Juan Carlos Onetti (author); A BRIEF LIFE (EXTRAORDINARY CLASSICS); Serpent's Tail (Fiction: Literary) $14.95 ISBN: 9781852429782
While the summer heat casts a stifling spell over Buenos Aires, Juan Maria Brausen loses his mind. He wavers between his usual daily life, which includes a fraught relationship with his wife of five years who has recently undergone a mastectomy, and two alternative lives born from his own imagination. In this masterpiece of modern literature, Juan Carlos Onetti leads his readers through the twisted passageways of a deteriorating consciousness until reality can be, should be, questioned on all sides.
Brausen knows his relationship with Getrudis' body will never be the same after her breast is removed. As she recovers from the surgery and tries to regain her own sense of potential by returning to her childhood home, Brausen practices intense escapism through a screenplay he's writing about a tired doctor in the town of Santa Maria. Dr. Diaz Grey falls in love with a pretty morphine addict and risks his career and his life to follow her through her own demise.
Obsession with the characters in a screenplay isn't sufficient distraction. Brausen also spends long hours spying on his neighbor, La Queca, through the shared walls of their adjacent apartments. Soon, though, simply listening to the conversations, the sex, and the arguments isn't enough for...