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Beschreibung des Verlags
A magical short novel that weaves together two stories, two couples, two different times, and two grand passions
In one of the narratives that comprise this superb new novel from Carlos Fuentes, we are introduced to Gabriel Atlan-Ferrara, a fabled orchestral conductor, and his great love Inez Prada, a renowned singer. In the other, Fuentes memorably delineates the very first encounter in human history between a man and a woman. In one, the intense drama of Berlioz's music for The Damnation of Faust informs the action; in the other, we watch as a slowly emergent love shapes the nature and character of the two protagonists. A beautiful crystal seal -- the meaning of which is a mystery that obsesses Atlan-Ferrara, who owns it -- unites these two narratives; the magical seal allows one to read unknown languages and hear impossible music, and it is the symbol of a shared love.
The duality of Carlos Fuentes's brilliant new novel mirrors two eras, one in the deepest remote time and one in a time to come, but the passions evoked in both, reflected against each other like two sides of a crystal seal, break the limits of time and space and unite in one story. And, like the light refracted through the seal, it begins in prehistory and spirals out into infinity . . .
In Inez, we find Carlos Fuentes at the height of his magical and realist powers. This profound and beautiful work confirms his standing as Mexico's pre-eminent novelist.
This brief novel, unlike the historical epic The Years with Laura D az, tells two simple stories in a manner that rises to great heights of narrative improvisation without overstepping its bounds. Gabriel Atlan-Ferrara, a symphony conductor renowned for his brio, falls in love with Inez Rosenzweig, an opera singer. Gabriel's love blossoms from initial outrage, when Inez upsets Gabriel by singing too loudly, to survive many years, many performances (including one rehearsal in London 1940, during the blitz), and even an assault from a hotheaded rival. Finally, the only thing that binds the conductor to his love is a shimmering glass seal, which inspires visions of his past, his present and his future. Running parallel to this story is a tale from Inez's dreams, a poetic, elegantly spare love story from a time before recorded history: an ancient couple falls in love as their primitive race migrates across still-forming landscapes. The integral tale counterbalances the conductor's wild, dramatic thoughts, broad generalizations suiting the Berlioz he conducts most successfully reaching his professional apex in a production of The Damnation of Faust, in which Marguerite enters the performance hall naked and then strips Inez naked as well, a transcendent moment for the conductor but shocking for the audience. Gabriel becomes a poignant symbol of all artists, taming the conflicting forces within their own work, even as love itself develops symbiotically. Even if some of the flamboyant observations about memory and art bouncing around in the conductor's tempestuous psyche seem overblown or too easily earned, this novel is still a worthy addition to Fuentes' varied but persistently exciting oeuvre.