A Journey

Sergio Chejfec

Translated by Margaret Carson

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Baroni is a real person. Baroni is a fictional character. This novel demonstrates that the two statements are not contradictory. The real person is Rafaela Baroni, a renowned popular artist who lives in a small town in the Andean foothills of Venezuela. There she devotes herself to carving wooden figures, almost always religious, to curing the sick, to predicting misfortunes, to dying. Baroni dies and returns to life: twice a year she performs her own death. The fictional character is a vague and multifaceted being who is transfigured into memory, landscape, and communal experiences.

Baroni, a Journey is the evolution of an ever-changing gaze, which goes from the main character to the country she inhabits, from the unknowns of popular religion to the no less mysterious conditions for artistic creation. As in all of Sergio Chejfec’s books, in Baroni, a Journey the representation of thought occupies a central place in the writing. And once more, his doubts and digressions, together with the marginal beings he chooses to display, are the hallmark of a very personal style.

Margaret Carson

Margaret Carson has translated Sergio Chejfec's My Two Worlds. She teaches at the City University of New York.

Sergio Chejfec

Sergio Chejfec is the author of eighteen books of fiction, poetry, and essays. Born in Argentina, he lived in Venezuela from 1990 to 2005 and since then has resided in New York City, where he is Distinguished Writer in Residence at the New York University. He has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and from the John Simon Foundation. Chejfec's text-based installation Dissemination of a Novel was featured at the 2016 Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India. His novels My Two Worlds, The Dark and The Planets have been published in English translation.