SCARY STORY by Alberto Chimal translated by D.P. Snyder
A5, 100 pages, black and white printing, perfect bound, softcover, 2023
SCARY STORY brings one of Mexico’s most exciting literary figures to Anglophone literature for the first time! Shedding light on the brutal violence that continues to target the underprivileged, marginalized, neglected, and oppressed in Mexico and beyond. In the author’s word, SCARY STORY is ‘a hybrid text, equal parts horror story and political poem, and it takes the form of a countdown, imperceptible to everyone in the universe of the story itself.’
The recipient of the Premio Nacional del Cuento award from Mexico, Alberto Chimal is one of the most prolific contemporary Mexican writers, celebrated for his innovative narrative and his experimentations with style and form. Chimal is often considered a major figure in digital literature, producing works in hybrid formats for the internet.
Scary Story is translated from Spanish by the award winning D.P. Snyder and contains two major sections, both emerging from the digital landscape which have been later adapted for print. The photographs in the book, taken by the author’s phone and intentionally low res, are a part of his online storytelling experiment and follow a dark comic strip structure.
Glimpses of the contemporary world are rendered into their own blunt confrontations with a heart-wrenching mythos that contains many apocalyptic narratives, yet is so frighteningly close to the incessant tragedies that dominate the actual netscape the writer initially appeared upon. SCARY STORY is therefore informed by the medium under which it was conceived, its aesthetics, born of a twitter we no longer recognize. SCARY STORY is a mythology of the online zeitgeist and therefore an important document of its timeline.
As distinguished Mexican writer Cristina Rivera Garza elaborates, Chimal has been “building a literary world of his own”, and one that she claims showcases his “awareness of contemporary violence and his critical embracing of digital technologies”