Using technology that doesn’t exist, a professor gives a lecture about a man living his life without a head. A writer who is missing a leg battles isolation and looks for validation among those who would be the subjects of his research.
For the first time, Mario Bellatin’s novellas Flowers & Mishima’s Illustrated Biography are published in one beautiful hardcover “flip” volume in both the original Spanish and English translation.
Bellatin’s writing is beautiful, odd, dislocating, and darkly funny. In Flowers, he shapes the story as a “construction of complicated narrative structures based upon the sum of certain objects that together form a whole.” Each chapter adds to the narrative but is independent of the last. In Mishima’s Illustrated Biography, the story is told from the point of view of students listening to a lecture and punctuated with images from an impossible didactic machine. Half of Mishima’s story is told in text, the other half in photographs.
Bellatin’s language is simple, but each phrase is dense and intentionally vague. The journey through this book may be deceptively easy. Upon your return you’ll find that your luggage takes a very long time to unpack.
Flowers & Mishima’s Illustrated Biography in the media:
«Bellatin’s extraordinary use of intertextuality and metatextuality draws attention to itself; it is as if his stories were as incomplete as his own body, as his alter egos walking around in his fictional worlds.» –Jeffrey Zuckerman (Los Angeles Review of Books)
«Is this self-reflective literary criticism, meta-autobiographical fiction, or just plain old hijinks? Ultimately it doesn’t matter, as the prose is elegant and engrossing in its directly stated fashion (thanks be to translator Kolin Jordan) and the ideas are about as exciting as any one might find in literature today.» –Vincent Francone (Three Percent)