Fiction. Translated from the Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine and Carol Maier. In his lifetime Severo Sarduy was best known for his exquistely wrought neo-baroque prose, but he was also an abstract painter and wrote plays and poetry in addition to fiction and essays. He abandoned medical school as a young man to pursue the world of art and literature, leaving his native Cuba shortly after the Revolution in 1960. He later became associated with the Parisian literary scene of the 1960's and 70's and later became a French citizen. Of his work Bruce Benderson writes, "Severo Sarduy was a baroque comedian and a callused workhorse in one...Each jewel-like sentence is structured with tawdry detail, only to unfold like a paper origami trick into new and more convoluted gesticulation, a new sacrilige."