On Elegance While Sleeping
"I write out of pure voluptuousness, I confess." The first English translation of the self-proclaimed "Viscount" Emilio Lascano Tegui -- a friend of Picasso and Apollinaire, and a larger-than-life eccentric in his own right -- "On Elegance While Sleeping" is the deliciously macabre novel, part "Maldoror" and part "Dorian Gray," that established its author's reputation as a renegade hero of Argentine literature. It tells the story, in the form of a surreal diary, of a lonely, syphilitic French soldier, who -- after too many brothels and disappointments -- returns from Africa longing for a world with more elegance. Disturbing, provocative, and mesmerizing, "On Elegance While Sleeping" charts the decline of man unraveling due to his own oversensitivity -- and drifting closer and closer to committing a murder.