Monday, July 31, 2017

the last book I ever read (My Fathers' Ghost is Climbing in the Rain: A Novel, excerpt twelve)

from My Fathers' Ghost is Climbing in the Rain: A Novel by Patricio Pron:

When I left the photographs on my father’s desk, I understood that his interest in what had happened to Alberto Burdisso was the result of his interest in what had happened to Alberto’s sister, Alicia, and that interest was in turn the product of a fact that perhaps my father couldn’t even explain to himself but, in trying to, he had gathered all those materials. This fact was, my father had gotten Alicia involved in politics without knowing that what he was doing would cost that young woman her life, would cost him decades of fear and regret and would have its effects on me, many years later. As I tried to shift my attention from the photographs I’d just seen, I understood for the first time that all the children of young Argentines in the 1970s were going to have to solve our parents’ pasts, like detectives, and what we would find out was going to seem like a mystery novel we wished we’d never bought. But I also realized that there was no way of telling my father’s story as a mystery or, more precisely, that telling it in such a way would betray his intentions and his struggles, since telling his story as a detective tale would merely confirm the existence of a genre, which is to say, a convention, and all of his efforts were meant to call into question those very social conventions and their pale reflection in literature.

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