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Good Times

04.21.2012

A good time to read Autumn of the Patriarch, what with many of our current ones reaching their own dilatory autumns, particularly in the Middle-East, particularly those who came into their twenties and thirties of power during the mutually terrified fifties and sixties and are now, finally, weak enough and senile enough to throw out with the rest of that generational garbage. (This is probably more of an easy relief to those of us who do not have to worry so immediately about what will take their place: you don’t dare and never will dare kill me because you know that afterward you will have to kill each other.)

More directly, some wonderful lines from a book full of them—prose-poetic and laced with the most uniquely utilized adjectives I have ever had the pleasure to read. Like Cortazar and Kerouac, GGM again shows you the type of novel that can be written as a cloud as opposed to a river—an all-encompassing, suffused state, through which you as reader swim your way, catching the glints of condensation that demarcate plot and characters and the other trivialities of the physical world.

These, for which we again have the demigod Gregory Rabassa to thank—if ever you choose to read a translator’s, instead of an author’s, oeuvre, start with his—describe the lustful sexual throws (particularly sex without love, which is primarily, as life without the ability to love, the solitary lust for power) of our autumnal patriarch:

…he slipped, he fell into the illusory vertigo of a precipice cut by livid stripes of evasion and outpourings of sweat and the sighs of a wild woman and deceitful threats of oblivion…his terror of existing through the flash and the silent thunder of the instantaneous explosion of the deep spark, but at the bottom of the precipice there was the shitted slime again, the hens’ insomniac sleep…

Good times.

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