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Maya, Maya, 0932511589, 0-932511-58-9, 978-0-932511-58-4, 9780932511584, , , Maya, 0932511597, 0-932511-59-7, 978-0-932511-59-1, 9780932511591,

by D. N Stuefloten

Quality Paper
1992. 138 pp.
Price:  $14.95 s

Maya is an overlapping palimpsest of media violence and real violence placed ambiguously in the studios of Hollywood, the jungles of Vietnam, and the myth saturated backlands of Mexico. It projects a dense atmosphere of sexual violations echoing ancient sacrifice, decadent Western interlopers, a pernicious exoticism. Above all, a confusion of the real and the make-believe, leading one to question distictions between the two and to speculate on the influences of the one on the other. Taut, script-like paragraphs generate a tension reinforced by an acute awareness of local flora and fauna, weapons, the glitz of movie-making against a background of poverty. How finally, can we tell the camera from what it shoots?

In Maya, Stuefloten focuses on an America fascinated with violence and fearful of fertility. Invasions, whether military, sexual, or cultural, occur and recur. The fecundity of nature vaguely threatens. Vegetation rots; the earth swells. Bomb blasts resemble flowers bursting open. The title "Maya" refers not only to Meso-American people described in the novel, but also to the Hindu doctrine of the delusory nature of reality. The world, Stuefloten asserts, is mysterious, very beautiful, and very dangerous—and America is more a part of it than we have imagined.