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Miguel Correa Mujica
North of Hell
Series No.: 168
ISBN: 9781933382951, Pages: 86
Cuban Literature, Fiction
Recognized as a major work of fiction upon its original publication in 1984, North of Hell has undergone several printings and has been hailed as a masterwork throughout the Spanish-speaking literary world.
In his introduction to Mujica's hilarious book, author Reinaldo Arenas notes that "There are (at least) two kinds of good literature. One that emerges out of a rigorous disciplined literary work and an organized and lucid talent; this kind normally produces limpid, beautiful, serene and even sumptuously desolate pages. The other kind, the one that really cuts through the bone and transcends, encompassing the aforementioned qualities, also infects us—as a virus for which there's no antidote—with the glow of the curse, the torrential and unstoppable fury of the condemned." North of Hell, quite obviously, is a book of the second kind, a work with "the imminent authenticity of its characters, its language, its world, its shouts."
Born in Cuba in 1957, Miguel Correa Mujica has lived in New York since 1980, where he is an Associate Professor at the City University of New York. His second novel, Furia del discurso humano, was published in 2002.
THE COLLIDESCOPE, June 30, 2022
by George Salis
North of Hell (Al norte del infierno) belies its 130 pages and offers the reader a distilled dose of Kafkaesque content executed in an accomplished style.... In a presentation titled “El texto como exorcismo” (“The Text as Exorcism”), Mujica spoke about his debut novel at the McNally Robinson bookstore in New York (date unknown). Google translate comes to our aid again so that we may read the highlights of this public reflection:
“I wrote the first and only version of the book in about 8 months, all in 1982. The manuscript barely had a syntactical revision. Since my departure from Cuba through the Mariel boatlift in 1980, the characters formed an enormous hubbub and tumult in my mind, unbearable noises, unspeakable uproars, veritable riots of beings who apparently just wanted to tell their truth and explode, as if their lives depended on the mere fact of the enunciation of their cries."
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