Scarecrow & Other Anomalies  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Scarecrow & Other Anomalies, by Argentine poet Oliverio Girondo, is a Spanish language collection of short prose poems first published in 1932. Its first English translation was published by Xenos Books in 2002, translated from the Spanish by Gilbert Alter-Gilbert. The cover image to this edition is by Alfredo Castañeda, "Cuando el espejo sueña con otra imagen" (1988). Scarecrow inspired the feature film The Dark Side of the Heart (1994), directed by Eliseo Subiela.

From the Anti-Preface of Karl Kvitko:

"The crazy thing is so spectacularly original that even though alerted by my advance notice you are still going to be more surprised by Scarecrow than by anything else you have ever read in your life, even if you are ninety-five and have spent every free moment fiendishly consuming all of the most fantastic symbolist, futurist, cubist, surrealist, expressionist, anarchist, dadaist, existentialist, creationist, ultraist, vanguardist, magical realist, modernist, postmodernist and every other -ist compositions that you could lay your hands on, plus the farthest-out non-ist compositions as well, including Lucian's True Story, Rabelais' Adventures of Gargantua and Pantagruel and Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Bobok. There is no way that you can prepare for the experience of coming face to face with Girondo's scarecrow."

Synopsis

A bilingual edition of outrageous and hilarious fantasmagorías by an Argentine genius (or madman), including "Invitation to Vomit," "It's All Drool" and "Lunarlude." First appearance in English.

Summary

The first appearance in English of one of the most fantastic writers of Latin America, who used humor to challenge the cultural and social status quo.

After writing the indescribable collection of short pieces called Espanatapájaros (Scarecrow) in 1932, Oliverio Girondo rented a landau coach from a mortuary and hired liveried footmen and coachmen to attend the vehicle. In place of the floral wreathes he stacked copies of the book, printed with his own money and, in one seat, propped up a huge scarecrow he had made out of papier-mâché, with a top hat, button eyes and painted white gloves.

Then Girondo got in and, drawn by six horses, paraded through the streets of Buenos Aires announcing publication of Espanatapájaros through a megaphone, handing out copies and directing the bewildered public to a shop on La Calle Florida. There, on the sidewalk, a bevy of pretty girls, selected by the author, hawked the book, its cover bearing a likeness of the same well-heeled scarecrow. By such means the edition of 5,000 copies sold out in fifteen days. The dummy scarecrow retired to the vestibule of Girondo's estate on Calle Suipacha, where it greeted unsuspecting visitors forever after. It was donated to the city museum after Girondo's death in 1976.

Editions





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Scarecrow & Other Anomalies" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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