Cinema Eden by Juan Goytisolo
Essays from the Muslim Mediterranean

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To many, Juan Goytisolo is Spain's greatest living novelist and her sternest critic. An exile from his native land for over forty years (he left Madrid in 1957 to escape Franco's regime), he has mercilessly sought to overturn Spain's Catholic homogeneity by remembering the cultural influence of her medieval and Jewish populations. Few European writers know the Islamic shores of the Mediterranean as intimately as he does. In these essays about Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt, Goytisolo celebrates a world where ritual matters and tradition is alive, where saints live, story-tellers weave their enchantments nightly, and where honor and dignity preserve the importance of the individual. Goytisolo is to Spanish writing what Almodovar is to Spanish cinema. These essays are a fine reading of the vast, heterogeneous mosaic of Islam against the everyday truculent images of the mass media. ""A deliciously pretentious aesthete, Goytisolo unashamedly romanticizes popular Islamic life in beguiling, immensely readable, poetic prose.""-Publishers Weekly

About Juan Goytisolo

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Goytisolo first became known in the United States for his novel The Young Assassins (1954), the story of juvenile delinquents corrupted by social conditions during and immediately after the Spanish civil war. His depictions of the spiritual emptiness and moral decay of Spain under the Franco regime led to the censorship of some of his works there, and he moved to Paris in 1957. In 1966 he published Marks of Identity, which would eventually form a trilogy with Count Julian (1970) and Juan the Landless (1975). Count Julian is an exile's view of Spain, with Spanish history, literature, and language derisively viewed for the purpose of destroying them so that they might be reinvented. Formally, it is a "new novel" along the lines of Robbe-Grillet's formulations. Makbara (1980), a misogynous novel, also attacks capitalism. Landscapes after the Battle (1982), based loosely on the life of Lewis Carroll is, in fact, a self-conscious novel concerned mainly with the problems involved in writing novels.
Published March 29, 2004 by Eland Books. 144 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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