Re: RARA-AVIS: "Leonardo's bicycle" by Paco Ignacio Taibo II

From: Etienne Borgers (
Date: 21 Sep 2002

Manuel said:
>>My favorite may be The Shadow of the Shadow, a classic Taibo surreal
romp: >>revolution, political corruption, and murder in 1922 Mexico, packed with his unique >>characters and their bittersweet nostalgia and regret.

In between I read another novel by Taibo II : De Paso (1987) - Passing through - which is a search for the identity, and for traces of his actions, of Sebastian San Vincente. San Vincente, naval mechanics specialized in the maintenance of boilers, is a Spanish anarchist helping the direct actions of syndicalist workers in Mexico from 1920 to 1923. It's again a mixed narration with several voices, forming a kind of impressionist sketch of San Vincente achieved by small strokes, each of them being expressionist visions. I have the personal impression that Taibo II is adding a quest: searching about his own identity, his real personality, through fiction and facts that happen to Taibo II as a character of his own novel... Sebastian San Vincente appears also in " Sombra de la Sombra" - Shadow of the Shadow - book that was already on my desk and will be one of the next novels I will read.

>>Is there such a thing as "surrealistic noir"?
Definitely yes, and I agree: Taibo II qualifies!

>>Sui generis, tough and classy, just what the
>>Raravian of the 21st century is looking for, right?
Yes, and it is comforting that Taibo II chose noir to express his views and visions!
 " ...the noir novel is the social novel of this end of century. I selected the noir novel as it's the only form of modern literature that can carry subversive subjects" following his own declaration.

E.Borgers Hard-Boiled Mysteries

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