Father’s Day, Jodorowski Style

Article by keaton

With Father’s Day right around the corner, perhaps it’s fitting I begin with an anecdote about my dad. One of the things we could always share when I was growing up was movies. My dad isn’t a particularly literary kind of guy, but his taste in film has always been surprisingly refined and adventurous. The clearest example of this is his penchant for the work of Alejandro Jodorowsky—the Chilean mad genius whose creativity knows no bounds. I made my father tell me about seeing El Topo during the grindhouse midnight matinee craze of the 1970s over and over again, until the story became as embedded in my psyche as one of my own memories. And it was El Topo’s grotesque blend of Spaghetti Western and Christ allegory that became my first introduction to surrealism. I’ve never looked at any form of art the same since. Unknowingly, my father ushered me into a world beyond my imagining—one from which I’ve never fully returned.

So, I set out to see all of Jodorowsky’s films. I simply had to. There was the philosophical blasphemy of Holy Mountain and the Oedipal ultraviolence of Santa Sangre. Each worked its own particular magic on me. And magic is something that Jodorowsky takes very seriously. He is an avid practitioner of tarot and an idiosyncratic form of spiritual therapy and personal mythology he has dubbed “psychomagic.” Perhaps that is what makes his work so affecting; he actually believes in everything he shows his audience.

Yet, despite my lifelong obsession over his films, it wasn’t until I started working at Brazos that I discovered Jodorowsky was a truly prolific, multimedia mastermind. Beyond the cinema, he has created works for theater, music, poetry, comics—and, of course, fiction. And his novels are just as strange, intriguing, confounding, bawdy, and thoughtful as you would expect.

Albina and the Dog-Men Cover Image
By Alejandro Jodorowsky, Alfred MacAdam (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781632060549
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: Restless Books - May 10th, 2016

And this month, Restless Books released Jodorowsky’s second novel to be translated into English—ALBINA AND THE DOG-MEN. It is the tale of an albino giantess and her surly protector embarking on a search for home that includes endlessly fornicating werewolves, a friendly dwarf, transformations of the body and soul, the return of the Incan Empire, and even the meaning of life. Replete with amazingly detailed illustrations, ALBINA is by turns obscene, profane, hilarious, incredibly violent, reverent, and profound. It’s a timeless myth engaged in the power of sexuality and what lurks in the darkest recesses of the mind. But most of all, it’s a tremendous amount of fun.

Thanks for the rec, dad.

When Keaton Patterson isn't reading, writing or talking about books, he can be found at Brazos Bookstore, where he is the book buyer. He is currently working on his first novel.

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