He Who Searches

ISBN-10: 0916583201
ISBN-13: 9780916583200
Edition: Reprint 
List price: $9.95
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Description: A professor of semiotics who doubles as a psychologist in Barcelona visits (always in disguise) a prostitute in the early morning hours on Mondays and Thursdays in order to analyze her without her knowing it. The story moves from Barcelona to Mexico  More...

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Book details

List price: $9.95
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date: 5/1/1987
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 134
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.396
Language: English

A professor of semiotics who doubles as a psychologist in Barcelona visits (always in disguise) a prostitute in the early morning hours on Mondays and Thursdays in order to analyze her without her knowing it. The story moves from Barcelona to Mexico to Buenos Aires, but above all it is about Argentina: its recent history, its 30,000 missing children, its stunned middle class, its writers in exile. He Who Searches is multifaceted in structure, combining narrative references to old-fashioned storytelling, realism, psychoanalysis, feminism, politics, and suspense, all of them tinged with a patina of eroticism that reflects a feminist perspective. Ultimately the disguises of the plot--transvestism, transsexualism, differing sexual points of view--become pieces in a puzzle tha can be taken apart to create other figures, other puzzles. It ends with its narrator back in Buenos Aires: "He who searches, finds."

Luisa Valenzuela is one of the many women who have emerged as major voices in Latin American fiction. Her elliptic metaphoric pieces broaden the definitions of short story and novel. Strange Things Happen Here (1977) is close to an allegory of the Argentine political situation, but it shuns conventional realism to blur reality in a hallucinatory style. Julio Cortazar said of Valenzuela that she lucidly charts "the seldom-chosen course of a woman deeply anchored in her condition, conscious of discriminations that are still horrible all over our continent, but, at the same time, filled with joy in life that permits her to surmount both the elementary stages of protest and an overestimation of women in order to put herself on a perfectly equal footing with any literature---masculine or not."

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