By Lee A. Siegel
“It used to be the easiest of occasions, it was once the worst of times” starts off one bankruptcy of significantly acclaimed Lee Siegel’s new novel, Love and the tremendously outdated Man. “In the beginning” begins one other. What else can a novelist do whilst employed as a ghostwriter by way of an aged, irascible, conquistador-costumed guy claiming to be the 540-year-old Juan Ponce de León? the wonderful lifetime of that mythical explorer—inventor of rum, cigars, Coca-Cola, and popcorn—is the body for Siegel’s fourth chronicle of affection, lies, good fortune, loss, and labia.
Summoned with chilly tough funds and a pinch of flattery, a professor and novelist named Lee Siegel unearths himself in Eagle Springs, Florida, trying to supply shape to the lifetime of the fellow who, opposite to well known and historic opinion, did certainly locate the Fountain of sweet sixteen. Spending humid days hearing the romantic ramblings of the outdated guy and sleepless nights doubting but attempting to craft those memories right into a narrative that might fulfill the literary aspirations of his topic, Siegel the ghostwriter spins a fantastic story choked with local american citizens, insatiable monarchs, philandering cantors, deliriously passionate nuns, soft actresses, androgynous artists, and deceptions small and big. For de León, and for Siegel too, centuries of conquest and colonialism, fortune and identification, are all refracted throughout the thoughts of the conquistador’s fanatics, each one in every of them cherished “more than the other lady ever.”
Comic, melancholic, lusty, and completely engaged with the act of invention, even if in love or at the web page, Love and the exceptionally outdated Man keeps the true Lee Siegel’s exuberant exploration of that sentiment which Ponce de León confesses has “transported me to the main joyous heights, plunged me to the main dismal depths, and dropped me willy-nilly and dumbfounded in any respect areas in between.”
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Extra resources for Love and the Incredibly Old Man: A Novel
We’ll keep the secret of the Fountain to ourselves, and, remaining young forever, we shall enjoy eternity on earth together. But now, so that you may be given a position of command in the Indies and have the freedom there to conduct private explorations on our behalf, I will make a hidalgo of you. ’ “When I protested that I was hardly qualiﬁed to conduct a foreign expedition, my sovereign ruler silenced me: ‘You’re an accomplished actor—it should not be too diΩcult for you to play the part of a conquistador.
If not for them, I would have been dead for the past ﬁve centuries and no one would ever have heard of Juan Ponce de León, and you, Mr. Siegel, would not be here in Eagle Springs. The rabbi’s astrological prognostication, made when I became a Son of the Commandment under his tutelage, had been that I would live for a very, very long time. Little did I know. “Try, in describing the rabbi, Mr. Siegel, to convey how very old he was. ” Once again installed in the room where we had spent the morning, Mr.
She gestured for me to approach and assume on her lap the position I had taken in the arms of the Madonna during the performance. The queen was wearing an Oriental tunic of crimson satin with long, wide sleeves under an open, gold-embroidered Marian blue robe that was trimmed with shimmering sable. I remember each pearl button of the tunic. One after another they were undone until her right breast was, much to my awe, entirely exposed to me. I dropped my cross. You must do your very best, Mr. Siegel, to come up with original and evocative metaphors to do justice to the exquisite plumpness, warm ﬁrmness, and touching beauty of that white breast with its delicate pink nipple.