More on Chejfec

by craigepplin

I have a review of My Two Worlds up at The Coffin Factory‘s O-Bits blog. Here are the first two paragraphs:

Wordsworth wrote poems while walking.  Coleridge too. Poe and Baudelaire canonized the stroll as the archetypical urban experience. Guy Debord invented the concept of the dérive, an aimless meandering through the city, and for Michel de Certeau to walk was to push back against the abstractions of maps. Rebecca Solnit wrote a whole book (Wanderlust) about the peripatetic life. Modern literature, clearly, is full of walkers.
Add to this abbreviated lineage the name Sergio Chejfec, whose novel My Two Worlds was recently published by Open Letter. In it, a man walks and thinks and not much else. As a walker, he is hesitant, mostly about his place in the unnamed and unfamiliar city in southern Brazil where he finds himself; as a thinker, he is unhindered, his thoughts pouring forth like sand through an hourglass, both dry and fluid at the same time. The connection between walking and thinking has a long history, stretching at least back to ancient Greece. Here that relationship is not harmonious or even dialectical. It seems rather akin to that of an image and its distortion, the one a poor reflection of the other.