Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Arenas, Reinaldo

(1943-1991) Cuban writer, in the USA from 1980, whose El mundo alucinante (1966 Mexico; trans Gordon Brotherston as Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Life and Adventures of Friar Servando Teresa de Mier 1971 US; new trans Andrew Hurley, with RA, as The Ill-Fated Peregrinations of Fray Servando 1987 US) is a Magic-Realism fabulation in which – in contradistinction to the imprisoned life RA was leading in Cuba – everything is alive: the words of the book, the protagonist, the thriving world. The PentagoníaCelestino antes del alba (1967; rev vt Cantando en el pozo 1982 Spain; trans Hurley as Singing from the Well 1987 US), El palacio de las blanquísimas mofetas (1975 France as Le palais de très blanches mouffettes; first Spanish-language version 1980 Venezuela; trans Hurley as The Palace of the White Skunks 1990 US), Otra vez el mar (1982 Spain; trans Hurley as Farewell to the Sea 1986 US) and El Asalto (1990 Spain; trans Hurley as The Assault 1994 US) – is a series of quasi-autobiographical narratives, told in differing voices, about a protagonist who is reincarnated (see Reincarnation) into different lives, sometimes male, sometimes female, as the narratives succeed one another. [JC]

Reinaldo Arenas


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.