The Governess's Reviews > The Paper House

The Paper House by Carlos María Domínguez
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's review
Aug 09, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: currently-reading

I'm currently reading Carols Maria Dominguez's "The Paper House - a novel" - a story of literature and obsession and illustrated by my all time favourite illustrator, Peter Sis. The story takes you from England (Cambridge) to Buenos Aires and Montevideo by following in the footsteps of an infamous bibliophile (Carlos Brauer) who lives in a house filled, from wall to ceiling, with books. Indeed, Carlos must sleep in his attic and park his car outside his garage because his estate is so full of books.

Dominguez has drawn particular inspiration from Joseph Conrad's works and in one chapter he quotes Conrad, who, although never having visited Montevideo, writes a commentary about the magic of the place and at the same time strives to deny any supernatural element in his work: "The world of the living contains enough marvels and mysteries as it is - marvels and mysteries acting upon our emotions and intelligence in ways so inexplicable that it would almost justify the conception of life as an enchanted state." And it is true what he says about life, especially if you reflect upon ypur own journey through life - complete with strange coincidences, uncanny chance meetings, randomness and life changing events. Dominguez sums it up even better, reflecting that elements in life are flung together in such random fashion (like two worlds embedded in each other) that the result is often unreal.

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