Jacob Wren's Reviews > Locos: A Comedy of Gestures

Locos by Felipe Alfau
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's review
May 06, 2010

Felipe Alfau writes:

The result of this is a bunch of contradictory characters inconsequent as their author and just as clumsy in their performance. As their personality is a passing and unsteady thing that lasts at most a book’s length, they have lost respect for it and change it at will, because they have a faint idea that life is abrupt and unexpected.

Their knowledge of reality is vague and imprecise. Sometimes I have given a character the part of a brother or a son, and in the middle of the action he begins to make love to his sister or his mother, because he has heard that men sometimes make love to women. Another character appears as a child in a situation that takes place when he should be a mature man, because he attributes his persistent failure to understand the situation to immaturity typical of childhood. Again, another character, who has the part of a chicken, begins to bark in the middle of her lines, because she has seen a dog she likes. Time and space do not exist for these people, and that naturally ruins my work completely.

And later:

Fulano did not see what happened after he left the bridge but I, of course, saw it, and if a writer had the privilege of interfering or preventing the incidents which he has the misfortune to witness, I would have prevented what took place, for the sake of my poor friend, Fulano. However, if a writer could do that, all stories would end happily and justice would prevail in all literature. As this would create a great monotony, such power has not been granted. Therefore, I had to stand by and see the happenings in a state of utter impotence and indignation.


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