Larva: Midsummer Night's Babel by Julián Ríos

A striking reassessment of the Don Juan myth. A literary tour de force, this extraordinary novel is told in single-minded pursuit of double meanings, but it is serious play. Larva is a rollicking account of a masquerade party in an abandoned mansion in London. Milalias (disguised as Don Juan) searches for Babelle (as Sleeping Beauty) through a linguistic funhouse of puns and wordplay recalling Joyce's Finnegans Wake. A mock-scholarly commentary reveals the backgrounds of the masked revellers, while Rios' allusive language shows that words too wear masks, hiding an astonishing range of further meanings and implications. Larva revives a Hispanic tradition repressed for centuries by introducing the English tradition of puns, palindromes and acrostics (a word puzzle in which certain letters in each line form a word or words) and establishes Rios as the most accomplished successor (in any language) to Joyce.

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The 1521st greatest fiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (The Book)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
Larva: Midsummer Night's Babel Hardcover 958486 $36.67 $9.00 1990
Larva: A Midsummer Night's Babel (Spanish Literature Series) Paperback 2674952 $15.95 $18.13 1990