Celebrating what we have in common

Vladimir Monge*

The Story Book, “What we have in common”, becomes an important contribution to Hispanic American literature in the context of the predominant Anglo-Saxon culture. They are stories, memories, emotions, past and present experiences that transmit and preserve the cultural legacy that we drag along with the experience of exile.

The most interesting phenomenon in relation to the various groups of Hispanic origin is the erosion of the barriers that kept them apart, which has led to the emergence of a new identity. In the United States there are immigrants of Mexican, Caribbean, South or Central American origin, but we all feel Latino or Hispanic with a common bond that is the Spanish language and, despite the influence exerted by the English language, we prefer to use our Spanish as a tool expression and artistic language.

Our literature is driven by clear sources of inspiration: Nostalgia (for the good things we left behind and lived), the desire to return (when things are good, which in many cases becomes utopian) and the struggle to belong to the new culture. and adapt to a life where time is measured in money. This leads to our literature claiming the authority of the experience of what it is to be Hispanic in this country.

The theme of Latin American literature, its eminently social roots, its popular nature and its interest in the problems of identity and existence, inevitably influence the literary creation of Latin Americans in the United States. Especially the problem of identity becomes more acute when found in the paradigm of migration and diaspora. I am from here and I am from there as opposed to neither here nor there.

The narrative book, “What we have in common”, is a collection of stories that is presented to us in a literary way and not as a popular story from the oral tradition of our peoples. Basically, a story is characterized by its short length, since it must be shorter than a novel, and, in addition, it usually has a closed structure where it develops a story, and only one climax can be recognized. In the novel, and even in what is called a novella, the plot develops secondary conflicts, which generally does not happen with the story, since it must above all be concise.

Most of the short stories of “What we have in common” follow the classic structure: Introduction, middle and end. They are short stories intended to be read at once, unlike the novel, which can be read in parts. Together they are a valuable contribution.

In this collection of stories presented to us by Peruvian authors, we will find a variety of stories that connect us with the cities we left even when what is narrated, be they landscapes, streets or people, no longer exist. When we return to the neighborhood we will notice that it is no longer the same, that the city has changed for better or for worse and that our childhood friends have also gone around the world to make their lives and that our old people have long since left. We ourselves will seem foreigners in our contact with the new generations.

After reading the book, one is left with the doubt as to whether Ani Palacios was actually a witness to a crime, because of the way “Borders Torn” narrates the drama suffered by many women at the border crossing and it really is a delusional if you think we are going to correct our errors and grammatical nonsense and grotesque habits on the internet; If Alberto Caballero actually found a lost girl in the mountains and just took a picture of her with a beautiful landscape in the background and left, or if at some point in his life he fell in love with a bearded woman.

One also wonders if Alfredo del Arroyo lives in a permanent Deja vu and survives with only one kidney, ask him. You also have to ask Don Ricardo Vacca Rodríguez if women continue to come to his apartment, even in dreams, as he tells it in the “Midnight Kiss”, which I think there is something he has not wanted to tell and hopefully Jerry Gómez Shor , Jr. do not do what you did in “The Loan” when applying for a mortgage or a bank loan, that there is no use getting angry.

The book can be purchased online, published by Pukiyare Editores, under the editorial supervision of Ani Palacios, but anthologized by Alfredo M. Del Arroyo and Ricardo Vacca-Rodríguez. The content is luxurious because of the pens of women and men who have poured their creative talent.

Vladimir Monge is a Salvadoran-American poet.