Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Goytisolo : Makbara

This short extract is for Alok, from Dispatches.

This is the beginning of Makbara ( cemetery in Arabic) and I wanted to share the music of this opening. I have tried Eliot's technique of Auditory imagination, reading it aloud without concentrating, without trying to know what is being said but how.

in the beginning was the cry : alarm, anguish, terror, chemically pure pain? : prolonged, sustained, piercing, to the limits of the tolerable: phantom, specter, monster from the nether world: a disturbing intrusion at any event: disruption of the urban rhythm, of the harmonious chorus of sounds and voices of supernumearies and beautifully dressed actors and actresses: an oneiric apparition: an insolent brutish defiance: a strange, transgressive presence: a radical negation of the existing order: an index finger pointed accusedly at the happy, self confident Euricraticonsuming city: with no need to raise his eyes, strain his voice, extend his beggar's hand with a black gesture of Luciferan pride: absorbed in the obverse side of the spectacle he is creating:indifferent to the horror he inspires as he passes by: a virus contaminating the collective body of the city in the Wake of his delirious journey through it: dusky, bare feet, insensitive to the rigors of the season: ragged, threadbare pants with improvised skylight's at the knees: a scarecrow's overcoat with the collar raised to conceal a double absence: walking, lost in sel-contemplation. down the sidewalk of the boulevard teeming with humanity: past the tobacco store, the haberdasher;s shop, the terrace of the cafe restaurant, the slot machine parlour:


Alok said...

Thanks for the mention kubla!!

wonderful extract. I see the style looks similar to what was there in count julian. have been reading his interviews and essays about him and he not only seems to be a great writer but also a very *important* one. in these times when literature is being marginalized as another source of entertainment and profit, this is a significant achievement.

Alok said...

also makbara is a very common word in hindi too. derived from Urdu which in turn is derived from arabic and farsi. interesting how everything is connected.

Kubla Khan said...

Hi.....yes, Goytisolo is an important writer, whether one agrees with his politics or not. taking sides is politics and remaining neutral is politics too.
latin american literature is so vivacious because we have a mixture of politics and aesthetics in the major works, which is so refreshing.perhaps only spanish language allows political writing!
and not only is it important to say what one has to, but also the way too. here, Goytisolo is incomparable.

i read your latin american lit. book list and agree with all your choices, though i have not read them all.
perhaps in the essential you c'd add cortazar's 62: a model kit.
The memoirs of Bras Cubas is a great novel that i read last year. it is bras cubas speaking from the grave......black humour at its best!
and on the subject of Bolano.....you must read the savage detectives. his 2066 is being translated into english, to be published next year. cannot wait!