Funeral Music for Freemasons

Lars Gustafsson, Author, Yvonne L. Sandstroem, Translator New Directions Publishing Corporation $19.95 (151p) ISBN 978-0-8112-1017-1
This novel opens with the arrest of Jan Bohman, an expatriate Swedish poet turned tourist guide living in Senegal. In prison he ruminates on his past, reviewing early literary successes at home, friendships and loves, particularly a triangle between himself, the young opera singer Ann-Marie and the physicist Hasse. He remembers how the bonds connecting the three unraveled, and through these characters the novel seems to comment on aging: young people of the hopeful, innocent '50s fall into a mediocre, dispirited if benign middle age. Unfortunately the narrative structure is confused and incoherentshifting from one character to another and jumping backward and forward in timewhich keeps the reader at arm's length. The confusion is exacerbated by the murky prose (""For time is mostly for those who are still hoping''), stylistic poverty and sloppy syntax (``the river, with a smell suddenly gray . . . desires hardly anything''), which may not do justice to the original Swedish. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-8112-1018-8
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