The Fear of Losing Eurydice

Latin American Literature Series
Julieta Campos
Translated by Leland H. Chambers

This lyrical novel by one of Mexico’s leading women writers explores both desire and the desire to tell a love story. In an idle moment between grading assignments, a French teacher sitting in a cafe in a Caribbean seaport town sketches an island on his white napkin.

Like Proust’s petite madeleine, the island opens up a host of images: “Island: the sum of all improbabilities; intoxicating improbability of fiction. Island: image of desire . . . All the islands formulated by human beings and all islands appearing on the maps comprise a single imaginary archipelago—the archipelago of desire.” Monsieur N.’s original plan to use a Jules Verne novel about shipwrecked schoolboys as a translation exercise for his pupils becomes an obsession to collect every reference to islands he can find and to meditate on them in a diary of his imaginary travels—his Islandiary. Parallel to this quest is an archetypal love story that he begins writing in his notebook, printed in a narrow column with islands of quotations surrounding it. Voyaging and the quest for islands becomes a metaphor for the search for paradise, for the island as an imagined place where love achieves perfection. It also becomes a metaphor for writing: “Every text is an island.”

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Translated by Leland H. Chambers
Publication: Latin American Literature Series
Format: Hardback
Number of pages: 121
ISBN-13: 9781564780201
GTIN13: 9781564780201
Publication date: 2/1/1993
Language: eng
List price: $19.95