sábado, 19 de abril de 2008

Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation

Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation (2000 paperback)
by John Phillip Santos
USA, 1999
ISBN 0-14-029202-0

"It sometimes seems as if Mexicans are to forgetting what the Jews are to remembering. We have made selective forgetting a sacramental obligation. Leave it all in the past, all that you were, and all that you could not be. There is pain enough in the present to go around. Some memories cannot be abandoned. Let the past reclaim all the rest, forever, and let stories come to their fitting end." (5)

A beautifully-written meditation on the passage of time and the repatriation of cultural memory. While ostensibly a very personal memoir dedicated to unearthing the truth behind the untold story of his grandfather Juan José's apparent suicide in 1939, family history eventually merges with an almost cosmological mysticism here as the San Antonio native Santos' search for answers leads him further and further afield in time and space piecing together the puzzle of his family's "lost history in Mexico" (122). Somewhere along the line, this investigation into his roots and the subsequent reflections upon what his closest relatives gained and lost when they fled the violence of the Mexican Revolution to take up a new life in Texas become linked to universal themes about exile and how we all relate to the past. Like the voladores, whose aerial performances he so admires, Santos' own fearless narrative arc unfolds with both poetic grace and an almost pre-Columbian precision in an elegiac testimonio shot through with magic and realism. A superb achievement. (http://www.penguinputnam.com/)

2 comentarios:

  1. Okay, I finally have your link posted for this book:

    For some reason I was not able to add pictures of the books until today. Now I'll go post the ones you recommended for Book Around the World. Thanks for your recommendations.

  2. Hi Bonnie,

    Not a problem--thanks for the link and for dropping by. I'm looking forward to doing some good reading for these two challenges of yours soon!