Mercedes HALFON

El trabajo de los ojos

The Work of the Eyes | Entropía, 2017

Translations

Chile / Lecturas Ediciones, 2019; Spain/ Las afueras, 2019

Press

«Everything in this marvelous book is an attack on the smugness of objective wisdoms. The writing zigzags in brief, agile fragments. The gaze becomes a metaphor for the other senses, a feeling-out, a richer form of knowledge.» Carlos Pardo, El País

«An intriguing, original and surprising novel, conceived in a very subjective way. To be read in one sitting and with pleasure.» Ascensión Rivas, ABC 

«The gaze explains the success of this brief and curious auto- biographical treatise, a throbbing tapestry. The author is giving a master class here: this small visual aside allows us to glimpse  a new life.» Juan Marqués, El Mundo

«If you had to recall just one thing, it would be the persistence of its tone, at once elegant and incisive.» Mauro Libertella

«An impossible, extraordinary tale. The frontiers of literature are enriched and a new, individual world presented in this unsettling book.» Paula Pérez Alonso, Página 12

«An essay of careful delicacy, a text at once tale and metaphor, in which Halfon looks at the specificities of observation to find, at moments, in discontinuous affinities, time within time.» Ezequiel Alemian

«Between the registers of memory and the borrowings of fiction, Mercedes’s prose is eternally surprising with its surprising reflections and the moving weight of its anecdotes.» Malena Rey

“This debut work by the young Argentine writer Mercedes Halfon is as beautiful as it is delicate. A text that moves around autobiography with elegance and intelligence. At times, it feels like a family novel, but it’s also the story of a woman who sees the world from a unique place.” Diego Zúñiga, Culto-La Tercera de Chile

 

Synopsis

El trabajo de los ojos is a fragmentary book about the gaze, beautiful and unclassifiable. In an elegant, spare style, Mercedes Halfon describes how her vision problems created a certain way of approaching the world and in this way conditioned her writing.

In short scenes of distinct character––all of them deeply revealing––the author examines her own gaze, like an ophthalmologist of consciousness, in a delicate ocular autobiography. Her visits to the eye doctor intermingle with her childhood memories, family stories, viewed against the omnipresence of the eye and vision in world culture. A hauntingly beautiful text that pulls away from establishes genres and can be read as memoir, autofiction, or literary essay.

*Working in conjunction with Entropía Editorial