Cartas a la princesa

Cartas a la princesa

Editing and Foreword, Ignacio Echeverría - Penguin Random House, 2023
336 pages

Previously unpublished book by the great Rio de la Plata writer. Letters that he wrote between 1987 and 1989 to his last wife which reveal a large extent of his literary and personal universe.

“Princesa, esto no es una carta para vos (¿qué te puedo decir que ya no te haya dicho, de bueno y de malo?), sino que, como otras veces, utilizo tu imagen de interlocutor privilegiado para desarrollar mi monólogo de búsqueda, buscando precisamente que tu imagen me ayude a no salirme demasiado de la razón”.

Between 1987 and 1989, while Mario Levrero was living in Buenos Aires, he worked in crossword puzzle magazines to earn enough money to buy what he longed for most: time for writing. There he began a romance with Alicia Hoppe, who had been the wife of an old friend and, later, his personal physician, and who accompanied him for years in his psychosomatic problems. At the time, she lived in Colonia (Uruguay) and these letters are a testimony of the development of that adult love, as well as a literary record of the obsessions, fears and illusions of a singular writer, with an extraordinary power of observation and analysis.

This previously unpublished book exists thanks to the careful editing of Ignacio Echeverría and the generosity of Alicia, who, as in those years, once again awakened the writer’s straggling soul, which was sometimes lost in its own labyrinths.

Cartas a la princesa is the display of a singular mind (let’s not forget that his occupation involved crossword puzzles and games of wit), a mental theater that rotates scenarios: oniric, fantastical, neurotic and superstitious. As always, Levrero gets interesting as the text goes along; his is an involving technique that bets on the long run. Matías Serra Bradford, Revista Ñ

The writer’s insight is so visceral that it disrupts whatever privacy the letters may have: the reader, whoever he or she may be, becomes the captive princess of these texts. Javier Mattio, La voz