Antes is the story of a woman who returns to the landscape of her childhood to regain her innocence, knowing that in order for her to discover her identity, she. As I’ve gotten to know Carmen Boullosa’s work, her invisibility has (“Better to Disappear”) and Antes (“Before”)—but she hid them in her desk. Originally published (as Antes) in the author’s native Mexico in , Carmen Boullosa has published eighteen novels to date, as well as.

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Subscriber Tools Renew Donate. Before is a small cramen that brings to mind two other gems of Mexican literature: This comparison is not overstated.

After Before: El Libro de Carmen Boullosa

Before differs, however, in the playful, sometimes irreverent way in which the protagonist confronts this macabre topos. Rather than oppose life to death, as did Rulfo and Fuentes, Boullosa opposes childhood to adulthood, which can be infinitely more uncertain and frightening. Through this paradigm, the title Before acquires new meanings. In this first-person coming-of-age story, the narrator-protagonist attempts not so much to recount her childhood as to remember it.


But our phantasmal protagonist succumbs to the shifting and unpredictable quicksand of memory. In short, the story does not always progress linearly; instead, it necessarily moves to and fro, in a quasi stream of consciousness that both reflects and represents the fragmentary nature of memory. This point, however, seems inconsequential. Just as Juan Preciado is haunted by the memory of a father he never knew, the nameless narrator-protagonist in Before is haunted by the memory of a mother she calls bkullosa Esther.

This foreignness, however, helps distance the text from a contemporary idiom and, in doing so, creates a temporal distance that brings us closer to the period represented in the story.

Carmen Boullosa

Deep Vellum has published two other works by Boullosa: Let us hope that Deep Vellum graces us with yet another Boullosa gem. George Henson is a translator of contemporary Latin American narrative, a contributing editor at World Literature Todayand lecturer in Spanish at the University of Oklahoma.


Heavens on Earth by Carmen Boullosa. Heavens on Earth an excerpt.

Antes – Carmen Boullosa – Google Books

Texas by Carmen Boullosa. Skip to main content. Home January January Book Reviews.

Other Reviews in this Issue. Borders Roy Jacobsen, Trans. More by Carmen Boullosa.

Antes (Spanish Edition): Carmen Boullosa: : Books

The Neustadt Prize Lecture. Along a Path to Transnational Literature. Of Darkness two excerpts.

A Conversation with Alan Moore. An Interview with Nadia Villafuerte.

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