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Mazurka for Two Dead Men (1983)
Mazurka for Two Dead Men represents a culmination of the 1989 Nobel Prize winner Camilo Jose Cela's literary art. The novel was originally published in Spain in 1983 and is now presented in a fine translation by Patricia Haugaard. In 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, "Lionheart" Gamuzo is abducted and killed, an event recalled repeatedly by the widowed Adega, one of the several narrative voices. In 1939, when the war ends, Tanis Gamuzo avenges his brother. For both events, and for them only, the blind accordion player Gaudencio plays the same mazurka. Set in a backward rural community in Galicia (the author's home territory), Cela's creation is in many ways like a contrapuntal musical composition built with varying themes and moods. In alternately melancholy, humorous, lyrical, or coarse tones he portrays a reign of fools.
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