Manuel Mujica Láinez David William Foster - Essay

David William Foster

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Although unlikely ever to be considered a great novel, Manuel Mujica Láinez's Bomarzo … has certainly been one of the most memorable—and unusual—works of Argentine fiction in recent years…. Through some feat of necromancy Orsini is able to tell his tale, complete with all the appropriate period accoutrements, while ensconced in his twentieth century study beneath his own gaze as painted by Lorenzo Lotto four hundred years before.

The painting is undoubtedly one of the central keys to the novel. The narrator comments ironically on the idealized Renaissance perfection the portrait exudes, a perfection of body that bore scant resemblance to the man's true physique. Orsini, in frank...

(The entire section is 748 words.)