Vicente Verdú’s “Enseres domésticos”

Vicente Verdú, Enseres domésticos [Domestic chattels]

Some excerpts of the publisher’s summary:

There doesn’t exist any book like this. … which value do we give to soap, a comb, toasted bread, bedsheets, socks, toilet paper, a light bulb, pijamas or everyday’s urine? They are significant, but can they be considered significative? Our home is a compression chamber where one enjoys or suffers with such intensity that even the walls suffer from our emotions, smells and curses. … How can you not treat this insidious difference that we need to attribute to ourselves in relation to our equal neighbours who live on the same floor.

Enseres domésticos evokes the life of a home where subjects and objects live together in a continuous exchange of supposedly minute influences. In fact, examining our home superficially, it doesn’t seem that we risk our life in the components that parade there, so common as a bed, a telephone, or a mirror, but everybody knows how transcendent everything becomes that is repeated often. The home takes in day by day the marrow of our privacy, the world that pains us most or where we are comforted best. The house is apparently a simple piece of brickwork, but in the end acts as a … shell of our respiration. If this book is different (because of its topic and its unique writing) it is also, at the same time, the most entailed to the common. In summary, an amazing achievement. Maybe the best sample of the, also different and distinctive, talent of its author.

Doesn’t this sound convulsed?

Mercedes Cebrián, in her review in El País, does not sound too enthusiastic about this portrait of a generation of Spaniards now at or near the age of retirement.

SOURCE: El País, Nov. 12, 2014; Anagrama

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