The medieval Spanish state and the New World in the early years of its discovery by Europeans are the backdrops for a revisionist historical farce that will be best appreciated by those already familiar with the personalities and events of the period. The disjointed narrative renders with Rabelaisian gusto (and, frequently, crudity) several settings: Aztec and Inca societies; the passionate, cruel court of Isabella and Ferdinand; the lonely wanderings of Christopher Columbus as he moves toward his fateful mission of finding Earthly Paradise. Posse, a former member of the Argentinian diplomatic corps whose previous novels have been published in Latin America, employs the fashionable technique of viewing history through a decidedly 20th-century lens (a character's body is described as ``Picassoesque'') to offer some provocative insights into these icons of Spanish history, but the overheated machismo permeating the novel may annoy some. Nevertheless, this is a worthwhile addition to the bookshelves of Latin American literature aficionados. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990 Release date: 01/01/1990 Genre: Fiction
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