Fic­tion THE DREAM OF THE CELT MARIO VARGOS LLOSA, FABER AND FABER, $29.99

The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - BOOKS -

Peru’s Mario Vargos Llosa, win­ner of the 2010 No­bel Prize for Lit­er­a­ture, is one of the great writ­ers of the post-World War II era. His new novel is a work of epic his­tor­i­cal and po­lit­i­cal reach, but it is also an in­ti­mate por­trait of Roger Case­ment, an Ir­ish­man and Bri­tish diplo­mat who wrote in­flu­en­tial re­ports about colo­nial ex­cesses in the Bel­gian Congo and in Ama­zo­nia. He was knighted for his work be­fore he fell from grace.

When The Dream of the Celt be­gins, Case­ment is in Pen­tonville prison await­ing ex­e­cu­tion for trea­son, hav­ing con­spired with Ger­many in wartime in sup­port of Ir­ish in­de­pen­dence. While he waits to see if his death sen­tence is com­muted– his cause hin­dered by a scan­dal over a diary, pur­ported to be Case­ment’s, that ex­plic­itly de­tails his ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity – he re­flects on his life in Africa and South Amer­ica and his en­tan­gle­ment in the Ir­ish cause.

This is a novel of the weight­i­est themes, es­pe­cially the wan­ton ex­cesses of Eu­ro­pean em­pire-build­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.