Snippet: a new family history by Llamazares

Julio Llamazares is such a prolific writer that this blogger has got a hard time keeping up… nearly two years ago it was a novel set under the starry skies of Ibiza (cf. post). Then came another one not commented upon. Distintas formas de mirar el agua [Different ways of looking at the water] is about a family that visits the lake covering the valley where their recently deceased father (husband, etc.) was forced to leave nearly fifty years earlier, in 1968, when Franco had built a dam and created the huge Porma reservoir where before had been six villages. This story has got its roots in Llamazares’ personal childhood experiences, as his family lived in one of the villages and was forced to resettle elsewhere in a newly built community.

The critic José-Carlos Mainer writes: “With his long-standing marked interest for the long agony of Spain’s rural life, he doesn’t want to make a political statement, not even a sociological one; what he cares about more in these destinations of uprooting are the vital ties and the strength of the laborious resignation. On the shore of the reservoir that holds their past, everybody knows that ‘there are different ways of looking at the water’ and that ‘it depends on each individual and what they are looking for.’ […] moving, intense and mature novel.”

Llamazares already published a novel on the topic of reservoirs and the forced displacement of citizens in 1988 when there were plans to build new ones, La lluvia amarilla [The yellow rain].

This blogger has been reminded of Jesús Moncada’s (1941-2005; WikipediaCamí de Sirga [Towpath], also published in 1988, a memory of the village of Mequinensa that disappeared under the water.

SOURCE: El País, Feb. 13, 2015

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