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Back to 2015-11-13-opinion-FYL-novelas-oceanicas

Javier de Navascués Martín,, director of department of Literature. School of Philosophy y Letras

The writer of oceanic novels


Fri, 13 Nov 2015 09:48:00 +0000 Published in La Razón

If we were to conduct a macro-survey asking about the three or four best-known Latin American writers, names such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez or Julio Cortázar would immediately appear. Although it is also possible that some earlier (Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Rulfo) or younger (Isabel Allende, Roberto Bolaño) author would be mentioned, it is normal that the winners belonged to that divine generation that turned Latin American literature into an international hotspot ( reference letter ). How enormous was the mark left by novels such as "One Hundred Years of Solitude", "Rayuela" or "The City and the Dogs" in the sixties of the last century. 

The production of the Mexican writer Fernando del Paso, current winner of the award Cervantes award, is scarce in titles and abundant in pages. It can be said that he is one of the most demanding and least read representatives of what was known in his day as the "new" Spanish-American novel. In addition to some minor degree scroll , he is endorsed by three vast, oceanic novels, each one published in a different decade. The best known of all is "Noticias del Imperio" (1987), a gigantic illumination of the French invasion of Mexico in the 19th century. The rise and fall of the short-lived emperor Maximilian is the context in which a dense and grotesque language unfolds. Those who are looking for a conventional historical novel are mistaken. The monologues of the crazed Empress Carlota open and close this book, which represents a vision deformed by myth and imagination of the events as they happened according to the official versions. It is not that Fernando del Paso has lacked international recognition or that he is unknown among specialized critics. But it is evident that his work, due to its intrinsic difficulty, has never reached the favor of the general public.

It has been awarded to an almost secret production outside his country, arduous and brilliant at the same time, indebted to the renewal that launched James Joyce's "Ulysses" and brought Leopoldo Maréchal's "Adán Buenosayres" to the Spanish language . The Cervantes Awards are nostalgic. After having awarded prizes to all the narrators who figured in the first ranks of the Spanish-American canon, the juries continue to insist and search through the manuals to find winners. Luck has fallen this time in the hands of Fernando del Paso, one of those names that were missing in a award that wants to decorate a whole generation.