17. The Wizard's Manuscript View larger

17. The Wizard's Manuscript


The Wizard’s Manuscript opens, beguilingly, with a
nameless narrator spending the very last of his money on
the titular work. Hungry and hoping for spells to conjure
bread, he finds himself instead enchanted by the
fragmentary story. It is nourishing but in the manner of
scorpion-meat, armored and strange: obliquely, the story
teaches loving the prickly beauty of seemingly uninhabitable
places—and the pleasure of living by drinking what
trickles amidst rusted metal, half-remembered music,
and strenuous ritual. Ultimately, the story reaches
cosmogonic heights, with the longed-for conjuring of
bread recalled in a hallucinatory echo of transsubstantiation,
the body and the very being becoming food for
abstract thought.
Never, however, does Larrea lose sight of the concrete,
the thing and its power to evoke ideas. Recalling certain
monuments in fabulism—Borges, Calvino, even
Cervantes—this precisely impressionistic collection
invites the reader to share the narrator’s experience, both
strangely familiar and strongly defamiliarizing, of selfdiscovery
as recognition of self in others. Through vivid
vignettes and etched philosophical meditations,
variously funny, heartfelt, astonishing, and ordinary, the
reader accompanies the narrator on a physical journey of
great emotional affect and spiritual meaning.

Author Pedro Larrea
Benjamin Eldon Stevens
ISBN 978-0-9988982-7-8

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