Landscapes After the Battle

Juan Goytisolo, Author, Helen Lane, Translator Seaver Books $17.95 (159p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0393-2
This engaging, gritty satire by Goytisolo, an outstanding Spanish novelist who left during Franco's regime, offers a skewed tour of the tough new Paris street life radiating outward from the neighborhood of the Sentier metro. In 78 rapid-fire vignettes, the hero as ""monster'' in trench coat and felt hat sets out from his studio on the Rue Poissonniere to indulge in his ``maniacal, obsessive, almost canine nosing about.'' He prowls for little girls. He studies the subway and the movie-house, caves where weird fantasies are played out. He favors pop culture: the waxwork museums over the Louvre and the graffiti that reveal the city's foreign influx. The Sentier quarter is a microcosm of Paris, with its milling, dark-skinned populace of Arabs, Turks and Africans, subject to grueling poverty and police harassment. Around the city hovers the xenophobic spirit of ``the commandos of Charles Martel,'' who centuries ago drove back the Saracen hordes. Everywhere, scraps of history and the classics are snipped and glued into Goytisolo's fresh, absurdist text. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
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