Alas, Leopoldo Books1995 0-7734-8978-9
Leopoldo Alas (Clarín)'s A Hoax/Superchería, while modest in scope compared to his massive La Regenta, contains the density and rich complexity of a work of far greater length. It displays many elements of fin-de-siècle neuroticism -- sexual ambivalence and timidity, world-weariness, spiritualism, and the fragmented image of the female as mother, religious icon, and carnal threat. A Hoax might have been written yesterday, so astute is its psychological portrait of an intellectual's angst and alienation from the world at large and from the sources of his own affective being. It is also one of the most poetic short novels in Spanish, reverberating in the mind long after the actual text has been read.