Mexico Trilogy: The Ethiopian Exhibition, Maya, and the Queen of Las Vegas

D. N. Stuefloten, Author, D. N. Steufloten, Author
D. N. Stuefloten, Author, D. N. Steufloten, Author F2c $12.95 (298p) ISBN 978-1-57366-019-8
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It would be a mistake to surmise that Stuefloten's Mexico Trilogy is actually about Mexico in any way. Instead the works are bound together in one volume because the author found the inspiration to write them while living in Mexico. Of the three short novels here, both Maya and The Ethiopian Exhibition were previously and separately published by FC2. Given the weakness of the third piece, The Queen of Las Vegas, it makes sense to prop it up. Maya is by far most coherent of the three, but The Ethiopian Exhibition also merits notice because of its careful use of symmetry and elaboration to illustrate an oddly poetic, however pedantic, point. Nevertheless, The Mexico Trilogy reads like a hallucinatory exercise in unnerving and displacing the reader. Recurring characters and metaphors describe bucolic, fecund societies which have been corrupted and virtually destroyed by Western commercialism and imperialism. Despite the apparent influence of the French New Novel and Stuefloten's self-conscious and meta-approach toward writing, the trilogy falls short of evoking the uneasiness we are supposed to feel. Instead, the end result is nothing but prosaic passages infused with bitter melancholia. (Sept.)
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