The Assault by Reinaldo Arenas

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Synopsis

A passionate, epic writer, the author of Before Night Falls, concludes his five-novel sequence--a "secret history of Cuba" and a writer's autobiography--with this allegorical satire. Arenas paints a harrowing yet boldly entertaining Kafka-esque picture of a dehumanized people and the despair of an observer/narrator clinging to sanity.
 

About Reinaldo Arenas

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The novel The Ill-fated Peregrinations of Fray Servando recreates in a poetic style, in which time, space, and character move on multiple planes of fantasy and reality, the life of Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, a Mexican priest famous for his hatred of the Spaniards. Mier denied even that the Spaniards had brought Christianity to the New World. Arenas begins with a letter to the friar: "Ever since I discovered you in an execrable history of Spanish literature, described as the friar who had traveled over the whole of Europe on foot having improbable adventures; I have tried to find out more about you." In a meditation on the nature of fiction, Arenas discovers that he and Servando are the same person, and author and character become one. Andrew Hurley is a professor of history at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Hurley is the author of Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945-1980 and Common Fields: An Environmental History of St. Louis.
 
Published July 1, 1994 by Viking. 145 pages
Genres: Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Arenas has some dark and profound points to make (or remake: a number were already Orwell's or Zinoviev's) about the danger of language to authority, about revolution's insistence on the utility of psychosis (``What we had to do--and this the Represident knows well--was undermine everything, dest...

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Arenas's latest novel follows a Cuban federal agent whose hatred of Castro's government reflects the state of affairs in the author's homeland.

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Publishers Weekly

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Set after the ``last big war'' in a society of ``degenerate beasts''--where human beings have snouts and claws and the criminals sport polished shaved heads--this is the final novel in the late Cuban-born Arenas's ``Pentagonia'' quintet ( Singing from the Well ;

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