Larva: A Midsummer Night's Babel

Overview

A striking reassessment of the Don Juan myth. A literary tour de force, this extraordinary novel is told in single-minded pursuit of double meanings, but it is serious play. Larva is a rollicking account of a masquerade party in an abandoned mansion in London. Milalias (disguised as Don Juan) searches for Babelle (as Sleeping Beauty) through a linguistic funhouse of puns and wordplay recalling Joyce's Finnegans Wake. A mock-scholarly commentary reveals the backgrounds of the masked revellers, while Rios' allusive...

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Overview

A striking reassessment of the Don Juan myth. A literary tour de force, this extraordinary novel is told in single-minded pursuit of double meanings, but it is serious play. Larva is a rollicking account of a masquerade party in an abandoned mansion in London. Milalias (disguised as Don Juan) searches for Babelle (as Sleeping Beauty) through a linguistic funhouse of puns and wordplay recalling Joyce's Finnegans Wake. A mock-scholarly commentary reveals the backgrounds of the masked revellers, while Rios' allusive language shows that words too wear masks, hiding an astonishing range of further meanings and implications. Larva revives a Hispanic tradition repressed for centuries by introducing the English tradition of puns, palindromes and acrostics (a word puzzle in which certain letters in each line form a word or words) and establishes Rios as the most accomplished successor (in any language) to Joyce.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Larva is a great novel of language. This adventure in the Spanish language easily translates into English because the creative urge is the same in both, and because Rios is the most cosmopolitan of contemporary writers."—Carlos Fuentes

Dalkey Archive Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564783684
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2004
  • Pages: 585
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 1.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Julian Rios is Spain's foremost postmodernist writer. His first two books were co-authored with Octavio Paz. Since that time, he has written a number of books, including Poundemonium, Loves that Bind, Monstruary and Kitaj: Pictures and Conversations, all of which have been published in English translation.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Table of Contents

Pluck the clover 11
The book of numbers 81
The flying dutchman in Nether-Netherland 121
Alhambresque 187
Exit in trance 227
Arcana 229
Variety show 277
Shadow play 287
The ring 303
Blackout 415
Pillow notes 451
Babelle's photo album 547
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