Aurora's Motive

Erich Hackl, Author Alfred A. Knopf $15.95 (115p) ISBN 978-0-394-57328-1
``One day Aurora Rodriguez was compelled to kill her daughter,'' begins this quietly horrifying novel based on the true story of a 1931 Spanish murder. Aurora Rodriguez was a radical product of bourgeois Spanish society who projected her political ideologies onto the daughter she conceived by pre-arrangement with a renegade priest. Hildegart, born in Madrid in 1914, was created in her mother's image and raised according to avant-garde theories. By age 14 she was a prodigy studying law at Madrid University. She appeared to be living out her mother's aspirations as she campaigned for the Spanish Republic, sexual freedom and socialist causes. But at age 17, she began a passionate affair with H. G. Wells. Torn between lust and her political destiny, Hildegart turned to her mother in desperation. ``She, Aurora, had created Hildegart; it was up to her now to sacrifice her work that had failed.'' And so, like Dr. Frankenstein, Aurora does. Hackl, an Austrian journalist and critic, has brought this strange story to a kind of half-life. The deadpan languageperhaps exaggerated in translationpresents a two-dimensional dramatic narrative. Distanced as we are from the characters, there is no frisson of In Cold Blood reality to this fictional accounting. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-679-72435-3
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