Winner of Mexico’s Premio Novela Mexico, Spain’s Romulo Gallegos Prize for best Spanish-language novel, and France’s Priz de Meilleur. James Polk reviews book Palinuro of Mexico by Fernando del Paso; drawing (M). A Case of Literary Infection: Palinuro de Mexico and Ulysses. ROBIN FIDDIAN. Palinuro de Mexico is Fernando del Paso’s second novel. Born in. Mexico City in .

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He expatiates, expounds, declaims and makes metaphor after metaphor out of the tons of facts that make up his enormous erudition, and this becomes a sort of linguistic drama in itself. Five stars for Tristram Shandy’s apples.

If only I were not such a literalist perhaps I too could have gone beyond my single pentagram. The titular character is, at times, both narrator and subject sometimes he narrates about himself in the third person —a medical student in passionate love with his cousin Estefania.

This book is like a house of mirrors. I find this a hard book to recommend to anyone. I wasn’t feeling confident in my knowledge to grasp them. Up until the last chapters of the book, I could get behind that statement. Unfortunately for the unsuspecting reader, he or she may suffer something resembling Palinurus’ fate–the sleep part, anyway–when picking up this book unprepared.

Palinuro de México

He sings of a broken country cutting itself into shreds. Littering the novel with references — literary, medical, political, philosophical, historical — del Paso is almost entirely successful with this marvelously ambitious effort.


Palinure de Mexico – France. This was over the top excellent – it mixes kexico tale with myth with history with offbeat yet deep pieces of trivia; all of this collages together into a dense encyclopedic feat of literature. For Mexican novelist Fernando del Paso, there has been a lag of almost 20 years since paljnuro first Spanish-language edition of this huge and mystifying novel. They deserve great success with it: Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs.

And while that is perfectly fine, I felt it wasn’t enough and didn’t make up for the great comments I had read about this book. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Just as Joyce’s title signals that his model for the novel is a grand and all-encompassing quest story, the title of Del Paso’s book also hints at a mythological precedent. It has the enchantment of dreams, but is much beyond a dream.

It’s a mirror to the culture of Mexico. It seems like there are only a handful of other works by him, but I basically wish I read Spanish so I could seek them out. I keep seeing Rabelais’s name in reference to some of the books I have been reading.

View all 5 comments. This is one of those sure-fire books that get all the modern literature majors excited at their po-mo, creme-limned Starbucks orgies. Minus one star for wasting a perfect opportunity to write some good stuff on medical school, doctors, students and re.

Palinuro is a medical student, or wants to be, anyhow.

Palinuro of Mexico – Fernando del Paso

Unfortunately for the helmsman, the gods demand a sacrifice if the ship is to safely reach the farther shore; the god of sleep overwhelms Palinurus, and he slips from the deck into the sea. There’s a litany of medical terms and body parts.


And many thanks to the Loch Ness monster’s neighbor for bringing a terrific book to my attention yet again. Oh and one more thing: Most women who read the romantic paean to Estefania that makes up all of Chapter 4 will probably yearn for such treatment for themselves. Five stars for the house in Holiday Square and the world around it.

Other times, the book turns puerile and overly macho. Ostensibly, this is that all-too-rare bird—a freewheeling uninhibited masterwork in pursuance of pure readerly pleasure, of that Gassian wonder of the word.

Palinuro of Mexico – Canada. May 09, Luis rated it it was amazing. Ostensibly, this is a novel about the body—in love, in pain, in all its staggering medical complexity—and the irresponsible people responsible for keeping it ticking. Chronicling in a number of voices the life of Palinuro and his cousin Estenfaniadel Paso’s dense but entertaining text is a splendid novel.