El portero

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Tusquets, 2004 - Fiction - 248 pages
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This novel was written in New York between 1984 and 1986. After having failed at various jobs, Juan finds a place as a doorman in a Manhattan skyscraper. He will meet an extravagant gallery of characters, including: Roy Friedman, sixty-five and obsessed with giving out candy to everybody; Brenda Hill, a somewhat off woman, single and slightly alcoholic; Arthur Makadam, an aging and impotent ladies' man; Casandra Levinson, who does not cease to make propaganda in favor of Castro while enjoying the Capitalist comforts; the Oscar Times couple, both gay and so physically and morally similar that they seem to be only one person; Walter Skirius, the scientist obsessed with artificial implants... In the end, Juan will only come to understand the neighbors' pets and, with them, will part on a trip with no return.

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About the author (2004)

The novel The Ill-fated Peregrinations of Fray Servando recreates in a poetic style, in which time, space, and character move on multiple planes of fantasy and reality, the life of Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, a Mexican priest famous for his hatred of the Spaniards. Mier denied even that the Spaniards had brought Christianity to the New World. Arenas begins with a letter to the friar: "Ever since I discovered you in an execrable history of Spanish literature, described as the friar who had traveled over the whole of Europe on foot having improbable adventures; I have tried to find out more about you." In a meditation on the nature of fiction, Arenas discovers that he and Servando are the same person, and author and character become one.

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