Christ on the Rue Jacob

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This truly beautiful book is the last by the Cuban-born, Paris-nurtured writer who died in 1993 of AIDS. In a collection of brief, even minute, essays, he offers maps to the passage of time. The first such map is his body, on which ``epiphanies'' are marked by scars-beginning with the navel, the first wound. The second map is Sarduy's mind, filled with sharp impressions of places (Caf de Flore, Benares) and people (Roland Barthes, Italo Calvino). It can make for lonely reading, in part because many friends (Barthes and Calvino among them) are dead. In ``The Tibetan Book of the Dead,'' Sarduy recounts the changes in his address book as death threatens to turn it into a ``novel, or biographical fiction.'' But, facing his own death, Sarduy refuses to remove the name of a dead friend because ``it would be like eradicating him all over again, as if I were an accomplice of the void, subjecting him to another death within death.'' There is also a certain loneliness to Sarduy's style, perfectly translated here by Levine and Maier. His intricate descriptions bear the stamp of the eternal observer. But what descriptions:like a great singer, he maintains a flow of carefully modulated phrases, one tumbling over the next, without ever pausing for a breath (``The house, which my father had wrested from a brackish and inopportune spring that gushed at dawn from the foundation, was sinking along a whitewashed hallway toward a patio filled with large earthenware jugs and refreshed by the red shadow of a royal poinciana''). (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781562790752
  • Publisher: Mercury House
  • Publication date: 7/28/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.97 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

A Thorn in My Skull 4
Four Stitches in My Right Eyebrow 8
Scar 17
Two Broken Uppers, a Stitch in My Lower Lip, or Christ on the Rue Jacob 23
Omphalos 28
A Wart on My Foot 32
Benares 38
Wearing Space 48
Tangier 51
The Stratagem of the Tick 56
Cafe de Flore 58
A Cleaning 68
The Jungle 72
The House of Raquel Vega 74
Heaven and Earth 77
Severo, Why Do You Paint? 84
An Image of Christ's Ascent 90
Texts for Nothing 93
Soldiers 95
The Street Cleaner of Mexico City 97
The Tibetan Book of the Dead 101
Portraits by Jesse 107
At Eight in the Flore 112
Dream 119
Last Postcard to Emir 124
Letter from Lezama 128
Translators' Afterword 156
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