7 November 16 | Kaija Straumanis

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Vincent Francone on The Subsidiary by Matías Celedón, published by Melville House.

Here’s the beginning of Vince’s review:

The Subsidiary could have easily become a book where the form is more impressive than the content. The author, Matías Celedón, composed the book using a set of office stamps purchased at a library sale in Santiago, Chile. The stamps allow for moveable type, though restrict the author to only a few lines of text per page. The book, beautifully published by Melville House, reproduces the hand-stamped pages, lending the novella a sort of authenticity, as if the pages are directly taken from an office. And the story Celedón creates is of a nightmare, albeit a fragmentary one, that asks the reader to fill in the blanks. The nightmare is one of senseless oppression married to bureaucracy, which readers may easily see as commentary on Chile’s time under the rule of Pinochet. But these formal concerns—the stamps, the political commentary—do not detract from the effect of the words on paper. The pages are simple and clean, but they communicate a very believable terror.


For the rest of the review, go here.


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