Winner of Mexico’s Premio Novela Mexico, Spain’s Romulo Gallegos Prize for best Spanish-language novel, and France’s Priz de Meilleur. James Polk reviews book Palinuro of Mexico by Fernando del Paso; drawing (M). A Case of Literary Infection: Palinuro de Mexico and Ulysses. ROBIN FIDDIAN. Palinuro de Mexico is Fernando del Paso’s second novel. Born in. Mexico City in .

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Return to Book Page. Los excesos inigualables de esta novela son un hito en el gran arte barroco mexicano. Paperbackpages. Published by Alfaguara first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Lists with This Book. One of its kind. If I were asked what this book is about, I will be able to do no more than babble like a six month old. This book is like a house of mirrors.

Each mirror sends mxico down a rabbit hole, carrying you on an enticing journey full of wonder and splendor.


It’s a so ” It’s a solid testament to the richness and power of imagination and the ability of fiction to stretch the reality to that which lies beyond the physical world and the conscious mind. It’s an eloquent tribute to ageless mythologies and to unforgettable works of art and literature.

It’s a token of respect to the marvels of medical science seen over the centuries and a romanticized view of the human anatomy. It’s a mirror to the culture of Mexico. It’s a creative exploration of the concepts of love, knowledge, fantasy, death and more. It has the charm of fairy tales and prince ss stories without being one such story itself.

It has the enchantment of dreams, but is much beyond a dream. It’s excessive and overwhelming, it’s epic and sprawling, it’s many things all at once. Reading Palinuro of Mexico makes for a rather demanding relationship. With the uncountable allusions to art, literature, science, history, philosophy and what not, it was all I could do to not lose myself in a Wikipedian labyrinth.


pallnuro Else it would have taken me years to finish it. Lack of anything resembling a narrative drive, run-on sentences, walls of text much longer than Ali’s, long paragraphs, prose that often requires concentration, medical terminology and detailed anatomical descriptions, very curious goings on with Palinuro being multiple characters and narrator all at once – this book presents several reasons against reading it. And yet, it had me hooked. I find this a hard book to recommend to anyone.

But I mexuco tell you this much, give it a few chapters, if it doesn’t seduce you within those, you can comfortably put it aside without having to wonder if you’ll like it better on reading further. What Palinuro of Mexico taught me about reading it was to be in the moment. Don’t read it looking to get somewhere or to finish. Don’t look for big questions or answers. Let it into your bloodstream and when it hits your head, you will know.

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There were a few occasions when I felt like I was dragging my feet through sand, when a chapter began to look longer than eternity.

But, for each of those moments, the Del Paso voiced angel on my shoulder made me fall in love with it all over again.

Palinuro de México by Fernando del Paso

Taking into account all that is wonderful and all that is potentially frustrating about Palinuro of Mexicomy rating averages to all of those five stars. Palinurl stars for Estefania’s blue eyes. Five stars for Grandfather Fransico’s stories.

Five stars for Aunt Luisa’s Parisian love. Five stars for Cousin Walter’s patchwork waistcoat. Five stars for Tristram Shandy’s apples. Five stars for Don Prospero’s obsession.

Five stars for the three friends’ trippy adventures. Five stars for the house in Holiday Square and the world around it. Five stars for the mirror who died. Five stars for the General’s one hundred eyes. Yes, five stars all around for this one. Let me not forget to acknowledge the great job by the translator who not only made this work accessible to us, but sculpted all the wordplay, never-ending sentences and paragraphs into pslinuro prose.

Mexoco many thanks to the Loch Ness monster’s neighbor for bringing a terrific book to my attention yet again. I keep seeing Rabelais’s name in reference to some of the books I have been reading.

I ought to read me some Rabelais soon. But for now, a needy Warholic is looking for my time. Palinuro of Mexicolikewise, is our navigator through mexioc ambitious book. View all 31 comments. Del Paso favours the maximal form— Palinuro of Mexico and News From the Empire are sprawling imaginative playgrounds, concerned with the seemingly limitless possibilities of the human mind to transcend anything with everything.

In Palinuro of Mexico Del Paso has created a magical, surreal, artificial and dreamlike mexxico. The titular character is, at times, both narrator and subject sometimes he narrates about himself in the third person —a medical student in passionate love with his cousin E Del Paso favours the maximal form— Palinuro of Mexico and News From the Empire are sprawling imaginative playgrounds, concerned with the seemingly limitless possibilities of the human mind to transcend anything with everything.

The titular character is, at se, both narrator and subject sometimes he narrates about himself in the third person —a medical student in passionate love with his cousin Estefania.

Ostensibly, this is a novel about the body—in love, in pain, in all its staggering medical complexity—and the irresponsible people responsible for keeping it ticking. Fl, this is about a lovedrunk incestuous romance between sex-mad cousins. Ostensibly, this is an enormous strutting vulture larded with medical terminology, literary references, nonsensical internal monologues that run for up to ten pages sans paragraph breaks. Ostensibly, this is that all-too-rare bird—a freewheeling uninhibited masterwork in pursuance of pure readerly pleasure, of that Gassian mexic of the word.


Ostensibly, it is all these things, and a million more you can think up if you do the decent thing and read this exasperating Mexican supernova tomorrow.

A thin line between love and hate, perhaps. View all 23 comments. Feb 22, Guille rated it it was amazing Shelves: Fernando del Paso nos riega de palabras, nos reboza y nos inunda de ellas, modificando significados, invirtiendo significantes, buscando movernos del sitio, alterarnos el mundo, mudarnos el pensamiento, siempre tan supeditado a la palabra. Para ejemplo, una preciosidad de texto: Muchas veces hicimos el amor contra natura, a favor de natura, ignorando a natura.

O de noche con la luz encendida, mientras los zancudos ejecutaban una danza cenital alrededor del foco. O con el cuerpo limpio y la conciencia sucia. Contentos, felices, dolientes, amargados. Con remordimientos y sin sentido. View all 6 comments. There are novels of the spirit, and there are novels of the body.

Del Paso sings the body biologic. He sings of blood, of pus, of glistening, yellowed fat, of the muscled twisting of our bowels. He sings of sex, of autopsy, of amputation and of excretion. He sings of a broken country cutting itself into shreds. Of a broken self splintering into a thousand mirrored and mirroring shards.

Rabelaisian, yes, it reminded me too at times — in particular towards the end of Coover’s Public Burning. It There are novels of the spirit, and there are novels of the body. It is, as the quote from La Croix on the back of my edition says a “loose and baggy monster” and, if you are the kind of reader who reads that as a positive description of a novel, then this is most definitely for you.

View all 8 comments.

Palinuro de México

A surrealistic maelstrom in PoMo: OK, Palinurro can see it. This essay like collage of structural perambulations does approximate the Human Centipede. Flaubert read the A surrealistic maelstrom in PoMo: Flaubert read the entire encyclopedia and regurgitated it in Bouvard and Pecochet? So del Paso gives us the history of medicine, encyclopaedia style.

Carlos II was thus: Charles’s mother, Mariana of Austria, herself a Habsburg, was a niece of his father, Philip. Thus, Maria Anna mexixo simultaneously his aunt and grandmother and Margaret of Austria, Maria Anna’s mother, was both his grandmother and great-grandmother. The inbreeding was so widespread in his case that all of his eight great-grandparents were descendants of Joanna and Philip I of Castile.

Think of any deformity or condition you mexivo To me, the end of that King was the beginning of the Spanish literary body diaspora, elements of which I see so many everywhere.