I am a lecturer in Spanish at Wilson College and a scholar of contemporary Latin American literature. I recently completed a Ph.D. at Temple University, with a dissertation focusing on Irish themes and affinities in contemporary Spanish American narrative. My broader interests include immigrant narratives, transnational identity and translation. I am currently serving as the Vice-President of the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies.
This article explores Roberto Ferro’s novel El otro Joyce (2011), a work of translational literature that straddles two languages and two literary traditions. Its protagonist, Jorge Cáceres, runs a small business researching patents, missing books, and missing persons. The novel’s plot follows him as he works to solve two mysteries: one related to the search for a first edition of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, annotated by Jorge Luis Borges, and the second related to the suspicious death of Marcos Almeida, a prominent financier. Much like Finnegans Wake, El otro Joyce is a highly self-conscious narrative teeming with digressions and literary allusions. Cáceres’s work is constantly hindered and confused by the appearance of doubles, a theme that relates to the act of translation and also to betrayal, present throughout the novel. Part detective narrative and part historical metafiction, Ferro’s novel is a reflection on the continuing role of Joyce in the Argentine literary tradition—a tradition inseparable from the act of translation.