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Per Olov Enquist

Downfall: A Love Story

Per Olov Enquist has called this novel of his ”a love story”. It is a description that may seem puzzling. For the book deals with a loveless life, an existence under the worst conditions imaginable. Pasqual Pinon is a monster. He was born with two heads. When we first meet him he is kept in a cave in Mexico. The woman’s head he bears on his forehead like a miner’s lamp is wrapped up in a cloth. But an American impressario has got to know of Pinon’s existence and wishes to exploit him. He is brought from the cave and sent on a tour with a circus with other freaks.

The novel is the story of Pasqual Pinon’s sufferings and humiliation but also about his love. For the woman, whose face he is forced to bear, lives an emotional life of her own in his body. She cannot speak but is capable of express – sing her feelings. In the tormented body of Pasqual Pinon a drama of grace and disgrace is enacted.

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About the author

Enquist

Per Olov Enquist was born in 1934 in a small village in Norrland, the northern part of Sweden. After studies at the university of Uppsala he received his MA in 1960. Since the early sixties Enquist has worked as literary and theatre critic for several newspapers and magazines. He is one of Sweden’s leading contemporary…

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About the book

Per Olov Enquist has called this novel of his ”a love story”. It is a description that may seem puzzling. For the book deals with a loveless life, an existence under the worst conditions imaginable. Pasqual Pinon is a monster. He was born with two heads. When we first meet him he is kept in a cave in Mexico. The woman’s head he bears on his forehead like a miner’s lamp is wrapped up in a cloth. But an American impressario has got to know of Pinon’s existence and wishes to exploit him. He is brought from the cave and sent on a tour with a circus with other freaks.

The novel is the story of Pasqual Pinon’s sufferings and humiliation but also about his love. For the woman, whose face he is forced to bear, lives an emotional life of her own in his body. She cannot speak but is capable of express – sing her feelings. In the tormented body of Pasqual Pinon a drama of grace and disgrace is enacted.

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