A nameless narrator and his friend Alberto move through a constantly morphing continuum of dream-like situations while discussing philosophy, literature, and war. The impossible question of an enormous student in a lecture hall at an English university sets off a series of alternate paths that open before them like a fan. In taverns, boats, and plazas, the two protagonists discuss John Donne, Lawrence of Arabia, and Lenin with English students, a group of young and old women, and eight hundred drinkers, all the while being dropped from one strange place into the next. A remarkable work of refined surreal comedy.
“If the book overflows with talent, if for moments it borders on genius . . . it’s because What To Do . . . is the great contemporary novel on the expansion of meaning, its amplification, its mutation.” (Damián Tabarovsky)
Pablo Katchadjian was born in Buenos Aires in 1977. He is the author of three novels―What To Do, Thanks, and Total Freedom―and a wide array of short stories, poems, and essays. His artistic collaborations include an operatic adaptation of his work alongside the composer Lucas Fagin.
Priscilla Posada is a literary translator from Spanish into English. She is currently working on a translation of Pablo Katchadjian’s novel Thanks.