|About the Book|
THIRD READING (05/05/2015)Considering that this is the third time Ive read this, I really remembered almost nothing that actually happens in these tales other than in Orphea--some images resonated as being encountered before, but in many ways leaving 4.5 years between readings helps to make it new as they say. Im a very different reader now than I was 6 years ago upon first encountering this book, but I still find this fascinating. Perhaps the fictional creation of a pure, heartless, decadent evil--and the imagination needed for said realm of Creation is totally fascinating in a zeitgeist where it seems that every writer and reader is concerned with progressive thought in terms of alterity (in terms of gender, race, or sexual preference). Aside from what would assuredly be called out for the pseudonymic appropriation of a Castillan author actually voiced by a White man, THE EYES tends toward fair game in the subjects the text takes as victims (though, of course, there are more women-as-subject here than men--but, unlike in a Robbe-Grillet novel, the victims are not exclusively women, which of course is motivated by a more polymorphous perversion, see Sade for the original progenitor of such transgression). In terms of the creation of a meta-textual character-as-author, I still think its a solid move to insist that the text is a translation, as it offers both a level of remove and presents a wall in between English language readers and the validity of fiction via language-block... With that said, I still think this is an absolutely fascinating project that is ugly and brutal yet will occasional encounter an unintentional sublimity in the spaces of writing it creates.SECOND READING (11/27/2010)So, yes, we know that Aldapuerta is not real, but I think I like that more than him being true, because it is more exciting, it lets the introduction stand as a sort of totally enticing apocryphal history that colors the entire collection of stories.This time through I was somewhat underwhelmed by the abundance of war-time stories that mark the beginning of the book, though there are still some touches that are like whoa. The second half is fucking turbo heightened zone though. Orphea specifically holds something that I want to get at.FIRST READING (03/08/2009)I had bought this a year or two ago, and reading the first few stories I was far from impressed and set it aside without finishing it. In taking a break from Bataille yesterday I was struck with an urge to revisit this, and Im certainly glad I did. This time around the stories struck a chord with me- potentially because reading these stories as beyond simple evil & shock, its possible to find something really incredible. In tangent with readings of Bataille, Aldapuerta (whos life, I have to admit, has me wanting much much more of his work [coded diaries?!:]) seems to exhibit an uncanny ability to write representations of the impossible or if not that, at least the extreme limits of experience. That is what saves this work from being tossed along side a lot of other transgressive literature that Ive suffered through looking for cheap thrills: the fact that this is literature as transcendence.There is absolutely no concern present for the reader in this work, and Aldapuerta doesnt care if you know that. There is alternatively a level of solipsism present in the fantasy element running next to a level of beautiful textuality, occasionally a meta-textuality, and if anything a textuality seeped in semiotics & post-structuralism (the final short story- Pornoglossa demonstrates this wonderfully).A few motifs that pop up repeatedly throughout the stories struck me as particularly fascinating: two of the strongest stories, Orphea and Upright contain instance of a hyper-present static. In Orphea it is a soundtrack taken from field recordings that the protagonist listens to while driving the desert (and the descriptions here found me wandering back to the Ligotti story The Bungalow House, though there are enough differences that I cant pinpoint exactly why), and in Upright it is the catalyst for an incident of pederastic sexual violence. In both stories the static forms a sort of texture, an atmosphere that coheres with the story in a really uncanny sort of way: the idea of static became uncomfortable to me.Aldapuerta is definitely evil & insane, but hes also a brilliant fucking writer, and I sincerely hope that more of his work makes its way to the English language.