Reading a Pandemic Novel During a Pandemic: On Mario Bellatin’s “Beauty Salon”

Beauty Salon

Some authors defy easy classification, and then there’s Mario Bellatin. His work includes forays into the metafictional, the transgressive, and the phantasmagorical; nonetheless, he can also evoke a deeply moving strand of humanism throughout his books. Attempting to summarize his bibliography is no easy task; he’s the sort of writer one could just as easily compare to Dennis Cooper as you could to Alejandro Jodorowsky. 

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Mario Bellatin on Art, Autobiography, and Experimentation

Mario Bellatin’s latest book, The Large Glass, is a head-spinning work, bringing together three different takes on autobiographical writing, each of which explores vastly different stylistic and thematic ground. Bellatin’s work is incredibly hard to pin down–a 2009 article in The New York Times referred to him as “one of the leading voices in experimental Spanish-language fiction.” I talked with Bellatin about his latest book, his feelings on Marcel Duchamp (from whom the book takes its title), and more.

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