Book Diary: Fuego en las Entrañas (Pedro Almodóvar)

Almodóvar wrote this book in 1981, shortly after his first film (Luci, Pepi, Bom y Otras Chicas del Montón) was released in 1980.  It was written in collaboration with Javier Mariscal, who created many of the posters for Almodóvar’s films and provides the illustrations for this novella.  It was out of print until this spring, when it was reissued to coincide with Almodóvar new film release, Los Amantes Pasajeros.  It has not yet been translated into English, but I hope it will be because I want to press it onto all of my friends.

It contains many of what would become Almodóvar motifs and the storyline appropriately comic.  It reminds me of the short story by Roald Dahl (in his writing for adults), Bitch, in which a scent is made with such high levels of pheromones that any man who gets a whiff of it is unable to control his sexual urges.  Uncle Oswald, the narrator, plots to set up the President of the United States of America so that he ravages one Mrs Posomby (a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution) live on television, although this doesn’t quite go to plan.

In Fuego en las Entrañas, a Chinese business magnate and manufacturer of sanitary towels gains revenge on the five women who consecutively dumped him (and by extension all women) by committing suicide and leaving behind him his new brand of sanitary towels, which once worn transform women into raving nymphos.  To aide the wide dissemination of the towels, he gives one free box away to all the women in Madrid.  Before long Madrid, “Vivía el esplendor del caos más infernal”, which hardly even needs translating.

How does it end?  You’ll have to wait for the translation – start writing to your MP now.


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