Friday, August 31, 2012

Julio Ramón Ribeyro, 31 August 1929

Julio Ramón Ribeyro would have turned 83 today. Nearly twenty years after his death, however, his work is no better known in the English-speaking world than it was when he died (Ribeyro's books are constantly being re-issued in his native Peru, a collection of his essays is being republished in Chile, and publishers in both Brazil and Portugal have recently brought out solid collections of translations of his stories; it is the United States and Britain that, as always, are lagging badly).

For Peruvians, Ribeyro is a beloved figure; other than the obvious (his work is superb), it's hard to say exactly why, but one reason, perhaps, was his modesty: he was seemingly unaware of his own greatness.