“The Novel of the Tupinamba Indian” Book Release | City Lights
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Written by Galician surrealist artist and communist revolutionary E.F. Granell, The Novel of the Tupinamba Indian is a picaresque, Cervantes-influenced allegory of the Spanish Civil War. Set against a cruel landscape peopled by generals, priests, conquistadors, poets, witches, and nuns, Tupinamba Indian embodies Granell’s wartime experiences while transforming them through his lush and incendiary surrealist imagination. With his capricious behavior and detachable head, the protagonist—a member of one of Brazil’s indigenous tribes—parodies the Enlightenment concept of the noble savage as he investigates a Spanish civilization upended by conflict. Like Robert Desnos’ Liberty or Love or Michel Leiris’ Aurora, Tupinamba Indian proceeds by the logic of dreams, resisting the brutal realties of Franco’s ascent to dictatorship through absurdist travesty and paying homage to the classless society that might have been.