IN THE SPELL OF THE PAST by S.R. van Iterson

IN THE SPELL OF THE PAST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A change in style, if not in substance, from van Iterson's once rich, sensual narratives. Here the delightfully soupy atmospherics are abandoned for a dissociated Camus-style narrator and a somewhat more explicit sexuality (the narrator this time is an adult). The family skeletons rattled here -- a father's murder by a rival landowner, secret meetings with the hacienda owner's daughter, bitter and possibly malevolent housebound old ladies -- are revived from The Curse of Laguna Grande and Village of Outcasts, both far more successful on their own terms. But though derivative, In the Spell of the Past is at least a semi-sophisticated break from developmental cliche and Salingeresque monologues, best read as a sort of ersatz existentialist mystery.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1975
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Morrow