“The meaning of fire”, the novel of absence with the materials of presence

“The meaning of fire" (Alfaguara), by Kike Ferrari
“The meaning of fire” (Alfaguara), by Kike Ferrari

Tell The which means of fireside includes counting, even just a little, That from a distance seem like flies. I wrote it between May and September 2009. First I had the construction of the story: a villain who finds a corpse within the trunk of the automobile, the interspersing of chapters – alternating between the mad rush to do away with the physique and the speculations about who had set that lure for him – till reaching the tip that those that learn the e book know. The writing job concerned discovering who can be the villain in query – it was Mr. machi– how he would do away with the useless man and manage the tales behind his suspicions. I confronted this job with three premises: that there have been no characters with whom the hypothetical reader –and you’ll’t think about how hypothetical the readers have been for me then– might empathize, write below stress –for which I made a decision to add one chapter per week to a weblog that I opened for this goal– and pay homage to that big black novel that’s The fencefrom Juan Martini.

The e book was revealed for the primary time in 2011 and since then it has made its method: a number of editions and translations, some award.

For when the second half?, It grew to become, then, a standard query. What you need to do, they suggested me, is write the sequel.

But I do not get together with what is anticipated of me, and even much less so with what I’ve to do. So no. I devoted myself to repeat: I’ve nothing extra to say about that story, what I needed to inform is there. She completed. There is not any second half.

Until, in February 2019, at a gathering wherein we have been engaged on audiovisual adaptation, hernan and Natasha I used to be introduced as a recreation the opportunity of pondering a line of continuity.

And play sure I like.

Thus arose the embryo of historical past and the primary notes of what was nonetheless referred to as flies 2. But one thing was lacking. A yr and a half handed. At that point I wrote the e book of tales uncharted territories. And it was within the imaginary and the narrative tensions that make it up that what was lacking from that embryonic story that it had appeared.

So sure, with the pandemic at its zenith, between the tip of October 2020 and the primary weeks of February 2021, at a feverish and frenetic tempo of writing, the one which appears to be imposed on me by the tales of Mr. machiI completed the primary draft.

The which means of fireside it confronted me with the issues –unpublished for me– typical of the sagas: making the story intelligible for the reader who had not learn the primary novel however not being repetitive for individuals who had; making it stand by itself and the problem of going again to characters that had been written by the author that I used to be ten or twelve years earlier to offer them a coherent continuity, with out ruining them, turning them into one thing else or being redundant.

Kike Ferrari (Photo: Laura Bruno)
Kike Ferrari (Photo: Laura Bruno)

But additionally if That from a distance seem like flies It was a novel of pure presence, of the gaze – obsessive, paranoid, deranged – of a single character, The which means of fireside it needed to be constructed on absence. About the void. The ghostly. What others – all of the others, the opposite characters, but in addition that diffuse and opaque zone that I attempted to construct within the narrative voice – noticed when taking a look at that phantasmagorical vacancy.

At the identical time, it appeared vital to me that the occasions start on the actual second I had left the story, but in addition to account for the last decade that had handed in between. And for that he wanted not less than two narrative tenses.

Lastly, I sought to make specific one thing that was barely instructed in That from a distance seem like flies: needed to The which means of fireside end burning the weak ties that might unite that story –or, extra pretentiously, that might unite the noir novel– with the phantasm of realism. A guess, which got here from earlier books, attributable to generic hybridization, uncertainty and a sure complicit discomfort with the –now much less and fewer hypothetical– reader.

Near the center of the novel one of many characters –Ferminwho’s investigating the info ten years later – says “I am interested in achieving a porous shape. I don’t want it to be pure fiction, but I’m not interested in being faithful to the facts either. I would like to build a novel of absence with the materials of presence. A hybrid story that blurs the boundaries between genres, breaks a little with the logic of story/novel, chronicle/fiction, realism/fantasy and that…”

And depart the sentence unfinished so that you’re those who full the which means and say if –Fermín and I– we made it.


Kike Ferrari: “Writing is one of the forms of love”
Kike Ferrari: “You write with what you have: I’m from River, I like heavy metal, I drink beer, a lot, and I hate bosses”
The uncommon and award-winning author who cleans the subway at night time

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