Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Cabrera Infante dead at 75

The Guardian reports that Guillermo Cabrera Infante, the greatest Cuban novelist of his generation, has died at 75.

"In 1967, he published Tres Tristes Tigres (Three Sad Tigers), one of the classics of the "boom" in the Latin American novel. Its playful tongue-twisting title sets the tone for this completely original, elliptic and difficult novel, "a celebration of Havana nights", as he put it. Cabrera reinvented a magical 1950s city, packed with music, sex, dancing, sweat and conversation. His master was James Joyce (J'aime Joys, as he said in one of his wonderful polyglot puns), and Three Sad Tigers has multiple narrators, scant plot and a middle section like something out of Finnegans Wake.

Cabrera's wit, imagination and brilliant language hold together the book, which culminates in a long conversation that ties up most of the threads. Its themes are those that recur throughout his writing: sheer joy in physical pleasures and in the human contact of jokes and anecdotes. Cabrera believes in seducing and entrancing his readers. Most critics resort to music to express the book's quality: bursts of solo sax, vibrant duets and long, melancholic interludes." from today's Guardian obit."

No comments: