Farabeuf by Salvador Elizondo

Farabeuf-final2Translated from the Spanish with an introduction by John Incledon

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A ’60s Mexican cult masterpiece, Farabeuf is an enigmatic vision of the French surgeon L.H. Farabeuf’s curious existence, from his morbidly erotic obsessions to his life as an inventor of grisly surgical instruments, an amateur photographer, and possibly even a spy in occupied Beijing during the Boxer Rebellion. With patience and purpose, Salvador Elizondo’s sensual prose brilliantly constructs, explores, and proceeds to annihilate the boundaries between pain and pleasure, love and lust, reality and longing—between our individual and collective identities.

In many ways a Latin American response to the work being done by European writers like Alain Robbe-Grillet, Farabeuf is at once single-minded in its intensity and nearly limitless in its possible interpretations, at times shocking and savage, at others sensuous and poetic. An unsung masterpiece of Spanish-language literature, now made available again in English on the fiftieth anniversary of its original publication.

Despite the disasters and misfortunes of our age, one of the pleasures life has given me has been witnessing the appearance of four or five Mexican poets and writers. One of them is Salvador Elizondo.

- Octavio Paz

About the Author

Salvador Elizondo (Mexico City, 1932—2006) was a novelist, poet, and playwright. His work rejected the magical realism so popular in his day, opting instead to incorporate cosmopolitan influences from Europe and elsewhere. He received the Xavier Villarutia Prize for the novel Farabeuf or, The Chronicle of an Instant.

About the Translator

John Incledon teaches Spanish, Latin American literature, and translation at Albright College. He has published articles on Borges, Cortazar, Carpentier, and Paz. His translation of Farabeuf was the first runner-up in ALTA’s (American Literary Translators Association) annual contest.