Synopses & Reviews
In A Cock-Eyed Comedy, Father Trennes is like Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, a spirit of the age moving through several centuries of Spain’s history. His most recent incarnation is as an Opus Dei religious leader in present-day Spain, whose conformity Goytisolo delightfully savages. A cast of real people and invented characters, including Roland Barthes, Jean Genet, and Manuel Puig, are mixed up in a literary and historical melting pot. A Cock-Eyed Comedy is a transgressive dark comedy with a significant message about religion and sexuality.
Juan Goytisolo was born in Barcelona in 1931. In 2004 he was awarded the prestigious Juan Rulfo Award for Literature. His most recent books are State of Siege, The Garden of Secrets, and Landscapes of War.
"Spanish literary trickster Goytisolo exhibits fine satirical form in this bawdy, fictional tale of a Catholic cleric's sexual wanderings across history and borders. Father Trennes, the novel's determinedly priapic, oft-incarnated subject, lives in present-day Spain as a leader of the church's profoundly conservative organization, Opus Dei, but in this mischievously sacrilegious story by the author of State of Siege and other fabulist delights, the good father is a very bad boy. One exultant chapter recounts his 'prayer meetings' with a series of swarthy immigrants, 'firm as a steel spigot' or endowed with 'a lethal jack-in-the-box.' In another, he's savoring the delights of 'secret dwellings' among them the Parisian movie palace men's rooms and the bathhouses of Manhattan. The author (who pops up frequently as a character, as do other literary figures including Jean Genet and Manuel Puig) is mindful that reckless sexual pursuits can lead to the illness that has killed friends and fellow writers. But beyond that poignant lament, Goytisolo's hyperbolic frolic through a ribald sexual landscape is an awful lot of fun, if often confusing. This certainly ranks among the acclaimed Spaniard's most overtly lusty gay-themed fables, and Bush's playfully colloquial translation adds plenty of zest." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A wicked satire on religion by Spain's greatest living writer
About the Author
Born in Barcelona in 1931, Juan Goytisolo is Spain's greatest living writer. His books include: Mask of Idenity, The Marx Family Saga, and, State of Siege. He lives in Marrakesh, Morocco.