GAZAPO by Gustavo Sainz


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A Mexican first novel, rigid with cinematic artistry; a barrage balloon of young rebels loosely attached to social import. ""Gazapo"" means something like an indecent lie (two scholarly sources are quoted, both offering a rich variety of connotation), and through a series of reality-grinders, like tape recordings, diaries, phone conversations which may or may not have taken place, the author introduces the giant self-gratifying, self-torturing daydreams of one Menelao, whose gravitational pull is toward the seduction of timid Gisela. Again and again the opportunity presents itself--but fade out--the telephone rings, many hands pound at the door, Gisela herself says no, and Menelao finds himself at a restaurant, out in the street, riding in a car. Counterpointing Menelao's incompleted, liebestod are the testimonies of friends who seem to be experiencing the same difficulty. Menelao's fantasy-life is busy--a grandmother is disposed of, smashing her meddling, ancient head on the pavement; mother, step-mother and father slip in and out of consciousness; Gisela is anatomically labeled like butcher's beef. A shrewd talent meant for statelier mansions than this minute and glutinous gazapo.

Pub Date: June 14th, 1968
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux