The Ingenious Gentleman and Poet Federico Garcia Lorca Ascends to Hell (Hardcover)
Yale University Press, 9780300167764, 203pp.
Publication Date: April 18, 2013
In Carlos Rojas's imaginative novel, the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, murdered by Francoist rebels in August 1936, finds himself in an inferno that somehow resembles Breughel's Tower of Babel. He sits alone in a small theater in this private hell, viewing scenes from his own life performed over and over and over. Unexpectedly, two doppelgangers appear, one a middle-aged Lorca, the other an irascible octogenarian self, and the poet faces a nightmarish confusion of alternative identities and destinies.
Carlos Rojas uses a fantastic premise Garcia Lorca in hell to reexamine the poet's life and speculate on alternatives to his tragic end. Rojas creates with a surrealist's eye and a moral philosopher's mind. He conjures a profoundly original world, and in so doing earns a place among such international peers as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Philip Roth, J. M. Coetzee, and Jose Saramago.
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Praise For The Ingenious Gentleman and Poet Federico Garcia Lorca Ascends to Hell…
“The richness of Rojas’s writing isn’t random creativity; it’s rooted in a deep and insightful knowledge of his subject, making the book exceptional.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Mr. Rojas includes a number of shrewd homages to his subject, from echoes of poems to the kind of story-within-a-story structures that Lorca used in his dramas. But more important, this moving tribute cuts to the heart of the dichotomy of the poet's troubled immortality.” —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
“In Carlos Rojas' splendid and wildly creative novel, The Ingenious Gentleman and Poet Federico Garcia Lorca Ascends to Hell, the dead writer watches his last, fateful days replayed in a private theater in the underworld. . . as intelligent and audacious a meditation on art, fate and mortality as anyone could hope to read.” —Los Angeles Times