Rasero epub

by Francisco REBOLEDO

Rasero epub

ISBN: 0297816179

ISBN13: 978-0297816171

Author: Francisco REBOLEDO

Category: Literature and Fiction

Subcategory: Genre Fiction

Language: English

Publisher: Louisiana State U. Press; First edition (1995)

Pages: 560 pages

ePUB book: 1357 kb

FB2 book: 1365 kb

Rating: 4.5

Votes: 801

Other Formats: lrf mbr mobi doc

Francisco Rebolledo’s most popular book is Rasero.

Francisco Rebolledo’s most popular book is Rasero.

Imagine what it would be like to have met and conversed, dined and argued with the greatest figures of the Enlightenment. Imagine what it would be like to have met and conversed, dined and argued with the greatest figures of the Enlightenment. Such is the privilege granted to Fausto Rasero, a Spanish nobleman with an extraordinary appetite for intellectual and carnal knowledge.

FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Explores the politics, desires, philosophy, and science of eighteenth century Paris through the life and sexually triggered prophecies of Fausto Rasero.

by. Francisco Rebolledo. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by Lotu Tii on July 16, 2014.

That seems to be the aesthetic that powers Rasero, an imposing omnium-gatherum that vibrates with energy and purpose despite its longueurs.

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This is a book of ideas, a very interesting book, that is explored through the life of a fictious character, Rasero. Whereas in the film Forrest Gump a dim witted young man is present at major historic events by accident, in this novel, Rasero, a very intelligent man, seems to know everyone of any importance in the Enlightenment period.

The major strength of the work is Rebolledo's firm grasp of scientific, historic, political and philosophical movements of the period. However this may prove to be the major weakness since it may be too sweeping in scope and thus does not allow for indepth discussion of the philosophical concepts that arise in the book.

The book starts with Rasero as a young adult in 1749 and ends roughly around 1812, covering 63 years in which Europe underwent amazing cultural and historic contortions. The novel takes place primarily in Paris, Madrid, and Mexico City, Mexico.

Early in the novel, Rasero is able to transcribe the book of Revelations by St. John. HIs friend, the court painter Boucher, illustrates it with sepia watercolor. Rasero reads the book frequently since it corresponds to the scenes of mass murder and destruction that he sees into the future. He sees the Holocaust in Germany, the Vietnam war, the bombing of Hiroshima, and other scenes of mankind's folly. He sees vision when he has orgasm, and these visions of 20th Century horrors remind us that 18th Century horrors and 20th Century horrors have much in common.

Diderot, the editor and primary writer of the Encyclopedia that was a bedrock of Enlightenment thinking, is a fried of Rasero's throughout most of the book. We hear of the struggles Diderot had trying to convince the great thinkers of his time to contribute to this massive effort.

Voltaire, the witty and creative thinker that made philosophical concepts attainable through this writing, is shown struggling with Frederick the Great and the Roman Catholic Church. Both his benefactor (Frederick) and great opponent (Catholicism) influenced his thinking, writing, and philosophy. We see Voltaire, always sarcastic and insightful, struggle to get away from Frederick only to have Frederick try to entice him back to Prussia. When dying, Voltaire is ostracized by the church, and much trickery must take place for Voltaire to be buried.

One theme of the book is the emergence of the Enlightenment against a historic background of feudalism and oppression. This is exemplified by the execution of Damien, the misguided young man who tried to stab Louis XV. He does slightly wound Louis but the tortures he endures are amazing. Large pieces of his flesh are pulled off with hot tongues and then the wound is filled with boiling hot lead. Then his hand, with which he held the knife, is cut off. Then his legs and arms are pulled off by 4 horses. Then, since he is still alive and murmers "Mother" to the executioner, he is thrown into a blazing fire. Rebolledo wishes to contract this extreme public execution with the emerging thought of the Enlightment thinkers.

Mozart enters the story as a child prodigy and then later as a young composer. As a child, Mozart, his sister, and father Leopold toured Europe for all the crown heads, including Maria Theresa and her little daughter Marie Antoinette. As a young man, he struggles to become free of his father and make a living on his own.

Madame De Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV, is a patron of the arts and philosophy. Yet she must endure court entrigues and the selfish attention of Louis XV. She eventually dies of consumption (TB) before the death of Louis XV. Court protocol required that Louis not join her as she was dying or allow her to die in Versaille, where only members of the Royal Family may die.

Rebolledo does an impressive job of contrasting Louis XV to his grandson Louis XVI. Whereas Louis XV was a spoiled brat of little talent, Louis XVI was much more well meaning and much more concerned with being a good ruler. Louis XV was interested in his hunting and sexual conquests whereas Louis XVI was more of a family man who was under undo influence from his wife, Marie Antoinette. Louis XVI hires the Swiss economist, Necker, to help put France's finances in shape, but the aristocracy undermined him at every step.

Lavoisier is a delightful character, demonstrating some of his experiments to show that water and air are compounds composed of multiple elements. He is Rasero's good friend, but Lavoisier has one fatal flaw, he invests in a farmers general tax collection business that puts him on the wrong side during the French Revolution.

The French Revolution and subsequent Reign of Terror is written well. LaFayette tries to defend the royal family even though he is hated by the Queen. His massacre of crowds of working class men and women on the Champs de Mars tips the scales against aristocratic involvement in the new government. Talleyrand, Bishop of Autun, undermines the Catholic Church in his bid for raw power. Mirabeau may have been able to direct the revolution toward a Constitutional Monarchy until Mirabeau dies of a heart attack in a brothel and Louis and Marie Antoinette and family makes a terrible mistake by trying to flee the country. Louis XVI's brothers had already left the country and thus the monarchy was seen in ever increasing negative terms. Marie Antoinette, disdainful of sharing any power, influences Louis to minimize compromise. Her lover, Swedish Ambassador Hans Fersen, arranges the fateful escape that almost works at getting the royal family out of France.

Dr. Marat plays a key role in the early revolution, as did Camille Desmoulins. We see the rise of Danton, a lawyer of great personal appeal and physical size. We see ther is of Robespierre, the student of Rousseau, the political purist who will kill those who are not as politically pure as he. But it is the struggle between centrist, populist Danton and the ideologically pure Robespierre, that creates the major drama of the terror. Robespierre and his collegue, Saint-Just, win the conflict and Danton and Desmoulins are sent to the guillotine.

Rebolledo notes that prior to the French Revolution, the people were poorly armed and wars were fought by professional armies. However since all of France was under attack during the revolutionary period, the entire population was armed. He points out how Europe later learned a painful lesson from this with the rise of Napoleon Bonoparte. He says: "Europe would learn what it is to fight an armed people."

Rasero leaves Paris in a rush after the execution of his friend Lavoisier, giving all his art to the great painter David.

There are many walk on historic characters: Benjamin Franklin hugging Voltaire, Jefferson in the court of Louis XVI, David Hume as the secretary to the English ambassador to Paris, Catherine the Great seeking Voltaire's visit to Russia, Rousseau's philosophical work compared to his human interactions. Rebolledo makes a good point when he says that Voltaire, Diderot, Lavoisier were all influenced by Descartes spirit of doubt, a necessary trait in the scientist or philospher, whereas Rousseau did not exhibit this doubt and his students Robespierre and Pol Pot in Cambodia pushed his ideology to genocide.

In the ending chapters, Rosero shows his Book of Revelations, illustrated by Boucher, to Goya. Goya then illustrates Rasero's book of world crisis based on his vision. And then in the final pages we get a time warp, jumping back and forth between the past and the present, letting all readers know that these horrors are not a thing of the past, they remain with mankind always.

At 554 pages, the book requires a committment. It helps to understand some of the history, philosophy, and science of the period.
"Selfishness and its faithful spouse, Stupidity, will be your gods. And they will be loved and respected as never a god was adored on earth."
These words introduce us to Marquis Fausto Rasero, the title character of this tour-de-force by Mexican author Francisco Rebolledo. They are Rasero's words, spoken for readers of the future.
When we meet Rasero in the 1740s, the 26-year-old Spanish noble is a quiet, contemplative man still coming to terms with a grotesque malady: every time he has sex, he sees visions of the future at the moment of orgasm. These visions are quite naturally terrifying: people cramming into metal tubes which travel underground, glass boxes within which small people move around while others watch and laugh... Above all, images of war: a giant metal bird dropping something out of the sky, after which thousands of Asians are incinerated in a blinding flash of light. Rasero is unsure how far into the future all this is happening; he only knows that the horrible visions of the year 1745 have been the worst of all.
In a move that speaks both of Madrid's stagnation and Paris' excellence at this point in history, the wealthy young noble leaves his native Málaga for a diplomatic post in Paris. He will spend his life there, making the acquaintance of the brightest minds of his time, men such as Diderot and Voltaire, Lavoisier and even Mozart, seeking to reconcile their beliefs with his secret knowledge. They are all working to bring about the Enlightenment they aspire to. Yet how can the Enlightenment these men hold so dear possibly be leading to the horrendous future Rasero witnesses in the arms of one lover after another?
This is an undervalued book that deserves to be more widely read. Its prose is thick and ornate, and you won't want to read this on an airplane full of tourists. Give it instead the time and silence it deserves. "Rasero" is not only an all-expenses-paid journey to the Paris of Louis XV, it is a thought-provoking examination of human nature using the borrowed voices of many great men, and some clever women as well. Some of its chapters, especially "Mariana" and "Robespierre" approach such perfection that they could have been developed into self-containing novels. In the end, Rasero - and Rebolledo - adopt a stance of uncompromising pessimism towards the future of humanity. Standing in Rasero's shoes, standing in Paris on an overcast day in 1794 watching as the Revolution devours its own children, including the enlightened young man he helped raise, you'll find his disgust is hard to argue with. This is a book that will keep you thinking about it long after you close it.