MJ Nicholls's Reviews > Locos: A Comedy of Gestures

Locos by Felipe Alfau
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's review
Nov 23, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: novels, dalkey-archive, southern-europe
Read in November, 2009

Locos: A Comedy of Gestures is a lost gem from the late thirties and was forerunner for the postmodern movement of the ‘60s onward. The novel is a series of interlocking tales wherein characters are redistributed among the manifold Spanish topographies, sometimes for significant contrasts, sometimes for simple mischief.

The novel has more in common with the ancient storytelling tradition, narrated in a fable-like voice, but Alfau is conscious of the limitations of this form and deploys footnotes and authorial corrections to challenge the stiffness of the Great Canonical Novels. Their plots are immutable, whereas his book invites a reading in any order, with any number of interpretations. The stories are a mixed bunch, but The Necrophil stood out for me: a ghoulish tale about an old crone obsessed with death that leaves a haunting resonance.
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Reading Progress

09/03/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Felipealfau'sgreatgreagreatgreattson Alfau Well, Felipe Alfau is my Great Great Great Great grandpa. I loved him a lot,even though i have never seen him. I heard good things about him. Just to let you guys know.


message 2: by MJ (new) - rated it 4 stars

MJ Nicholls Hmm... Felipe died in 1999. Is it possible to have that many generations of a family in under 70 years???


Mike Puma I've just started this one--so far, plenty good. I notice you've neglected to include it on your Dalkey Archive shelf. Attention to detail, good sir.


message 4: by MJ (new) - rated it 4 stars

MJ Nicholls Great! I await your review by my laptop with breath that is fully baited. And thank you good sir for the correction, that's another notch on my Dalkey bedpost.


Mike Puma Any more notches on that Dalkey bedpost, and it won't be able to withstand the tremendous weight of your...uh...well, all those bookmarks you must have littering your bed.


message 6: by MJ (new) - rated it 4 stars

MJ Nicholls I recently moved my bed away from the wall and found six or seven bookmarks. Your spycam works well.


Mike Puma Ah, the spycam, hours and hours of you turning pages; it probably should have been better placed.

I'm enjoying Locos; writing story summaries as I read. Could be a long review.

Interesting experience with Dalkey Archive. I started to place an order through amazon before deciding to check on ordering directly from DA. amazon doesn't list all the DA titles as available (other than used). Seems amazon upcharges for some titles or promotes them at list price; DA seems to discount everything, but charges for shipping. When I actually submitted the order at DA, up pops a button for Pay Amazon. I smell a conspiracy. As much as I'd like to support DA, I'm gonna have to do some serious manipulation between venders for the best prices, and pay closer attention to the used volumes. Sux there's no brick and mortar store; at least, I think there isn't.


message 8: by MJ (new) - rated it 4 stars

MJ Nicholls Hmm. That's curious. I always assumed Dalkey sold their books at the standard retail price and Amazon offered the cheaper alternative. You'd think Dalkey would be against using Amazon to sell their books seeing they siphon off most of the profits. Dalkey have a huge warehouse at their countryside Illinois HQ where they probably ship from.


Mike Puma MJ wrote: "Hmm. That's curious. I always assumed Dalkey sold their books at the standard retail price and Amazon offered the cheaper alternative. You'd think Dalkey would be against using Amazon to sell their..."

I'm anxious to see. After the Pay Amazon suprise, I'm wondering if (grammar, yikes) from amazon they will come.


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