Alfonso - Review I Powell

February 13, 2014

Alfonso is a story of a spiritual struggle within an immigrant’s soul. As an outsider, Alfonso labors to fit in and embrace his new life in a new world – Australia – only to find himself succumbing to dark undertows of insult, isolation, and estrangement. Though he strives to cope with these dangerous forces, the only language he knows with which to confront them is a pictorial one, the duende-infused images of his boyhood Galacian village: shadowy forests and dark pines, village girls with eyes the colour of chestnuts, mysterious croaking of black frogs, poison kisses of witches, crows whose mere presence means death. Though Alfonso’s newfound mastery of English lends him an instrument of accommodation and a facile veneer of acceptability, the deep grammar of his imaginal tongue threatens to undermine all the new values to which he aspires.

James N. Powell