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    NewsLatin AmericaCardenas and Larraquy: knowing how to look at the past

    Cardenas and Larraquy: knowing how to look at the past

    The idea of ​​progress, dear reader, has been so well sold to Latin American writers that, as with the rest of humanity, rarely do we stop to look at our past.

    The worst thing is that, almost every time there is the strangeness that someone stops, that a writer pauses and looks back, what they are looking for is nothing more than to confirm, blessed be our luck, that everything happened as it should have happened, that our train did not derail, that we can, therefore, remain calm.

    It would seem that, like the rest of the people, the writers of our continent live in the present in a frantic way, stupidly hoping that tomorrow, which would seem to be the only real thing, which would not only seem to be more important than the moment we live in rather, all past ruptures, as accelerationism —that secular dogma of modernity— and short-termism —that motor of capital that imposes the immediate— decreed, can only be better and can only be, obviously, much brighter.

    A couple of bright exceptions

    At this point, after so many installments, I hope I have made it clear that this newsletter is exclusively interested in Literature, thus, with a capital letter, that genre in apparent extinction that, from time to time, gives rise to novels like transparent pilgrim and national telepathy, that is to say, extraordinary novels in all the meanings of the word, novels that dare to demand from the reader, in addition to their full attention, to give a part of themselves to give rise to the conspiracy, a conspiracy that is not only the relationship of two or more imaginaries but also of two or more temporalities —dynamiting, therefore, both the haste imposed by accelerationism and the empire of short-termism, which not only prevents us from seeing beyond today, both backwards and forwards, but also it also prevents us from seeing beyond oneself-, novels that dispute the story or stories that we accept in the name of progress and its ghosts, novels, moreover, that seek and find -here is another of their enormous virtues- a language that disputes the terrain of the signifier, but also of the signified, to the language of power.

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    telepathic pilgrims

    So much transparent pilgrim —which, under the pretext of recounting the journey of an English painter through Colombia in the mid-19th century, a painter who, working for a chorographic commission, becomes obsessed with a local artist who is not clear if he is real, if he is one or several ideas, if it is a collective or if it is the product of the popular imagination, tells of another journey that is even more complex and beautiful, a journey through the paintings, as extraordinary as they are phantasmagorical, by that elusive artist who accounts for colonialism, racism, mercantilism, extractivism and identity disputes—as national telepathy —novel that recounts a crazy project that, towards the middle of the first half of the 20th century, seeks to create an ethnographic park in the last south of the world, a park in which the various races that were not white could be seen and whose execution was takes a turn after the arrival, in Buenos Aires, of a group of indigenous people who bring with them a strange sloth, an animal that turns out to be the heart of an even stranger ritual that questions all the assumptions of science and religious beliefs—, They stop to look at the past, they dare to look for the derailments of our trains, they make fun of our dogmas and they immediately blow up their engines.

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    In none of these novels, masterfully written and punctuated, moreover, by such acid and ruthless humor that, when one remembers why one is laughing, laughter catches in the throat, of course, the idea of ​​progress that has given us reigns supreme. been sold. Without fear of exaggerating, in addition to celebrating and applauding the radical singularity of the novels by Cardenas and Larraquy, their overwhelming intelligence at times and their transparent and almost telepathic writing —in the sense that the Argentine narrator says: “What we call telepathy or We imagine it as a mental transaction, for these Indians it is a secretion, something that is expelled from the body, like sweat”—, I dare to say that, even though there are moments, very few, in which certain ideas are revealed and therefore resist literature, these are two of the most important novels of recent times.

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    last notes

    This is not common in our newsletter, dear reader, but if I don’t, I will have some things that I do not want to stop saying about transparent pilgrim and National telepathy. For this reason, I am also writing this: those by Cardenas and Larraquy are two novels that are as hopeless as they are strangely hopeful, as devastating as they are creative. Cardenas and Larraquy disarm our continent, disarming a piece of it, to later propose a thousand different armaments.

    And finally, the books by Cardenas and Larraquy, the result of two vast interior universes and two amazing imaginations, unleashed and distant from everything that is usually considered common.


    transparent pilgrim It was published by Peripheral. national telepathy It was published by Eterna Cadencia and Fulgencio Pimentel.


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