On Our Shelves Now
Mazurka for Two Dead Men, the culmination of Camilo Jos Cela's literary art, opens in 1936 at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War: Lionheart Gamuzo is savagely murdered. In 1939, as the war ends, his brother avenges his death. For both deaths, the blind accordion player Gaudencio plays the same mazurka. Set in backward rural Galicia, Cela's excellent novel portrays a reign of fools, and works like contrapuntal music, its themes calling and responding, alternately brutal, melancholy, funny, lyrical, and coarse.