Las armas secretas [The secret weapons]
Not to sound like I’m complaining – because even if I am, I don’t truly mean it – but I’ve been quite busy lately. Work, then stuff to do after work (unfortunately, not only of the “entertainment” variety) – and pretty much every day ended with me taking a quick shower and then falling asleep 10 minutes into a random West Wing episode. Every day – except today, when I don’t know what to do with sooo much time on my hands😀 So I’m back here, writing about a book I finished a few days ago: The Secret Weapons. I only got it recently and then I saw Alin’s review, so I got curious.
Turns out, my curiosity was well rewarded: it wasn’t just interesting, it was great. It contains 5 short stories, combining so subtly the real and the imaginary that you never really know where you’re standing or when you’ve gone to “the other side”. The ordinariness in which they all seem to begin is treacherous, and the plain language Mr. Cortazar uses even more so – but what you’re left with, in the end, is the pure joy. I really have to get another book by him😀
I guess, out of the 5, most people favoured either The Droolings of the Devil (which was the inspiration for Antonioni’s film Blowup – and this gave me the push I needed to finally see the movie) or The Pursuer – which is apparently an homage to Charlie Parker, but which didn’t quite touch me (possibly because I’m not exactly interested in jazz). Me, I’d go with Letters from Mom as a favourite – for the carefully constructed atmosphere of routine and the one hit from far away it needed to shatter. It’s about a couple fighting guilt every day (she was engaged to his brother who died, but not before they both betrayed his trust) and a mother living a thousand miles away who, while giving the impression of descending into dementia, seems to want to constantly feed their guilt, their fear, their inadequacy.