Juan Francisco Ferré: Karnaval


The latest addition to my website is Juan Francisco Ferré‘s Karnaval, a superb novel about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair. Ferré takes the story of Strauss-Kahn and his alleged rape of an African chambermaid in a luxury New York hotel and makes a wonderful novel about a character called DK (the D standing for dios i.e. the Spanish for god) and how he represents power (particularly sexual power), arrogance and lust. From DK’s letters to world leaders, offering his advice, to a documentary film with interventions from various celebrity talking heads, from DK’s sexual history to his discussion with powerful financial figures, from exorcisms and strange voices to both DK’s view and the maid’s view of what happened and the aftermath, Ferré piles on a complex picture of power and arrogance and celebrity and the downfall of a man who has these traits and who becomes larger than life in this novel. It is part biography, part satire but much more in Ferré’s telling of the tale. Sadly, it is not available in any other language as yet.

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