‘Sunstroke’ by Horacio Quiroga, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden and George D. Schade

Why oh why has Werner Herzog not made a film about Horacio Quiroga yet? The themes of his stories demand it: madness, the jungle, nature, civilization, barbarity, snakebites, parasites growing fat on the blood of young brides, indifferent animals watching humans die, ranting and raving, in the brutal afternoon sun. And let’s not get started on Quiroga’s lifestory, which involves his father’s accidental death via shotgun, three marriages, accidentally killing his best friend, an obsession with girls decades years younger than him, a close friendship with poet and future fascist Leopoldo Lugones, his wife’s suicide (poison), and his own (poison again). You might say he puts the Poe in the Poe-esque. I think my favorite story of his is ‘Sunstroke’, narrated from the point of view of a pack of dogs.

In The Decapitated Chicken and Other Stories, University of Texas Press, 2013

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