Although a few works from the Crack writers have appeared in English, until now this manifesto was only available in Spanish.
La ultima niebla -- the mists of sex and spirituality At first glance, Maria Luisa Bombal's La Ultima Niebla is a sad tale of a loveless, upper-class marriage, doomed not so much by lack of communication as it is by the inherent differences in the way that men and women communicate, view the world, and use language itself.
Daniel and the narrator seem to inhabit parallel universes: Indeed, from the moment Daniel brings his new bride a cousin home having lost his first wife, the great love of his life, after only three months of marriageit is obvious that he has said nothing to his household staff about the apparently momentous decision to marry this woman he has known his entire life.
And from the moment she enters her new home, this new wife, saved from the "oddness" of spinsterhood by her cousin, falls into silence, into a fog of sleep. After drinking much wine over dinner one autumnal evening, the wife is awakened one foggy night in town and tells her husband that she is "going out".
Through the mists, she meets a mysterious stranger in the town's plaza, and follows him to his home, where the shutters are closed. Upstairs, she is seduced, and finally experiences the ecstasies of the flesh she has longed for. The stranger smells of vegetable and fruit.
The entire experience -- the wine, the mists, the sex, the association with vegetable and fruit -- has an eerie, mystical quality to it.
It is as if the wife is experiencing, on some level, a Dionysian mystery rite. The affair leads the wife to a sort of self-awakening. She takes a naked swim in the local stream, letting her usually pinned up hair loose, and stares at her own breasts for the first time.
For a woman in her circumstances, this must have been a bit like those women in the s who had "empowerment" parties to put mirrors between their legs and take a shy, blushing peek.
And where her mystery lover smelled of vegetable, her surroundings smell of water. As does Andres, the young caretaker who comes upon her.
Interestingly, she does not hide her nudity from him, especially because she thinks Andres, like her, sees her lover's car in the distance, and sees her lover smile at her.
This belief that the young Andres has seen the lover smile at her becomes important to her, since Daniel insists she never left the room that long-ago, misty night. It should be noted that the only time the wife is able to return to her lover's home is years later, again, in an altered state, when she has been given some sort of sedative in the hospital where her sister-in-law Regina is recovering from her own attempted suicide.
That the lover was really more a concoction of the wife's own repressed desires for sexual and spiritual satisfaction in a life and society that had reduced her to habit and form is fairly clear at this point, but it is not altogether important. Perhaps Daniel had chosen this wife, among all his cousins, because she was the most malleable, the one he could most turn into a copy of his late, great love.
This empty vessel seeks desperately to be filled, and in her despair, what takes hold is not entirely of this world. The wife well, really, both the wife and Regina in this story is haunted by love, by a husband who cannot reach her, by a lover who proves ephemeral and if her husband barely notices her, how must she feel when she realizes that her fantasy lover was blind all along -- even in fantasy or half-madness, this woman could not entirely conceive of a man who really saw her and wanted her for who she was.
And we, the readers, are haunted by these women; by the wife who seemingly lives a nebulous fantasy of an affair, and by Regina, who almost destroys herself by living the reality of a love affair gone wrong. In the end, the narrator implies that her life with her husband Daniel continues as before.
While Regina lies ruined on the outside, crying desperately for the lover she has lost, our narrator is an empty shell, who will grow old prettily at the side of a husband she suddenly barely recognizes.
She has learned the art of smiling emptily at all the appropriate moments; her life a triumph of form over function, with no one ever knowing her substance.American Portuguese Studies Association Prof. Robert Newcomb, Secretary Department of Spanish and Portuguese Room , Sproul Hall University of California, Davis.
An index page listing Literature of the s content. Works of literature from the s. The 13 Clocks The 27th Day 87th Precinct. Series started in .
Other features. Mexico in detail. Other Features.
The Mexican Way of Life an archetypal mother whose blue-cloaked image is ubiquitous and whose name is invoked in political speeches and literature as well as religious ceremonies.
which is on the Unesco World Heritage list. Another modernist, Pedro Ramírez Vázquez (– Thinking of creating a website? Google Sites is a free and easy way to create and share webpages. After Before: El Libro de Carmen Boullosa. in retrospect, she can see that it’s a very Mexican ghost story, in the vein of Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Paramo, very much of its era.
that adorn the backs of nearly every new novel translated into English tell a very masculine story of Latin American literature. When it came to Carmen Boullosa. is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her.