A Paradise Lost: Arno Camenisch’s “The Alp” is reviewed at the Fanzine

In the opening sequence of director Carlos Reygadas’ latest film, the 2013 Post Tenebos Lux, a man facing an unknown existential terror screams without making a sound, a tiny child is left alone in a muddy field in a vast mountain landscape with large hungry dogs and menacing bulls, beasts that might rip her apart at any moment, another man beats an errant puppy, banging its head against the ground, someone else takes a chainsaw to trees in the forest, gouging out their knotty hearts. This is the filmmaker’s paradise lost, innocence squandered, fervid beauty bludgeoned—by the evil that plagues us, the viciousness of nature, wildness inside and out of us we can’t control.

It was impossible not to think of Post Tenebros Lux while reading Arno Camenisch’s slender novel The Alp, a similarly evocative lament for man’s hopeless quest to preserve a paradise that never really was, a dairy and swine farm high in the Swiss Alps. A single cruel summer ends with the book—Camenisch like Reygadas is drawn to the border between living and dying—and we are left to wonder if the following summer it won’t be razed for a hotel.

Click here to read the article at the Fanzine


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