Exiled from almost everywhere by Juan Goytisolo
Translator -Peter bush
This is the latest work of Goytisolo to be translated and published earlier this year by Dalkey archive .The book is subtitled The posthumous life of the monster of Le sentier .As with the other Goytisolo books I read it is different in style than they where ,this book is set in a dream /nightmare after life set in the cyber world ,we meet a man blown up by a extreme bomber and some how ends up as a ghost in the machines as the book progress the book is told in a series of short vignettes with recurring characters .The characters he meets are mainly religious a Iman ,a pedophile Monsignor a Rastafarian rabbi all crop up ,the monster of le sentier himself a pervert and social critic was in an earlier book of Goytisolo I read .Through this collection of small nuggets Goytisolo tackles the modern world issues such as terrorism ,religious fervour .
First he stood in front of him ,looked round at his colleagues ,and then wagged an accusing index finger .
“look! here he is ! It’s him for sure!”
was he about to say ,like a compatrioat of his in the thereafter,
“the author of blood wedding ?”
“The Monster of Le Sentier !”
early on in the book as le sentier becomes use to cyber heaven / hell ?
Another character we meet is called Alice it easy to see this cyberspace nightmare world as the modern opposite of lewis Carrolls wonderland ,with the characters meet being the nightmarish monsters and colourful characters of the original but with a modern twist on them .
In order to put the agents of the different secrets services that are after her off her trail “Alice” avoids the hustle and bustle of the ethnic neighbourhoods that so attract our deceased protagonist .she flaunts her charms …
Alice in Parisian wonderland
This is not the easy book to read as it is told in such short snatches the vignettes never more than two pages long dart from here to there .I enjoyed this Goytisolo is a man who has lived in Exile most of his own life so set a book in thereafter using it as a sort of exile would come easily to him .He is trying to answer big questions on terrorism and Islam and other religions but not giving the answers more pointing a way and feelings on the subjects .Peter Bush translation is very good he manages to keep the Goytisolo voice I ve encountered in his other books .
Juan Goytisolo is probably the greatest living spanish writer and hopefully one day nobel winner he was longlisted for the international booker prize this year , he has lived in exile since the mid fifties first in paris with his wife the niece of the french writer Marcel Proust they lived there until her death in 96 a year later Goytisolo moved to Morocco Marrakech where he still lives .
Source – personnel copy
Have you read his books ?