“A masterful creation of a modern myth”

Remembering this excerpt of a 2012 article about the book, by British journalist Tony Curzon Price:

“Luis de Miranda sent me a copy of his novel, “Who killed the poet?”. By a great coincidence, this is also a story about Hamlet, ghosts, patriarchy and hallucinations. In a masterful creation of a modern myth, the narrator is a flaneur who is torn from a life of Parisian afternoons with possible lovers at the Cafe des Philosophes by the need to get to the bottom of the death of his twin, the poet. The twin – the other whom the narrator could have been – is a hypersensitive aesthete who had had an unfortunate and passionate love affair with the daughter of a professor of English Literature who could not concede that there had been a poet since Byron.

The poet is visited by a ghost – but not a patriarchal one. This is the ghost of a son – an “enfantome”, in de Miranda’s often delightful punning. The hallucination of the son, like the hallucination of the father in Hamlet, does eventually kill the mind it inhabits. But in de Miranda’s myth, the ghost is ultimately victorious. We do not get to the collapse of order, but rather to the collapse of the killer of poetry – in an appropriate inversion, the ancestral voice of the dominating, abusing, father is killed in a confrontation with the child. In the form of a literary whodunnit, the poet-slaying patriarch out of the Hamlet dynasty is destroyed by the bond of love from Romeo and Juliet.”

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