The Cardboard House

Martin Adan, Author, Katherine Silver, Designed by Graywolf Press $20 (103p) ISBN 978-1-55597-129-8
``Most critics have given up looking for any thematic or narrative development'' in The Cardboard House , maintains Silver in her introduction. If readers alike are willing to do without any thread connecting the fragments of this prose poem-novel, they will probably enjoy the richness of Adan's imagery and the musicality of his language. Written between 1924 and 1927, when the Peruvian author was in his early 20s, and first published in 1928, the narrative's detailed descriptions of his native landscape and its people exhibit Adan's talent and foreshadow his success as an important Latin American poet, if not his skill as a novelist. Lyrical fragments--rarely more than three pages in length--contrast the city of Lima with the surrounding countryside; link the sea, the sky and the people; and catalogue the first loves of the narrator and his friend Ramon. Together the youths walk the streets of Lima by day, observe changes wrought by the influx of foreigners, love and lose girlfriends, and ponder the meaning of life with youthful hope and fear. this last sentence doesn't add anything new. I think we need a wrap-up, though.ws As a stream-of-consciousness diary of sensual and emotional experience, this is an interesting study of a poetic sensibility. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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FORMATS
Paperback - 126 pages - 978-0-8112-1959-4
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