23 ene. 2009

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*Menchu Gutiérrez. La mujer ensimismada. 2001. 90 pp.

A woman visits twelve nearly identical houses on one street and describes their contents. In each house, a woman is engaged in some artistic endeavor, whether of the fine arts or the practical arts. Music, cooking, gardening, sewing, painting, etc... The weather outside in the plaza changes every time she emerges from one of the houses. The descriptions are lovely, and the writing exquisite throughout. Despite its excellence, there is something unsatisfying here. Not just that nothing happens, which is to be expected in a "poet's novel" as this one is, but that there is an absence of negative emotion: everything is too prettified, somehow. Nothing is really at stake.