Saturday, April 1, 2017
On "Identity" by Felipe Alfau (4636 words) *****
In Alfau's introductory story to Locos, we start with a character--or person--who is slated to be important. That is his role in life. But no matter what he does, he is ignored. The premise seemed so much like the lives of many I know, including myself. We want our lives to amount to something, but in the end, all our artistic endeavors or service endeavors or whatever we do seem to go nowhere far. We trudge on in anonymity, questioning our existence. That is Fulano, who volunteers to be part of the Alfau's novel in an effort to gain some importance. It is suggested the Fulano commit suicide to start the novel, so he sets about that course of action. He won't really do it, but he'll leave a note and disappear mysteriously, making him the center of action--except that when he does do it, he is the victim of a thief, who seeing Fulano drop his possessions and his suicide note in the streets, absconds with the items and makes the suicide note his own, leaving his own possessions with the note in its stead. The story becomes then a vehicle to right this wrong. Read the story here at Barcelona Review.