Rasero (Pegasus Prize for Literature)

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9780807120040: Rasero (Pegasus Prize for Literature)
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"Translation of Rasero (1993) received the Pegasus Prize for Literature. Set in 18th-century Europe, Rebolledo's ambitious first novel tells of a young Spaniard in search of wisdom who travels to Paris and experiences the Enlightenment, with all its contradictions"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.http://www.loc.gov/hlas/Explores the politics, desires, philosophy, and science of eighteenth century Paris through the life and sexually triggered prophecies of Fausto Rasero, a young Spanish nobleman who comes to know every important figure of his time

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Spanish

From Publishers Weekly:

Winner of the Mobil Corporation's Pegasus Prize for Literature, Mexican writer Rebolledo's debut is at once a rich historical novel and a racy tale of manners and ideas with a strong element of apocalyptic fantasy. Minor Spanish diplomat Fausto Rasero, who leaves Madrid for Paris in 1740 at age 16, has a unique paranormal gift: each time he reaches orgasm with one of his many elegant lovers, he is granted a clairvoyant?and usually horrifying?vision of the future. Bald since birth, mute until age six, Rasero is perplexed and deeply disturbed by his glimpses of the bombing of Hiroshima, Nazi concentration camps, the slaughter of WWII and Vietnam. During the years the novel chronicles (primarily, 1749-1812), he befriends the famous and infamous, including Voltaire, encyclopedist Denis Diderot, Madame Pompadour, chemist Antoine Lavoisier, Mozart (as a child prodigy), painter Francois Boucher and French revolutionaries Danton and Robespierre. Rasero's affair with Mexican-born Creole actress Mariana Rodgriguez, widow of the viceroy of Mexico, teaches him the meaning of love and temporarily halts his nightmarish visions. Expelled from France by Robespierre, whom Rasero berates for his fanaticism, the clairvoyant escapes to Spain, where he links up with Goya?whose macabre canvases, like Rasero's visions, seem to prefigure our century of horrors. The narrative, which is translated brilliantly here, has a surprise ending, leapfrogging into the present, but one wishes that Rebolledo had given more play to the fantasy element and less to the historical gossip and raunchiness. Even so, this tour de force reads like a message from humanity's collective unconscious. Line drawings not seen by PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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