I just finished The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and it is a masterful culmination of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series which I have been reading since the first novel, Shadow of the Wind, was translated to English in 2004. 15 years with this series.
I discovered the last book, The Labyrinth of the Spirits, had been translated and released in the fall of 2018 because, in my year of listening, I have been devouring all things labyrinthine and I stumbled upon it in a search for Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinths and The Library of Babel… I tabled Borges when I saw that the Cemetery quartet was complete. I have been head over heals in it the last week or so.
There are so many gorgeous excerpts but what gnaws at my soul as I read the story set in my grandparent’s country in their lifetime was how exactly current and present the themes are on the grand political scale today, as well as the resilience of the people who must live, love, and resist as best they can in “small times.” Feels present to me so much that it is chilling but never surprising.
We are the resilient in our current small times. Those of us that know this know that the stains of hate will never leave us and that the stories of connecting our ancestors’ times to ours is medicine that will sustain us. All the while, we grow the muscles we must develop to thrive amid the rein of the modern era of “great men <and women> in small times.”
My beloved authors, Zafón, Allende, Marquez, and the fallen Diaz, whose fuku and shield of machismo swallowed him up at the same time, have been guides in my own journey as a storyteller. But more so as a woman, whose family story feels full of magic and ripe for the telling and realizing that it’s also my story. It’s a part of my own magic to share what I know because it’s important for our current circumstances.
The quote by Zafón’s character Isabella just reaffirms that we must understand the nuances of stories past as they reflect us today and are a map for us as we move forward.
#riseup #totherevolutions #alldefinitionsapply