SACRED COW by Diamela Eltit


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 Connections between erotic liberation and political freedom are cryptically and rather numbingly explored in this over-the-top rendering of emotional delirium (originally published in 1991) by the author of The Fourth World (see p. 1368). It's set in Santiago during the Pinochet regime, but mainly in the disturbed thoughts of a woman who imagines for herself a potent lover, Manuel, from the rural South (Pucatrihue), who presumably embodies pure sexuality uncorrupted by political or social pressures. Images of sexual violence and death, involving a romantically troubled friend named Francisca (or is Francisca the narrator herself?) possess her, as the imaginary Manuel cannot. Involving herself in local reform activities, she survives a virus that sweeps through the city, nightmarish visions of a ``flock of demented birds,'' and other, less specified threats, and heads south in search of, if not Manuel, at least imaginative surcease from the social imperatives her mind and body tell her she must reject. The whole has the logic of image or dream, but it may well frustrate most readers.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 1995
ISBN: 1-85242-287-4
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Serpent’s Tail
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1995