Blood of Requited Love

Manuel Puig


A story of adolescent love plays out in the vivid, vast setting of Rio – a storm of precocious, indecent passion – and a remote village in the Brazilian countryside. Seen from a bitter, desolate and bare present, this is the chronicle of a lost past, an irredeemable golden age; the season of destructive desire that corrodes and inflames body and mind.  But as the tale goes on, fissures, questions, sudden cracks, and bright gaps begin to open up: something doesn’t fit. Bewilderingly, the idyll is somehow placed in jeopardy, and the aura of Arcadian brilliance begins to fade. Then the real subject of the book becomes apparent: The Blood of Corresponded Love addresses the guises, transfigurations and metaphors with which conscious memory, like a tarnished, spoiled photocopy, highlights some things and conceals others. So the tale, a celebration of the insecure, fevered hedonism of adolescence, is also and perhaps above all, an elegy for an adolescence that may not have happened and a fierce examination of the fictions that adults impose upon their past and present. The real and the fictitious do battle but also secretly complement each other as in this great novel they reconstruct a picture of human solitude that is both moving and cruel, presenting the romantic drive as seen from within the enclosed space of a single mind. 


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