The Palace of the White Skunks

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Penguin, 1990 - Fiction - 356 pages
15 Reviews
The second novel in the quintet that began with the internationally acclaimed Singing from the Well, Reinaldo Arenas's The Palace of the White Skunks is a brilliant, hallucinatory, and erotically charged portrait of Cuba on the eve of its 1959 revolution. It is the story of Fortunato, a dreamy, sullen boy trapped in a house full of abandoned aunts in a decrepit backwater. Tormented by sexual desires for both men and women, he hears, in his family's quarrels, the crackle of rebel gunfire--a sound that will beckon him into a world as demented as the one he has sworn to escape. Like an inspired collaboration between Marcel Proust and the magic realists, The Palace of the White Skunks is a masterpiece encompassing all the squalor, spectacle, and tragedy of Cuba under two dictators.

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Review: The Palace of the White Skunks

User Review  - Goodreads

One of the best books I've read in awhile--and also one of the most challenging. The comparisons to Faulkner are inevitable but Arenas is more experimental and at the same time, more accessible ... Read full review

Review: The Palace of the White Skunks

User Review  - Chris Campanioni - Goodreads

One of the best books I've read in awhile--and also one of the most challenging. The comparisons to Faulkner are inevitable but Arenas is more experimental and at the same time, more accessible ... Read full review

Contents

htykJ
17
The First Agony
35
The Second Agony
99
Copyright

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About the author (1990)

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.

Andrew Hurley is a professor of history at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Hurley is the author of Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945-1980 and Common Fields: An Environmental History of St. Louis.

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