To be there, walking along behind them. He is part of a group of youth without parents, who spend their days in church, in school, wrestling in the unpaved streets, without reference to a future and therefore without reference to a past as well. It is Javiera—a firebrand, a communist, Youth League bisxma, candidate for office, torture victim of the Pinochet regime who lived to tell about it—whose passions swell the story. She lives in Zurich, Switzerland. He began drinking heavily in his twenties, and eventually decided to change his sex, taking on the moniker the Russian Princess. The dirty surface of the ocean that everything sinks into.
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Talking about whatever. Those nervous habits were all we had left in those days, when the Laguna Verde forests were on fire and the wind from the south blew the black smoke over the hills on the horizon. We were devastated.
Even before she opened that newspaper, we were done for. What we had, our life together, was coming to an end.
We would head to the Hesperia to pass the time while we waited for offices to open so we could begin whichever formality of our separation was slated for that day. Sometimes we bought newspapers and divided up the pages while we made small talk, hoping to kill time and trying to ignore our reflection in the gigantic mirrors behind the bar, where a dark and twisted version of ourselves looked back at us, mocking us from an alternate world where we—that couple sunk in a silence barely contained by monosyllables—would leave the bar, desperate, and go have sex in some flea-ridden hotel on Calle Chacabuco.
But that happened in the mirror world, of which we knew nothing beyond what we could see: a reflection we avoided out of shyness or shame, taking refuge in the assumption that it was not and would never be us, that it was just the illusion of an impossible life, a life that we would never know. And it worked. The time for recriminations was already past. It worked for us until that morning when she looked at the newspaper, started to cry, and then showed me a photo of a woman being escorted by two policemen.
Before she opened the newspaper, before the photo, before her story, she told me about the ending of a teen movie, where this character explodes and turns into a cockroach and then escapes through the bedroom window. The cockroach went running out there, headed for that false sky.
In the room, someone was left screaming in a bed full of blood. We talked about that while we killed time, waiting.
About nothing important. It worked, and we would lose ourselves in the inferno of details to avoid walking in the desert of the real. After a few minutes she calmed down. First, she swallowed her tears and showed me the photo.
She said, pointing at the page with her finger, pointing at the woman: I know her. I know that girl, man. Javiera, she said, the one I told you about, the communist. Javiera from the Youth League. I nodded. I pretended to understand. It starts just like that: with an image. The two of them sitting together. In the first row. By chance.
I stayed in the back. It was the first day of classes. They talked to each other. Then the professor made us introduce ourselves. That was all I could say about myself. It was the only thing I was certain of. I remember that Javiera said: I lived in exile and I came back last year. I remember that Donoso was dark-skinned and looked almost hairless. Later I would learn he was eighteen years old. I remember I had read that year, on a beach close to Quintero, a novel by Agatha Christie.
It was also the year after the president who smiled like an idiot ended up crying on TV. I remember that Donoso wore a white school shirt, and Javiera was dark and had a few white hairs and wore glasses and was short and very thin and that she wore lilac-colored clothes, faded hand-dyed blouses.
She said: It all comes back at once, it all comes back so suddenly. The photo opens the door. My memory is the room. I have a head full of furniture. They—Javiera and Donoso—are a multitude, and I can hardly contain them. I looked at her and bit my bottom lip.
The spit burned my mouth. I took a breath. I ordered two more coffees. I looked at the photo in the paper again: a woman with white hair, a woman getting into a patrol car. No, I said. In , he was selected as one of the 39 best Latin American authors under the age of 39 at the Hay Festival in Bogota. Estrellas muertas Dead Stars , his third novel, won the Santiago Municipal Prize for Literature and the Premio Academia, given out by the Chilean Academy of Language for the best book of His most recent novel, Ruido Noise , was published in She is also a Managing Editor of Asymptote journal.
She lives in Zurich, Switzerland.
Caja negra (novela de Álvaro Bisama)
The building became the Clearwater Church of the Virgin. Megan McDowell is a literary translator from Richmond, Kentucky. It may be just a coincidence that the first major protests against the Pinochet regime happened to coincide with the first visions of the videntebut that kind of reasoning can be hostile to the novel form, especially within the rich magical realism tradition of South American fiction. He is part of a group of youth without parents, who spend their days in church, in school, wrestling in the unpaved streets, without reference to a future and therefore without reference to a past as well.
Talking about whatever. Those nervous habits were all we had left in those days, when the Laguna Verde forests were on fire and the wind from the south blew the black smoke over the hills on the horizon. We were devastated. Even before she opened that newspaper, we were done for.
Nómina de seleccionados para Taller de No Ficción de Álvaro Bisama
Mauzil Or even love, sex, death, or birth? A literary critic and multiple allvaro, Bisama seems to be drilling down into a core idea about the suppression of memories, the very suppression of our pasts, which control our interpretations—and more about us than we realize. In this sense the book is both valuable and, at times, frustrating. Bisama directs all of these events, through his narrator, with an even hand.
Zolonris A better term for it might be magical history. Or even love, sex, death, or birth? Toggle navigation Necessary Fiction. Comments Leave a comment: Noise Alfaguara,the Virgin was not content to take such a passive role. The way Leopardi describes his pleasure of sounds makes one think, in this novel, that the pleasure of noise is just as fulfilling, when silence is the only other alternative. To be there, walking along behind them.