Daniel Sada Appreciation from Fransisco Goldman

Franisco Goldman has a nice Appreciation of Daniel Sada in the Pairs Review. It is an insightful piece and I think Almost Never is going to be the big book of next year.


Bolaño compared Sada’s baroque writing style to Lezama Lima’s, by way of making the point that because the Cuban Lezama’s baroque reflected the crowded natural effulgence of the tropics, Sada’s baroque is a more impressive verbal invention, a baroque of the desert. It, too, came only from “the efficacy of words.” In Porque parece mentira la verdad nunca se sabe (Because it seems like a lie the truth is never known), Sada’s huge, dense masterpiece (a novel routinely referred to as Joycean, with 650 pages and 90 characters, narrated almost entirely in alexandrine, hendecasyllabic, and isosyllabic verse-prose), the desert and its sparsely populated towns teem with all the political turbulence, corruption, and violence of modern Mexico. Sada is to Juan Rulfo—author of only one, hundred-page novel, the Mexican desert ghost-town masterpiece Pedro Páramo, voted by readers of Spain’s most important newspaper, El País, as the greatest Spanish-language novel of the twentieth century—what Beckett was to Joyce, only inverted. Beckett’s minimalism was his response to Joyce unsurpassable maximalism. Sada’s maximalism was his response to Rulfo’s unsurpassable minimalism.