Elena Quiroga: Presente profundo [Profound Present]


The latest addition to my website is Elena Quiroga‘s Presente profundo [Profound Present]. This is a very intelligent novel on death, time and life. Rubén is a doctor and comes across two Galician women who both kill themselves. Neither are in any way connected, apart from their sex and nationality. Indeed, while he knew one well during her life – Blanca – the other – Daría – he never knew during her life. Daría was a baker’s wife and had had a relatively hard life, working in the bakery and bringing up her children. When, at the age of fifty-nine she finds that her husband has gone off with a younger woman and her children have drifted away, she simply walks into the sea one day. Blanca has been twice divorced and her son, whom she misses very much, lives with his father in Switzerland. She cannot find her place in life and when in Amsterdam with her latest man, Theo, a rock singer, she deliberately overdoses on LSD. As Theo said, Tenía derecho a su muerte [She had a right to her death.] Rubén speculates and philosophises on these two women (and, by extension, on women in the region), dabbling with Hegel and thinking about time. This is an excellent novel which has not, as far as I can tell, been translated into any other language, though it is recognised in Spain as one of Quiroga’s finest novels. Indeed, none of her novels has been translated into English. What a shame.

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