Little Friend

Emilio Rojas, Author, Valdes Galindo, Illustrator Element Books $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-85230-281-8
A bestseller in Latin America, this series of meditative and inspirational reflections appears here in its first English translation. Many of the very brief pieces deal with the title character, a sort of Everyman who has mystical dreams and fathoms the meaning of life as he journeys to the Valley of Hope. Rojas's vision is of a fantastic world where all is journey: in seeking and in motion there is happiness; in immobility there is hell. His work self-consciously recalls Gibran's The Prophet and Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince . At their best his stories, like their models, are prose poems, to be embraced and caressed as much for the lyricism of their language as for their content. Much of the time, however, they merely parlay banal observations in a vapid, pseudo-profound style. Beauty becomes the highest ideal, as in the rather strange discussion of ``mutuality,'' couched as a conversation between a rose and a bush. Those attracted to the New Age movement, however, may well appreciate Rojas's concern for the spiritual. Galindo's 48 illustrations, at once erotic and demure, familiar and exotic, enhance the volume's appeal. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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