What this book is is not an easy question to answer. And it is not because here lies the heart of the question that he has tried to situate -not to solve- Manuel Calderon (Peñarroya-Pueblonuevo, Córdoba, 1957). If the reader takes a look at it, he will find the personal memory of a man recently arrived at an idealized and glass-enclosed station in France and the now longed-for 1970 Barcelona of which, according to the author, hardly anything remains because “… my landscape was an open field, a wild territory, which, unlike the idyllic garden, orchard or field that is lost on the horizon, is a place for nothing” You will find the imagined life of a writer, journalist, thinker of race and philosopher who, with autobiographical overtones, colors his memories from the silent space of a landscape turned into “a point of view (…) the choice of the place from which one looks& rdquor ;.
But you will also find a book written ‘as if’. As if one wanted to bury the insidious question of gender by concocting a novel without fiction, a fiction without novela imaginary essaya lbook of aphorisms and sentences of deep depth, a travel guide very personal about an empty place, a non-place stopped in time -the energetic wastelands, where “everything is transformed, nothing dies& rdquor; because, although “… it is easy to build (…) what we need is the void& rdquor; -, sketching, I say, our own experience glimpsed from the poetry of others and the variety theater through which personal and collective history swarms of a country and above all of a city and, if you like, the unequivocally personal and familiar chronicle of an Andalusian emigrant turned into a sociological treatise drawn from the vast territory of a country described in these terms: “Spain is always a public work, a half-built house. When retirees look at their development and progress, Spain is at peace. The story runs from a pure source to a filthy drain. It’s a terrifying sight, I know. I will avoid letting myself be dragged by that flow & rdquor ;.
The agitated and restless memories of the narrator (especially present when they address the question of the ‘procés‘) dissolve in the depth of a language in which a tragic experience is encrypted, to the extent that it is ambiguous, and personal, to the extent that it is thought of as a whole. The heterogeneity of the book allows Calderón to do what he wants with his writing, that is, to literally and literally configure the real space through which they travel. Pasolini, Camus, Mohamed Ali, Lowry, Iris Murdoch, Benjamin, Schopenhauer, Agamben, Gil de Biedma, Claudio Rodríguez, Trías, Valverde or Lledó. This depth acquires shades of a strange beauty when the author senses the indeterminate helplessness that reaches him as an absolute. Read, if not, “Expelled from paradise”, fourth and last part of the book, and attend in what quiet way does a conscience relate to itselfthrough the friendly closeness of Carlos and Ana.
A hard book to forget.
Author: Manuel Calderon
288 pages. 19 euros