By Jose Asuncion Silva
Misplaced in a shipwreck in 1895, rewritten prior to the author's suicide in 1896, and never released until eventually 1925, Jose Asuncion Silva's "After-Dinner dialog" (De sobremesa) is one in every of Latin America's most interesting fin de siecle novels and the 1st one to be translated into English. might be the only most sensible paintings for figuring out turn-of-the-twentieth-century writing in South the US, "After-Dinner dialog" can also be stated because the continent's first mental novel and a good instance of modernista fiction and the Decadent sensibility. Semi-autobiographical and extra very important for variety than plot, "After-Dinner dialog" is the diary of a Decadent sensation-collector in exile in Paris who undertakes a quest to discover his cherished Helen, a imaginative and prescient whom his fevered mind's eye sees as his salvation.Along the best way, he struggles with irreconcilable urges and temptations that pull him in each path whereas he endures an atmosphere detached or adversarial to non secular and highbrow goals, as did the modernista writers themselves. Kelly Washbourne's first-class translation preserves Silva's lush prose and experimental type. within the creation, some of the most wide-ranging in Silva feedback, Washbourne locations the existence and paintings of Silva of their literary and old contexts, together with a longer dialogue of the way "After-Dinner dialog" matches inside Spanish American modernismo and the Decadent circulate. Washbourne's perceptive reviews and notes additionally make the unconventional available to basic readers, who will locate the paintings strangely clean greater than a century after its composition.
Read or Download After-Dinner Conversation: The Diary of a Decadent (Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture) PDF
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Extra info for After-Dinner Conversation: The Diary of a Decadent (Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture)
Silva, according to P. E. Coll, sought to forge in prose both the “verdores de la descomposición” (“salad days of decay”) and the “fragancia de la juventud” (“fragrance of youth”) (Camacho Guizado, 312), a new, Baudelairean aesthetic ideal. As we can see in the modernistas in general, sin— of which sensuality and sexuality are markers—is embraced thematically as the possibility for transcendence, but also with a horrible price. Sin and disease, according to Sontag, are linked in the popular imagination.
At bottom what Nordau saw in these writers was an exaggerated cult of the “I” (Greenslade, 122), and some critics—not all of them contemporary—seized upon him to condemn literary trends of the time or shore up their own conservative take on them (124 –125). In short, time has revealed Nordau’s attacks for what they are: character assassinations disguised in objective language and aimed at reducing the status of their targets. In many respects he falls in with the very positivist doctors whom Fernández reads and to whom he resorts with almost hypochondriacal desperation.
The portrayal of Jesus himself, following Strauss and Renan, is secularized; he is seen not as a divinity but as the paragon of human kindness (Paris, 3 June, 189 –. . ). Fernández’s grandmother is not only his “saint,” but a patron saint, in that her prophesies are designed to protect him. 42 She is also preserved in the unction of memory as Helen is preserved in a cult-like shrine, and jealously, recalling Rossetti’s lines from “The Portrait”: “Her face is made her shrine. ) / They that would look on her must come to me” (Rossetti, 262).