21 oct. 2010

El hereje

I was reading this novel by Miguel Delibes, El hereje. It takes place in the 16th century and the "heretic" of the novel is a Lutheran in Valladolid.

Everything in the novel is laid out for the reader in explicit detail. We get a lot of historical research almost in its raw form, with the thinnest veneer of fictionalization, and we are told what happens to the characters in chronological order. Much as I admire some of Delibes's other novels, this one has no sense of narrative mystery or suspense. We never wonder why a character is doing something. Every narrative move is telegraphed way in advance. Understanding the literal level of what happens in the plot, you would understand the novel itself.

I am impatient with my inability to tolerate this kind of fictional construct. I'm sure this kind of historical data dump would not bother many readers.

1 comentario:

Clarissa dijo...

I didn't like the novel either and for precisely the same reason. I felt it was very carefully constructed in order to explore every mechanism possible that will make it sell well. The result was predictable and boring.

For most people, though, this is the only thing by Delibes they read.