Cannibal — Vasily Vereshchagin

John Hawkes/Javier Marías/Beautiful Moth on Basil (Books Acquired, 9.14.2012)


John Hawkes and Javier Marías. Was looking for something else, spotted the ND spine (Hawkes) and The Believer Books aesthetic (Marías).

From the back of the Hawkes:

No synopsis conveys the quality of this now famous novel about an hallucinated Germany in collapse after World War II. John Hawkes, in his search for a means to transcend outworn modes of fictional realism, has discovered a highly original technique for objectifying the perennial degradation of mankind within a context of fantasy… Nowhere has the nightmare of human terror and the deracinated sensibility been more concisely analyzed than in The Cannibal. Yet one is aware throughout that such analysis proceeds only in terms of a resolutely committed humanism.   (Hayden Carruth)


Here’s a description, sort of, of a 2006 review of Voyage Along the Horizon (from the NYT):

To judge the Spanish novelist and essayist Javier Marías solely on the basis of “Voyage Along the Horizon” would be akin to imagining Flaubert only from “Salammbô” or Nabokov from “Transparent Things.” Though these works aren’t insignificant in their own right, to read them without recourse to their authors’ larger bodies of work is to comprehend a complex organism only from its vestigial limbs.

Here is a picture of a colorful moth doing something to a basil plant in my back yard: