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delights in orchestrating the romance between Martin and Julia as if it were a plot he invented, and he then feeds on their relationship for his radio scripts. The covert lovers are horrified to hear their private conversations echoed by actors on WXBU. “You feed on us,” explains Pedro, speaking for all writers to all readers. “We feed on you.” From its opening sequence, in which a radio announcer within the movie’s universe announces the production credits, Tune in Tomorrow … is a genial metafiction that celebrates the power of the imagination. Kings of the Garden District, the giddy story-withina-story about genteel incest between heirs to a pest-control fortune, is a parody of the troubled courtship of Martin and Julia, which is itself an echo of the Vargas Llosa narrative, itself based on his own marriage to his aunt. Pedro is a goofy, exasperating, and adorable Prospero, a portrait of the playwright as master magician and, ultimately, escape artist. He manages to slip away beaming from the vibrant chaos he creates, in Detroit and then New Orleans. When we last glimpse Pedro, he is on his way to New York, to work his wiles in TV. In A Writer’s Reality, a volume of essays scheduled by Syracuse University Press for December publication, Vargas Llosa marvels that Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter should have been more successful abroad than any of his other novels: “It is a book in which there are so many allusions and references to Peruvian habits and customs, to Peruvian institutions and Peruvian rituals, as well as so many references to the 1950s in Peru the music, what the people read at that time that I did not think the novel would be of interest to foreign audiences.” English director Jon Amiel \(The Singing and English writer William Boyd, whose most ambitious work, a 1988 novel The New Confessions, charts the career of a Hollywood tycoon, have naturalized Vargas Llosa’s book for North American audiences. Not only have they translated 18-year-old Marito into 19year-old Martin, 32-year-old Tia Julia into 36-year-old Aunt Julia, and 1954 Lima into 1951 New Orleans. But they have also substituted a Yankee tale of pluck and triumph for a Latin lesson in el sentimiento tragic de la vida. North of New Orleans, if, like Martin Luther King, Thomas Edison, or Donald Trump, you have a dream, you set about to implement it. South of it, you know that la vida es suelio, that dreams are as insubstantial as life. Vargas Llosa’s Pedro Camacho is a vulgarian and a shameless peddler of platitudes. Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter plays on the tensions between Marito, an aspiring author of “serious” novels, and the talented and prodigious hack. Ultimately, Marito’s form of art wins out, not only because it is his kind of novel that we are reading. Under the pressure of his multiplying story lines, Pedro Camacho begins to break down. His scripts begin to overlap and to evince obvious inaccuracies and inconsistencies. The maestro loses control of his creation. Reeves’s Martin is also an aspiring author, but he becomes more of a protg than an antagonist of Pedro Carmichael. Though the scriptwriter in both novel and film exults in mischief, it is more perilous in the book, where he broadcasts aspersions about Argentines, a large and powerful population not too far from Peru. Falk’s Pedro cannot resist wisecracks about Albanians, which does incite a few arsonists but is unlikely to inflame audiences unless the film is shown in Kossovo. Tune in Tomorrow… does not insult blacks or Jews or Hispanics; and its running joke about Albanians seems intended as a demonstration of Pedro’s harmless whimsy. “Everybody’s got to have something to hate,” he explains, without convincing us that he chose Albanians for any other reason than they seem so exotic. He is able to exit the scene with his frac-tails flying and the awe of his audience, within and outside the film. “Life is a shit storm,” he tells young Martin, “and when it’s raining shit, the best umbrella you can buy is art.” Things leak in Peru, but movies in this country are a celebration of celluloid art, designed to leave us singing in the rain. Continued from page 3 million since its inception … how could he say with a straight face that he was the candidate of fiscal responsibility? When asked how he would pay for line items like court-ordered school-finance reform, federally mandated human-services reform, and his own drug war, Williams responded with nostrums fluffy enough to stuff a pillow with, and, upon even cursory analysis, so ephemeral as to make a real business person blanch. Williams even tried to dodge responsibility for not knowing how he voted on the proposed constitutional amendment by proclaiming “I’m not a politician,” as if the unsullied robe of naivete that drapes a businessmanoutsider excused him from understanding the state government he wants to run. And what of Rob Mosbacher Jr., the ar ANDERSON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES TWO JEFFERSON WAIM AUSTIN, TEXAS 7S131 512 453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip ticulate, earnest messiah from the private sector? In fact, Mosbacher’s tenure as chairman of the board of directors of the state Department of Human Services has been disastrous, coinciding last spring with the most embarrassing and expensive emergency bailout of a government agency in Texas history. As the story beginning on page four illustrates, Mosbacher’s business skills whatever they may be certainly didn’t prevent him from succumbing to political pressure at the expense of his agency’s, and the state’s, fiscal integrity. At an October press conference, Democratic state senators attacked Mosbacher’s management of DHS, noting that, at a time when the department was on the verge of the state agency equivalent of bankruptcy, it had spent $135,000 to send 10 top officials to Boston for a seminar. The senators also lambasted Mosbacher’s much-trumpeted $450,000 management audit which had produced no demonstrable savings or reduction in caseloads. \(Bullock claims that few if any of the audit’s recommendations have been $113.5 million funding for administrative costs a 158 percent increase over the current $44 million figure, for an agency that his management audit found to be topheavy. Mosbacher called the attacks politically motivated, and again disclaimed responsibility for the DHS debacle. What a contrast with Bullock: a politician who has brought busi ness efficiency to a state agency, versus a “businessman” who has brought political compromising to a state agency. Whatever the outcome of the 1990 elections \(still a few days off when this issue went will certainly come back to plague future political races. It’s time for voters to recognize that the anti-government rhetoric of the past decade or so has brought us exactly that: antigovernment, government that does nothing, and does it poorly, and candidates who run for office more to regulate a bureaucracy than to carry out some vision of human betterment. Fiscal responsibility is vital, of course, and we don’t mean to diminish its importance. But when public servants have proved their ability to accomplish the ends of government and do it efficiently, we shouldn’t reject those achievements out of hand for the latest blandishments of a businessman on horseback, come to save us from those grubby politicians. \(Especially when it was largely the actions of the government haters in Republican administrations in Austin and Washington that created the frustration fueling recognize that there is value in the “political” skills of appreciating people, working with them, dealing with them instead of with finance statements, of acknowledging human needs and aspirations, of fealty to something other than government by the numbers. B.0 . 22 NOVEMBER 9, 1990