mujer de Wakefield´ is more than just a new version of an old story. "I resist those ways of reading, which see in the new version of ´Wakefield´ simply a post-modern gesturing. The self-reflecting novel exists already since ´Don Quijote´."
Recently Eduardo Berti’s short stories ´Bernabé Lofeudo´ were published in an anthology of the erotic series ´La Sonrisa Vertical´ and ´Esquirlas des Atamisky´ in the collection ´Hazañas bélicas´.
Author: International Festival of Literature Berlin (ilb)
La vida imposible
Ernecé Editores: Buenos Aires
Beas: Buenos Aires