"Lionel Garcia was once my student, and of course, it is difficult to think of anyone you knew 'back when' as a great writer. But as I read his work I keep thinking of great writers. I remember especially that in the novels of Thomas Hardy and William Faulkner, the land that bred them is larger, more important, and more memorable than any of its characters. Lionel Garcia came from a place so remote in the wastelands of south Texas that its people were hardly affected by the independence of Texas from Mexico. The real original land will soon disappear as, like everything else, it becomes part of the web of modern electronic communication, but the harsh, ascetic land and its culture will survive as the unique place and human condition of Garcia's fiction. As I read him, I also think repeatedly of great writers who were both profoundly serious and profoundly comic--Chaucer and Dickens. As in Dickens there are the exaggerations of character that you may see at first as absurd but later, with astonishment, as radically realistic. There is also the quieter and more continuous humor which seems to invest every character, an amused but compassionate awareness of the touch of absurdity in the make up of most human beings. As in Chaucer, the ridiculous never inhibits a probing power of sympathy. Like both Chaucer and Dickens, Garcia has an affinity for children and writes about them with special affection and understanding. As in Dickens, the authorial point of view is often that of a child.
"There are other kinds of evocations of greatness. Lionel's genius
is comic; it is also mythic...There is another mythic motif, vivid and
strange, that transcends story and theme and is more inherently mythic
than any theme could be. This occurs in what one might call moments of
spatiality, moments which remind us that San Diego, remote amidst desolation,
exists outside of time, outside of history...
|Lionel Garcia, author, writer and novelist of Mexican American, Hispanic, Latino ethnic literary fiction novels: Lionel Garcia is an author for everyone's reading pleasure.|