Books: Dyed Dogs

THE SEVEN MADMEN by Roberto Arlt; translated by Naomi

Lindstrom; Godine; 272 pages; $14.95

It has taken a while for this novel to find its way into English. The Seven Madmen was first published in Argentina in 1929. Its author, Roberto Arlt (1900-42), was a disheveled Buenos Aires journalist who defiantly disregarded the rules of Spanish grammar and the finer sensibilities of critics. They in turn hooted at his work, which included four novels, two collections of stories and eight plays. The author once mordantly mimicked the typical response of his detractors: "Mr. Roberto Arlt keeps on in the same old rut: realism...

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