Narrative in Spanish: The readings of the professional reader

For this selection I have rigorously applied the Decalogue of the Critic: the originality or desire for renewal, the coherence and interest of the plot, however thin it may be, the amenity, the humor, that the characters and the atmosphere are achieved, that if possible have a certain trajectory and, of course, that there is communication with the reader.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
16 December 2022 Friday 23:53
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Narrative in Spanish: The readings of the professional reader

For this selection I have rigorously applied the Decalogue of the Critic: the originality or desire for renewal, the coherence and interest of the plot, however thin it may be, the amenity, the humor, that the characters and the atmosphere are achieved, that if possible have a certain trajectory and, of course, that there is communication with the reader. To avoid susceptibilities, I present the authors in alphabetical order.

Diamela Eltit, The fourth world (Peripheral). The curse of fertilization, aging and death, as well as the desire for power, are expressions of the condemnation of being born in the third world. The family society as a mirror of the society of a people, in this case the Chilean.

Margarita García Robayo, La encomienda (Anagram). A biography of the soul. Routine is threatened by the presence of an enormous box, like the mysterious room with the closed door in Cortázar's story.

Almudena Grandes, Everything is going to get better (Tusquets). The passion for writing, fueled by his interest in society, does not diminish when everything is going worse in his life. Grandes is capable of maintaining expressive clarity within a complex structure and where imagination is at the service of the harshest reality. A valuable testament, testimony of life.

Eduardo Halfon, Any ordinary son (Books of the asteroid). Stories about the search for identity in someone who was born in Guatemala to a family of Polish and Lebanese Jews. The attempt to capture the past is joined by the brutal reality of the Guatemala of the dictator Efraín Montt.

Luis Landero, A ridiculous story (Tusquets). There is a strange intimacy here despite the wild imagination and quirky characters. And the implausible is placidly placid. We penetrate into “the soul of this story”, a soul that can make us smile.

Santiago Lorenzo, Tostonazo (Blackie Books). Since Los asquerosos, Lorenzo has been one of the revelations of the current narrative. Here he remains faithful, from the title, to his special aesthetic and fun provocation, to get out of the placid vision of reality. The manipulator of reality is Sixto, a character who can lead to the greatest disasters.

Sara Mesa, The family (Anagram). Each of the members of a family carry a different story, we are facing a novel that is at the same time a sum of stories. The figure of the father seems to determine everything, an authority against which the children rebel. Drama and humor occur in this especially agile writing, thanks to the vitality of the dialogues.

Vicente Luis Mora, Circular 22 (Galaxy Gutenberg). Few novels with approaches as radical and attractive as this one. The reflection on his writing and the epigraphs of numerous authors play a determining role. Many of the references are made up, in a really exciting game.

Brenda Navarro, Ash in the mouth (Sixth Floor). A novel of conflicting family and friendship relationships, which forces the characters to flee their homes to start a tour of Mexico, Madrid or Barcelona. Colloquialisms give the prose an attractive vitality.

Rafael Reig, The River of Ashes (Tusquets) The writer moves away from his radical approaches to approach the traditional novel. With a personal tone, the narrator reconstructs a time that is still current, an absorbing prose marked by irony. A new Reig as exciting as the old one.

Xita Rubert, My days with the Kropps (Anagram). Among the things that remain in the air is the absence of details to lead us to the strangeness of what was said. A writing that brings us closer to the pure story, with extravagant characters whose personality is difficult to define. And it is from this strangeness and naturalness that the novel's appeal is born.

Antonio Soler, Sacramento (Gutenberg Galaxy). A novel very attentive to political and social reality with the presence of "that operetta leader with the voice of a dwarf vicetiple". History and fiction coexist, which we live through a priest as pious as he is lascivious, "a saint who was a bastard" and at the same time tortured, whom we admire and reject at the same time. Narration in which "it is the fable that permeates everything".

Jordi Soler, The children of the volcano (Alfaguara). The protagonist knows that he is sentenced to death and thus begins an escape that leads him to the mythical and violent territory of La Portuguesa. Now it is not the familiar world of other Soler novels, but an absorbing space of rituals and witchcraft.

Camila Sosa Villada, I'm a fool for loving you (Tusquets). We return to the world of Las malas, penises, tits or asses like melons are a constant presence. Especially attractive are puzzling situations. The reader feels placidly fascinated.

Aurora Venturini, We, the Caserta (Tusquets). Argentine author with a biography as interesting as that of this novel. The protagonist is a gifted woman in conflict with her family. An avid reader, she is also an eternal traveler who fights to impose reason over imagination. The result is a dazzling prose for its intensity. A true revelation that I like to share with the reader.

Enrique Vila-Matas, Montevideo (Seix Barral). Everything you can say does nothing but tarnish the originality and charm of a novel in which all of Vila-Matas and the best and most daring are present. We allow ourselves to be dragged along in search of a door that hides a secret that perhaps – and this is the tension of a story that actually dispenses with the traditional plot – will never be revealed to us.

J.A. Masoliver Ródenas has published this year the collection of poems 'The fullness of the void' (Cliff)

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