Monday, March 24, 2014

The Garden of Congratulations

The Garden of Congratulations / Angel Santiesteban
Posted on March 23, 2014

Interpreting the triptych "The Garden of Delights," by El Bosco, we can
find, ironically speaking, a comparison with the winner of the Frank
Kafka 2012 award, "Long is the Night," by Cuban writer Frank Correa, who
delights in telling stories, just like emptying oil paint onto the
palette and passing the brush through it so that the paint moves,
becomes confused, converting itself into a range of unimaginable colors
for the painter himself, who accepts it as a revelation under discovery.

Correa, through his narration, invites us on a journey to discover
alongside him impoverished Cuban society. Like a mannequin, he undresses
the social reality of a country inhabited by ghosts. His characters live
a constant day-to-day agony, a balancing act sensation on the razor's
edge that is tipped by the tiniest of bad things. With fresh and
colloquial reading, his more than two hundred pages are read. He plays
with ironies, and in moments–like the flash of a camera–the humor hidden
in the circumstance appears, an intrinsic part of Cuban idiosyncrasy.

Thanks to the generosity of the organizations of the "International
Franz Kafka Prize of Novels from the Drawer" competition, held in the
Czech Republic, it was avoided, as the name indicates–novels from the
drawer–that this work remains in the dark oblivion of an artist, that it
clamors and struggles, for rights of its own, a space in national

The fiction of the novel culminates with my most absolute reality:
prison. His character and I intertwine, between fable and reality,
invention and nature; our silhouettes cross and skip times, with that
protest of wanting to awaken and abandon the dangers of prison, and–with
much to write and to invent itself another space–always finish with the
caning of the guards against the fence, yelling TO SLEEP!

Ángel Santiesteban-Prats

Lawton prison settlement. March 2014

Translated by LW
17 March 2014

Source: The Garden of Congratulations / Angel Santiesteban | Translating
Cuba -

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