Estañol, Bruno. Euler's Conjecture=La Conjetura de Euler. Translated by Dr. Eduardo Jiménez Mayo. ISBN: 978-1480093898 $24.95

This is a publication of Floricanto Press. In the spring of 2009, New York University's journal of creative writing, Washington Square Review, published a selection from Euler's Conjecture to much critical acclaim, featuring it at the issue's launching party. This novel constitutes an apocryphal diary of the French Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot, tracing his reflections from the time of his imprisonment at Vincennes to his legendary confrontation with the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler at the court of Catherine the Great. Devotees of historical fiction will not find satisfaction in these pages. Instead, a furiously strange mind, prone to fits of merciless humor and anachronistic embellishments, has constructed a delightful maze for his readers around the problem of humanity's simultaneous fear of and attraction toward the problem of the infinite. Human beings may be blind when it comes to life's ultimate questions, yet Bruno Estañol hints that the greatest legacy of the Enlightenment resides in how its most ingenious figures managed to accustom their eyes to the dark.

Bruno Estañol has received two national prizes for literature in Mexico, having authored numerous strange and tragicomic novels and short story collections, among them Fata Morgana and Passiflora Incarnata. A congenital writer of fiction, he also holds degrees in medicine and neuroscience from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and Johns Hopkins Medical School, which explains his parallel dedication to scientific research.

Bruno Estañol (Frontera, 1945) was trained in medicine and neurology at the National University of Mexico and at Johns Hopkins Medical School. He began publishing fiction in 1989 and has consistently received enthusiastic reviews in some of Mexico City’s finest newspapers, including La Jornada and La Crónica de Hoy. Estañol is the recipient of the José Fuentes Mares National Prize for Literature and the San Luis Potosí National Prize for Short Stories. The State of Tabasco recently awarded him The Silver Juchimán, its highest honor for outstanding accomplishments in literature and the arts. Any responsible critical assessment of Mexican literary production at the turn of the last century and the dawn of the new millennium will necessarily hold a high place for Bruno Estañol, whose rare blend of authentic regionalism and cultivated universality set him apart from the crowd.

 

  

Eduardo Jiménez (Boston, 1976) is a graduate of Harvard College, and holds a doctorate in Spanish philology from St. Paul University in Madrid. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Modern Languages and Interdisciplinary Studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

 


 

Bruno Estañol. Bruno Estañol: The Collected Fiction. Translation from the Spanish and preface by Eduardo Jiménez. ISBN 978-0-915745-84-5. $25.95.

The narratives collected in this volume are mainly set in the State of Tabasco, during the turbulent time period running from the Mexican Revolution to the late 1950’s. In one sense we’re dealing with a dreamy, genteel, picturesque — though somewhat atavistic — world, in which the paddlewheel steamboat remains the preferred means of long-distance transportation, in which the townswomen wear ruffled organdy or tulle dresses while daintily promenading, parasols in hand, around the town square; where couples, young and old, dance on Sunday afternoons to the elegant melodies of pasodobles, danzones, tangos or boleros; and where the finest merchandise, ranging from the mundane to the exotic, arrives daily to the various commercial ports along the Tabascan coast, having been shipped there from the metropolises of New Orleans and Havana.