Brief, shadowy, slant-viewed vignettes of life in and near the Brazilian town of Curitiba -- which is in fact a provincial...

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THE VAMPIRE OF CURITIBA And Other Stories

Brief, shadowy, slant-viewed vignettes of life in and near the Brazilian town of Curitiba -- which is in fact a provincial capital roughly the size of Baltimore, but which, in the world's awareness and Trevisan's treatments, might as well be some supranational twilight zone, the last stop on all the lines. God knows what it's really like; the atmosphere here is close and hot with decay, objects are lost in indifference, and feverish sexuality preserves the last semblance of vitality and relationship. Nelsinho, the vampire, is typical of Trevisan's characters: a young, self-engrossed erotomaniac, otherwise without distinction, whose emotional radius is the gyre of lust, contempt and self-loathing. He is also loathsome, and that is perhaps more to the point. Trevisan, like Borges and others, enjoys the latent dimension of things, but with Trevisan that dimension is essentially sexual rather than metaphysical, and entirely negative. The affairs (most of the stories are about affairs, in terse reports or remembered monologues) erupt out of no context but compulsion and only begin to develop with the growth of the lovers' mutual disgust and nausea, which is projected through ugly incidentals distorted to monstrous prominence -- varicose veins, hearing someone eat, a whine, subliminal cruelty. All that granted, he is an interesting writer little known here till now, and this will bring English readers abreast of his work.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1972

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1972