Quim Monzó: La magnitud de la tragèdia (The Enormity of the Tragedy)

enormity

The latest addition to my website is Quim Monzó‘s La magnitud de la tragèdia (The Enormity of the Tragedy). Initially, this seems like a sexual parody, as Ramón-Maria, a widower of one year, a trumpet player in a burlesque show and former publisher, living with his teenage stepdaughter, Anna-Francesca, who hates him with a passion, has successfully wooed one of the actresses from the show, where he works, Maria-Eugenia. However, he has drunk too much and when they get into bed, he cannot perform. However, he wakes up that night with an erection, an erection he cannot get rid of. At first, this seems like something enjoyable, as he has a succession of sexual encounters with Maria-Eugenia and then with her friend. Anna-Francesca herself is also having an active sex life, though, as there is no communication at all between step-daughter and step-father, Ramón-Maria is completely unaware of this. However, Ramón-Maria finally goes to the doctor and learns he has a condition from which he will die in seven weeks. The book changes tone at this point, as he confronts his likely imminent death. He is also unaware that Anna-Francesca is plotting his death. He thinks of his death but then decides to go for a second opinion. This book seems to be a post-modernist view of Spain, where sex (and, to a lesser degree, violence) are common, and normal communication has faded away, though it could be just considered a sexual parody.

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