21 octubre 2011

Jacob the mutant

One of most surprising discoveries for literature, not just for Joseph Roth’s but for all of twentieth century literature, seems to be held in the mechanism of how a role assigned to a particular character derives, quite suddenly, into another, completely different.  Precisely when the reader assumes, quite plausibly, not just Jacob Pliniak’s presence in the text but, above all, his right to remain in its structure, our character transforms, with no great step, into his supposed adoptive daughter, Rose Plinianson, highest authority of the women’s committee in her town.  It all begins when, without interruption, at a certain point in the plot, Jacob Pliniak finds himself living in America.  He discovers himself in New York City, investigating the whereabouts of actress Norah Kimberly, well known for her work in the travelling theater groups of the era.
excerpt from the novella Jacob The Mutant by Mario Bellatin, which I am currently translating

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