Nietzsche on His Balcony

Nietzsche on His Balcony

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By Carlos Fuentes

Translated By E. Shaskan Bumas and Alejandro Branger

ISBN: 9781628971583

Publication Date: 12/9/2016

On a hot, insomniac night at the Hotel Metropol, the novelist Carlos Fuentes steps onto his balcony only to find another man on the balcony next door. The other man asks for news of the social strife turning into revolution in the unnamed city below them. He reveals himself as the 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, permitted to revisit earth once a year for 24 hours based on his theory of eternal return. With tenderness and gallows humor, the novelist and the philosopher unflinchingly tell the story of the beginning of the revolution, its triumph, fanaticism, terror, and retrenchment: a story of love, friendship, family, commitment, passion, corruption, betrayal, violence, and hope.


"In the late Fuentes’s last novel [Nietzsche on His Balcony], the author reflects on love, justice, and power by engaging, through his character Dante Loredano, in an imaginary dialog with German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche." —Starred Review, Library Journal

"Mexico's greatest novelist." —The Guardian

"What strikes the reader first in Fuentes's work may be his erudition and intellectual rigor, but what remains in his mind is his sympathy." —Times Literary Supplement

"Carlos Fuentes in all his books draws tight a tense conjunction of opposites: the sensuously beautiful and the horrifyingly ugly, innocence and evil, past and present, the familiar and the strange, nature and culture." —New York Times

Biographical Information

Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012) was one of the most influential and celebrated voices in Latin American literature. He was the author of 24 novels, including Aura, The Death of Artemio Cruz, The Old Gringo and Terra Nostra, and also wrote numerous plays, short stories, and essays. He received the 1987 Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's highest literary honor. Fuentes was born in Panama City, the son of Mexican parents, and moved to Mexico as a teenager. He served as an ambassador to England and France, and taught at universities including Harvard, Princeton, Brown and Columbia.


E. Shaskan Bumas is a the author of the story collection The Prince of Tea in China, a finalist for PEN America West Fiction Book of the Year. He teaches at New Jersey City University.

Alejandro Branger is a writer and filmmaker. He lives in New York City. He is the co-translator of Carlos Fuentes's novellas Vlad (Dalkey Archive Press, 2012) and Adam in Eden (Dalkey Archive Press, 2013).