“Theology of the Booty”: I review a novel about pirate-utopians

at First Things:

A few years ago, the website You Had One Job posted a Disney cartoon in which children with headkerchiefs and parrot cavort above the legend, “A good pirate never takes another person’s property!”

“Disney,” the website’s caption read, “doesn’t get . . . the concept of what a pirate is.”

The pirates in Carmen Boullosa’s 1991 novel They’re Cows, We’re Pigs (translated from Spanish in 1997 by Leland H. Chambers) have a firmer grasp on their business model. Boullosa’s deceptively slender book transforms a picaresque adventure tale of a surgeon among seventeenth-century French freebooters into a gripping meditation on utopia, the war between the sexes, and the meaning of our bodies.

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