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A Cock-Eyed Comedy [Paperback]

Juan Goytisolo

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2005

In A Cock-Eyed Comedy, Father Trennes is like Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, a spirit of the age moving through several centuries of Spain’s history. His most recent incarnation is as an Opus Dei religious leader in present-day Spain, whose conformity Goytisolo delightfully savages. A cast of real people and invented characters, including Roland Barthes, Jean Genet, and Manuel Puig, are mixed up in a literary and historical melting pot. A Cock-Eyed Comedy is a transgressive dark comedy with a significant message about religion and sexuality.

Juan Goytisolo was born in Barcelona in 1931. In 2004 he was awarded the prestigious Juan Rulfo Award for Literature. His most recent books are State of Siege, The Garden of Secrets, and Landscapes of War.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers (Nov. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872864502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872864504
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 13 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,403,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Spanish literary trickster Goytisolo exhibits fine satirical form in this bawdy, fictional tale of a Catholic cleric's sexual wanderings across history and borders. Father Trennes, the novel's determinedly priapic, oft-incarnated subject, lives in present-day Spain as a leader of the church's profoundly conservative organization, Opus Dei, but in this mischievously sacrilegious story by the author of State of Siege and other fabulist delights, the good father is a very bad boy. One exultant chapter recounts his "prayer meetings" with a series of swarthy immigrants, "firm as a steel spigot" or endowed with "a lethal jack-in-the-box." In another, he's savoring the delights of "secret dwellings"—among them the Parisian movie palace men's rooms and the bathhouses of Manhattan. The author (who pops up frequently as a character, as do other literary figures including Jean Genet and Manuel Puig) is mindful that reckless sexual pursuits can lead to the illness that has killed friends and fellow writers. But beyond that poignant lament, Goytisolo's hyperbolic frolic through a ribald sexual landscape is an awful lot of fun, if often confusing. This certainly ranks among the acclaimed Spaniard's most overtly lusty gay-themed fables, and Bush's playfully colloquial translation adds plenty of zest. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Although living in voluntary exile in France and Morocco for 45 years, Goytisolo is one of Spain's most cherished and prolific writers. With this novel, he remains as playfully innovative and wickedly subversive as ever as he lambastes conformity to organized religion, a longtime target of his for its sterile denial of erotic and spiritual freedom. Lifting its main character, pere de Trennes, from a novel by Roger Peyrefitte (another caustic critic of Catholic orthodoxy), Goytisolo's metafiction transmigrates Trennes through several centuries of literary production and religious hypocrisy. Most controversial in Spain will be his biting (yet often hilarious) attack on the founders of Opus Dei, the right-wing Catholic movement that he has elsewhere described as the Calvinists of Spain. A lifetime of chafing against Spain and orthodoxy has kept Goytisolo raw, and this selection may alienate those readers who are both highly sensitive to farcical attacks on sanctimoniousness and erudite enough to process the author's subtle and copious literary references, where much of the author's irreverence proliferates. A must for larger European and queer-lit collections, however. Brendan Driscoll
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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