PRINT September 1984



IT STARTS WITH THE COVER, a soot-black image by Antonio Saura on which the title, Larva: Babel de una noche de San Juan, is inscribed, a title that cedes its place to a premonitory cyclopic eye dominating the drawn and dribbled face in typical Sauresque dramatic dissolution. Thematically, and physically, this is a complex image, fitting in relation to a complex text, a novel that is itself full of visual as well as verbal surprise and difference. We see Saura’s eye before we see the enigmatic profile that contains it. It peers out at us as we peer into it, sharing the voyeuristic experience it provokes. Like the carnivalesque novel it surrounds and encloses, the sooty cover pierces the secret night, a Spanish midsummer’s eve festival held in a disused English mansion, a fringe moment celebrated by fringe people elaborately disguised, elaborately revealed. Its eyed face lifts and perversely—in

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