Alejandro Chacoff

All articles by this author

Ways of Staying Home

Ways of Staying Home

At its best, Facsímil has the air of something written quickly and playfully in the heat of a second try.

Facsímil reveals—more clearly than Alejandro Zambra’s earlier work—that the self-conscious writer of metafiction needn’t shy away from history and the polity. The inward and the outward gazes can coexist.

The Feel of Bespoke Suits

The Feel of Bespoke Suits

On the crisis in Brazil

A left-wing President presides over a corrupt party, and though she has never been indicted for wrongdoing, she is put on trial by a Congressional impeachment commission strewn with crooks. The government, in a move that will stand as a historic electoral betrayal, tries to impose orthodox austerity measures after running a presidential campaign based on leftist ideals. Senators prepare to impeach a President based on budgetary maneuvers that, not so long ago, many of them approved. One feels we didn’t need to be here, living out this farce.

Falling Men

Falling Men

Moral panic on the pitch

Had we been in the schoolyard, we would have been a little dismayed but perhaps a little delighted. Because if there ever were such a thing as a perfect dive, it would have been precisely this. The propulsion of the fall correctly measured, the context agreeably neutral, the falling not too campy — a fall so perfect that a person writing a quarter of a century later, with the ability to loop the play over and over again on a computer screen, would still, in the end, have difficulty saying what really happened.

No Revanchismo

No Revanchismo

On the Brazilian dictatorship

B’s utilitarian assumption was just a version of what we’d all learn later — either in “cost-benefit” analyses (that charged euphemism) in economics and public-policy classes, or else in nonsensical “moral compass” tests in job interviews. B intuited a principle that underlies so many political decisions, from drone strikes to the building of World Cup stadiums. His stupidity was to say it out loud.

Ways of Staying Home

Ways of Staying Home

At its best, Facsímil has the air of something written quickly and playfully in the heat of a second try.

Facsímil reveals—more clearly than Alejandro Zambra’s earlier work—that the self-conscious writer of metafiction needn’t shy away from history and the polity. The inward and the outward gazes can coexist.

The Feel of Bespoke Suits

The Feel of Bespoke Suits

On the crisis in Brazil

A left-wing President presides over a corrupt party, and though she has never been indicted for wrongdoing, she is put on trial by a Congressional impeachment commission strewn with crooks. The government, in a move that will stand as a historic electoral betrayal, tries to impose orthodox austerity measures after running a presidential campaign based on leftist ideals. Senators prepare to impeach a President based on budgetary maneuvers that, not so long ago, many of them approved. One feels we didn’t need to be here, living out this farce.

Falling Men

Falling Men

Moral panic on the pitch

Had we been in the schoolyard, we would have been a little dismayed but perhaps a little delighted. Because if there ever were such a thing as a perfect dive, it would have been precisely this. The propulsion of the fall correctly measured, the context agreeably neutral, the falling not too campy — a fall so perfect that a person writing a quarter of a century later, with the ability to loop the play over and over again on a computer screen, would still, in the end, have difficulty saying what really happened.

No Revanchismo

No Revanchismo

On the Brazilian dictatorship

B’s utilitarian assumption was just a version of what we’d all learn later — either in “cost-benefit” analyses (that charged euphemism) in economics and public-policy classes, or else in nonsensical “moral compass” tests in job interviews. B intuited a principle that underlies so many political decisions, from drone strikes to the building of World Cup stadiums. His stupidity was to say it out loud.