I've taught this course just once, in the Spring term of 2005. Felisberto was a Uruguayan pianist and author who lived from 1902 to 1964. Though he was never famous in his lifetime and hasn't really received a whole lot of attention since his death, he's been cited as influential by such authors as Julio Cortazar and has a small, but fascinated, almost cult following among certain readers, critics, and scholars. What fascinates me in Felisberto's prose is the very peculiar way he has of treating subjects and objects, mixing them up so that objects appear animated and subjects appear almost flat or, at least, impersonal. What emerges as a result is a shifting and fluid world in which impersonal forces seem to self-activate and to interact via elements such as character, setting, object that we are accustomed to thinking of as the central motors of action in fiction. When you read enough of Felisberto at one time, if you take a whole lot of him, your own world starts to soften in strange and sometimes pleasing ways. He's one of five authors (along with Jorge Luis Borges, Horacio Quiroga, Roberto Arlt, and Macedonio Fernandez) that form the core of the writing that I'm currently studying in classes I'm teaching now and in a book manuscript I'm working on.
(As soon as I can, I'll turning the titles below into links that will let you see what we did with these stories in the class. In the meantime, if you're curious you can always e-mail me)
Week I Discussion of "La cara de Ana," "Historia de un cigarillo" and "El vestido blanco"
Week II "El caballo perdido"
Week III: "El balcón"
Week IV "Menos Julia"
Week V "El acomodador"
Week VI "Las dos historias"
Week VII "Muebles 'El canario'"
Week VIII "La mujer parecida a mi"
Week IX "El cocodrilo"
Week X "Las Hortensias"
Week XI "Lucrecia," "Ursula," and "Mur"
Week XII "La casa inundada"
Week XIII "Diario del sinverguenza"