Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 18.21.38

            ALMA, Javier Moreno. Translated from Spanish by Peter Kahn                                                                                           

This is not a book. As the title suggests, this is a soul: an Alma. But a soul, make no mistake about it, is not something from another world. It is a conglomeration of images and words, reproductive data made available to anyone for the satisfaction of the democratic and mephistophelian instinct (who has never desired the soul of another?) This novel speaks to what we are – or are not- prepared to share. Maybe we don’t know yet what intimacy is, maybe it is the negative of our own image. It is also possible that the only intimacy left to us is that of words.

“Kubrick, Malkovich, Einstein and everything else. A piece of quantum prose.” Don DeLillo

“The only possible points of comparison for Javier Moreno’s Alma, a book made of sentences, dealing with the materiality of the living, and obsessed with sorting, would be those texts that are most luminous and uncanny. Alma, unlike anything else I have read, brings together certain amazing qualities of Craig Dworkin’s “Legion” (which consists entirely of statements from a psychiatric diagnostic instrument), of the more radical of David Markson’s novels, and of the quietly fevered voices from the writing of Roberto Bolaño. Is it a soul? A novel? Interesting questions – but in any case, Alma is a configuration of words that demands to be sorted through, one that is compellingly unhinged, open and shut” Nick Montfort

“A whole book of poems or an entire novel could be written out of every three sentences from this book, a sequence of sharp, strictly poetic and intelligent concatenations, neither pretentious nor forced.” Agustín Fernández Mallo

Alma is an exploration, from a space of creation, of the limits imposed on the concept of identity by the new conditions of identity (and the experience of such identity), inaugurated by the turn of the century.” Jara Calles


Javier MorenoJAVIER MORENO is a Spanish writer, poet, mathematician and literary critic. He is the author of the novels Buscando Batería, La Hermogeníada, Click (Recipient of the FNAC New Talent Award 2008), Alma (Finalist Premio Mandarache 2014),  2020, and Acontecimiento. He also wrote the collection of short stories Atractores Extraños and the books of poems Cortes Publicitarios (Miguel Hernández Award, 2008), Acabado en diamante (International Prize La Garúa, 2009) and Cadenas de Búsqueda. Moreno writes criticism for the literary journals Revista de Letras and Revista Buensalvaje. 

Booktrailer by Jesús Olmo

Review by Michelle Murray,Vanderbilt University