Original language: Español
Year of publication: 2011
We have already talked about it in reviews of other books by Gerardo Fernández Fe. The way the publishing market works is “curious.” Absolutely inconsequential authors, books subject to fashions or circumstances with a “useful life” of a few weeks take over the bookstores while authors like the habanero, with something to tell, with universal and timeless stories, have to resort to self-publishing to bring us closer to their construction site. In short, what do we know about the ins and outs and calculations of the world!
The fact is that the novel that we bring to this space today was published in 2011 by a small Spanish publishing house, although the edition that I have been able to read is from this same 2023 and was the work of the author himself. Let’s hope that this time it has more travel than a few years ago. The content deserves it.
Summarizing. As already happened with Hotel Singapore, The last day of the starling resorts to the story within the story within the story… (the mise en abyme, as the most intellectual would say) to tell us about possible lives, dreamed lives, lives lived by a character called Luis Mota (although he may whether called Gabino or Nivaldo) who is, at the same time, protagonist and narrator, with which the author plays with the famous “fourth wall”.
Damn, today we have the highest intellectual.
Thus, the starting point is the entry of this Luis Mota into the National Library of Caracas in search of a book on ornithology (birds and migrations perhaps?). An error/confusion will lead him to a book by Deleuze in which a weapon is hidden and here, hand in hand with imagination and memory, a series of paths will open up that will take us from Caracas to Havana, from Prague in 1968. to Paris and that they will tell us about exiles, about loves (the part dedicated to the marriage of Boris and Amaranta’s mother is truly magnificent, their wear and tear, that end of love through gestures and silences), about escapes, about betrayed hopes, about religions that carry with them their corresponding elegy.
Therefore, personal autobiography and chronicle of a time (second half of the 20th century / early 21st century) crossed by History come together in a text that I already say escapes linearity and pure “autobiographical” narration, whether in first or third person. This may scare away a reader who is looking for something more “conventional”, with less ups and downs, more “clear”, but whoever accepts and likes the risk and the game will surely not be disappointed. Because there are good stories, good narrative rhythm, a successful use of metaphors and images and, above all, because there is good literature.
Also by Gerardo Fernández Fe in ULAD: Hotel Singapore, Body daily