The Book Beat Reading Group Selection for June is The Ingenious Gentleman and Poet Federico Garcia Lorca Ascends to Hell by Carlos Rojas. The Reading Group will meet Wednesday, June 24 at 7:00pm in the Goldfish Teahouse (117 W 4th St #101, Royal Oak, MI 48067). Books are discounted 15% at Book Beat. All are welcome!
“As intelligent and audacious a meditation on art, fate and mortality as anyone could hope to read.” —Los Angeles Times
In Carlos Rojas’ imaginative novel, the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, murdered by Francoist rebels in August 1936, finds himself in an inferno that somehow resembles Breughel’s Tower of Babel. He sits alone in a small theatre in this private hell, viewing scenes from his own life performed over and over and over. Unexpectedly, two doppelgangers appear, one a middle-aged Lorca, the other an irascible octogenarian self, and the poet faces a nightmarish confusion of alternative identities and destinies. Carlos Rojas uses a fantastic premise – Garcia Lorca in hell – to reexamine the poet’s life and speculate on alternatives to his tragic end. Rojas creates with a surrealist’s eye and a moral philosopher’s mind.
“Carlos Rojas is the most creative and imaginative of the post-war Spanish writers—the group that has been called the Generation of 1950—and is certainly one of the extraordinary novelists of the twentieth century in any language. He brings the eye of a surrealist and the mind of a moral philosopher to his depictions of the raw internal conflicts that define not only individual lives (whether historical or fictional) but the lives of nations as well.” –Edith Grossman, author of Why Translation Matters
A novelist, an art historian, and since the age of fifty a creator of visual works of art, Carlos Rojas is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Spanish Emeritus at Emory University. He has received numerous important Spanish literary prizes, including the Premio Nadal.