BAAL BABYLON by Arrabal

BAAL BABYLON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From the French, this small novella paraphrases an ancient assurance (the Bible's ""I shall punish Baal in Babylon"") and again the oedipal theme in the words of a Spanish adolescent, addressed to his mother. Since his earliest childhood, he has listened to a litany of self-sacrifice- hers, and of devaluation- that of her husband who abandoned them and became an anarchist. In flickering episodes which question and find wanting the boy's approaching manhood (his only assertion- his father's pipe which he smokes secretly), in small, telltale incidents of private shame and open failure (at school, where he trains to be a pilot and fulfill his mother's ambition he is graded ""military spirit zero""), one witnesses finally his total emasculation and surrender.... It is, for all concerned, a flagellant experience, with unmistakable implications as well as more explicit psychosexual stigmata. Limited.

Publisher: Grove Press