Black Magic Woman # Zero Point Negro

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9781879193123: Black Magic Woman # Zero Point Negro
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A text of amazing energy and strangeness, by an author about whom we ourselves know almost nothing, not even his real name, other than that he considers himself "countryless and raceless" and that he has an original and remarkable talent. What on earth is this novel? A gigantic homage to euphoria? A narrative, the way Tristram Shandy is a narrative? A poem? A ritual? We can't categorize it. Written in an English that seems to see English from the outside--as a magic lamp, or as a football to kick around the room--the book recounts a myth about two beautiful and powerful women, Cloud Moon and White Phoenix, and their struggles with such godlike characters as Fire Worm, The Mad General, The Supreme Postmaster, and uncountable others. So is this some sort of droopy New Age allegory? Not at all--it's a perfectly mad rush into the arms of euphoric purity, an expression of ecstatic longing for goodness, with all the hilarity that accompanies any truly hopeless quest. Black Magic Woman # Zero Point Negro is a part of no tradition; for guideposts one would have to imagine some strange combination of The Palm-Wine Drinkard and the novels of Ferdinando del Paso--but even that doesn't convey the degree of mythic impracticality here. The book is outlandish, off-the-rails, excessively unbridled, and very funny. It is also a serious attempt to remind us of how spiritually mighty we are when we're under the spell of sheer freedom and love of beauty.

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