El Guante

Antonio Larreta, Author
Antonio Larreta, Author Planeta $25.95 (233p) ISBN 978-84-08-04249-5
Reviewed on: 04/01/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
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Uruguayan actor, playwright, and director Larreta received the prestigious Premio Planeta in 1980 for Volav runt (The Last Portrait of the Duchess of Alba, Planeta, 1999), a novel-turned-film about the enigmatic relationship between 18th-century Spanish artist Francisco de Goya and the Duchess of Alba. In this second novel he also uses historic events to weave a fictional story, this time about the disappearance and death of the sons of 19th-century Uruguayan painter Juan Manuel Blanes. The novel is preceded by four sections of ""Advertencias,"" or warnings to readers, that describe the historical facts behind the story and the different interpretations that have been made about the events. Set in Montevideo and Venice, the novel unfolds through a series of flashbacks as Blanes wonders about his younger son's disappearance and the older's tragic death. At the center of the story is Blanes's model and ex-lover, Carlota Ferreira, and her influence on the three men. This engaging and well-written novel conveys convincing historical detail and atmosphere. Giving depth to the story, Larreta moves beyond the purely historical and right into the characters' motivations. Besides the occasional phrases in French and Italian, this is a readable novel. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries and bookstores. Lynn M. Shirey, Harvard Coll. Lib., Cambridge, MA
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