Art and Anger pp 144-149 | Cite as

The Adventures of Maqroll

  • Ilan Stavans


Portentous dreamer, irredeemable traveler, subtle monarchist and conversationalist extraordinaire, Alvaro Mutis is the inhabitant of an unique, self-sufficient cosmos—endless, without timetables and borders, a universe of excitement and horror alien to most of us. His creatures are bizarre and wondrous: arms dealers, buccaneers, and corsairs, students of Saint Francis, guerrilla fighters, mutineers, clairvoyant prostitutes with little attachment to society. They go about doing their habitual errands without much fanfare, common men and women either living a nomadic life or settled in remote, enchanting regions of the globe. But only after getting acquainted with their inner world do we realize that their solitude and moral ambiguity are incommensurable, just like ours. Joseph Conrad is an obvious reference point: in some way, Mutis’s creations also seem to cry repeatedly, in a whisper, as if addressing a strange image, a strange vision: “The horror! The horror!”


Patron Saint Puppet Show Moral Ambiguity Nomadic Life Botanical Expedition 
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Copyright information

© Ilan Stavans 1996

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  • Ilan Stavans

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