By Brando Skyhorse
We slipped into this kingdom like thieves, onto the land that when was once ours.
With those phrases, spoken by means of an unlawful Mexican day laborer, The Madonnas of Echo Park takes us into the unseen international of l. a., following the lads and ladies who cook dinner the food, fresh the houses, and fight to lose their ethnic id within the pursuit of the yankee dream.
When a dozen or so women and moms assemble on an Echo Park road nook to behave out a scene from a Madonna song video, they locate themselves stuck within the crossfire of a drive-by taking pictures. within the aftermath, Aurora Esperanza grows far-off from her mom, Felicia, who as a housekeeper within the Hollywood Hills establishes a special courting with a indifferent housewife.
The Esperanzas' moving lives hook up with these of varied contributors in their local. an afternoon laborer trolls the streets for paintings with males part his age and witnesses a homicide that pits his morality opposed to his unlawful prestige; a non secular hypocrite will get her comeuppance while she meets the Virgin Mary at a bus cease on sundown street; a standard bus course turns violent while cultures and egos collide within the evening, with devastating effects; and Aurora is going on a trip via her gentrified formative years local in a quest to find her personal historical past and her position within the land that every one Mexican american citizens dream of, "the land that belongs to us again."
Like the Academy Award--winning movie Crash, The Madonnas of Echo Park follows the intersections of its characters and cultures in la. within the footsteps of Junot Díaz and Sherman Alexie, Brando Skyhorse in his debut novel supplies voice to at least one local in la with an astonishing-- and unforgettable--lyrical power.
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Additional resources for The Madonnas of Echo Park: A Novel
Thus it is certainly true, even taking familiar literary examples, that parody does not have to have a polemical relation to the texts that are ‘quoted’. For example, in section III of The Waste Land, Eliot makes a parodic allusion to Spenser’s ‘Prothalamion’: The river’s tent is broken; the last fingers of leaf Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed. Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song. The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers, Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends Or other testimony of summer nights.
However, the cultural situation of a Greek writer five hundred years after Aristophanes or Plato was very different from his Athenian forebears. Lucian was writing in a period known as the Second Sophistic, a period of conscious revival of Greek culture, where the practice of mimesis or imitation of great literary predecessors formed a staple of education. Parody here becomes almost a manner of learning; certainly this was a period which was very conscious of its belatedness in relation to a past golden age.
As for that tradition of literary parody, for the most part it surely justifies that suspicion of parody as an essentially parasitic mode—a bearer of ‘pleasant liberties’, in Quiller-Couch’s phrase—whose polemical direction remains to be specified but which does not fundamentally enter into the creative energies of any of the major writers of the period. So, with the possible exception of Thackeray, the nineteenth century, while being the Golden Age of a certain kind of parody, is not a period in which the mode contributes to any of its major cultural achievements.