- Tapa blanda: 72 páginas
- Editor: City Lights Books (1 de julio de 2009)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0872864731
- ISBN-13: 978-0872864733
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº955.282 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
Beauty Salon (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 1 jul 2009
Descripción del producto
Reseña del editor
"Like much of Mr. Bellatin's work, Beauty Salon is pithy, allegorical and profoundly disturbing, with a plot that evokes The Plague by Camus or Blindness by Jose Saramago."--New York Times "Including a few details that may linger uncomfortably with the reader for a long time, this is contemporary naturalism as disturbing as it gets."--Booklist A strange plague appears in a large city. Rejected by family and friends, some of the sick have nowhere to finish out their days until a hair stylist decides to offer refuge. He ends up converting his beauty shop, which he's filled with tanks of exotic fish, into a sort of medieval hospice. As his "guests" continue to arrive and to die, his isolation becomes more and more complete in this dream-hazy parable by one of Mexico's cutting-edge literary stars. Mario Bellatin, the author of numerous short novels, was born in Mexico City in 1960. In 2000, Beauty Salon was nominated for the Medicis Prize for best novel translated into French. This is its first translation into English.
Biografía del autor
Mario Bellatin was born in Mexico City in 1960 and studied film in Cuba. A singular talent and risk-taking storyteller, Bellatin is the author of the short novels, Canon perpetuo, Efecto invernadero, Damas chinas, and Poeta ciego. Salon de belleza (Beauty Salon) was released in 1999 and received huge praise and wide recognition. This is its first translation Originally from NYC, Hollander has lived in Mexico City for the last 20 years. Editor of magazines: The Portable Lower East Side (1983-1993) and Poliester (1992-2000). Author of various works of fiction, translator, writer, director and producerof the feature film Carambola (2005). He currently writes for the London Guardian Weekly and the New York Times travel section.
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The narrator is a man who saved his street-earned money and builds a beauty salon. There it is easy to see that he wants to create a place of beauty and serenity. He loves his aquariums, and talks about how he learned about the different kinds of fish and their needs. I think that, like living underwater in an aquarium, he hopes that his beauty salon will mute the real world.
But an unnamed plague is in his city. It is clearly HIV/AIDS, although it is never mentioned by name. The narrator turns his beauty salon into the Terminal -- selling everything in the place (the hair dryers, the mirrors, the chairs) and buys beds, supplies, and creates a place for men suffering from the disease to die. It is not a place for treatment, or for maudlin talk with loved ones (who are banned, at any rate, from coming in). But a place to come when the only other place open to you to die in is the street.
This book is deeply moving. I understand that the original writing was gorgeous. Certainly Mr. Hollander's translation is unforgettable. This isn't the sort of sad story where I want to cry; this story just left me aghast at the human condition. It seems like some things are so bad that even the angels can only watch mutely, with no clear understanding of what is happening.
Having said all that, don't be put off from reading this work. This writer is a wonderful talent.
When the narrator had his salon, he had aquariums with exotic fish to make the shop more beautiful. Or as he says: “just the thing to make the place special.” He keeps some fish after he converts the salon into the home for these sick individuals. He compares the fish that are difficult to keep alive with the dying men.
As awful as conditions were for AIDS sufferers in the first years of the epidemic in the U. S., these men dying as well as those who did not get a place in the Terminal fare much worse if that’s possible. And as grim as this little story is, we have to admire the narrator for taking care of his brothers just as gay men throughout America in their own quiet ways became unsung heroes as they cared for their friends and lovers. And if you want to put a name and face on a real-life hero, read STREET ZEN, the biography of Issan Dorsey, who went from a drag queen (the narrator at one time dressed and went into the streets to pick up men) and drug abuser to a Zen Buddhist who opened Maitri Hospice for people with AIDS in San Francisco. Sometimes life imitates art.
Beauty Salon is narrated in a direct way by a salon owner who has transformed his shop into a Terminal, a place where the dying are tended to in their final days. While the city, epidemic, and time of the novel are left vague, it feels distinctly temporary and familiar. In many ways the epidemic is reminiscent of the experiences of earlier HIV/AIDS patients, being rejected by hospitals, treated like lepers, and left to their friends and communities to take care of them when even their families at times reject them. In fact, the narrator is a transvestite who only takes in men as part of his rigid system of rules for the Terminal. Detaching himself from the suffering around him, the narrator embraces taking care of the fish in aquariums that he has set up in the shop. For him, the fish provide a deeper connection to the world around him than the patients he has taken in and works to stay estranged from.
Bellatin's style is clear, subtle and direct. The richness of his prose is not immediately apparent in the simplicity of the sentences. Eventually though the book won me over and surprised me with its intelligence and immediacy. Since the setting and circumstances are not fully revealed, Beauty Shop remains allegorical. The story feels timeless in its exploration of a man focused on the creation of beauty who finds himself surrounding by ugliness and suffering.
I have to confess that when I heard this book described as an allegory, I feared it would feel remote, cold, and uninviting. I was excited to find my assumption was dead wrong - this book draws you in, strikes you viscerally, and feels vitally familiar.