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Moths of Ill Omen

Malcolm Deas, 30 October 1997

News of a Kidnapping 
by Gabriel García Márquez, translated by Edith Grossman.
Cape, 291 pp., £16.99, July 1997, 0 224 05002 8
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Chapolas Negras 
by Fernando Vallejo.
Alfaguara, 262 pp., £15, March 1996, 958 24 0283 0
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José Asunción Silva: Obra Completa 
edited by Hector Orjuela.
Unesco/Casa de la Poesía Silva, 747 pp., £40, April 1996, 84 89666 06 7
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... is the country’s most famous lyric poet. By Vallejo’s reckoning, ten of his poems – Hector Orjuela’s monumental edition, reprinted for the centenary, is the most complete – can be guaranteed to produce the Housman reflex repeatedly, even in the most jaded sensibility. Silva is also Colombia’s most notorious literary legend: a dandy ...

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