Often compared to Jorge Luis Borges or even to William Faulkner for the intricate and symbolic structure of his work, the Spanish writer Antonio Muñoz Molina always tried to evaluate within his novels the complex relationship between reality and fiction. The Spanish Rider (1991), one of his most exquisite creations also deals with the significance of memory as far as his protagonist’s evolution and decisions are concerned. Above all these, the novelist analyzes the influence of history on common people’s life and underlines the necessary balance that has to be established between the historical great events and everyday’s choices. His next novel, Full Moon (1997) uses the same aesthetic points of departure, but complicates everything with the details of a specific kind of psychological thriller, the author proving how the seemingly very simple structure of a crime story may turn into an unexpected evaluation of the tragic aspects definying contemporary human condition.
Considered “the great witch of Brazilian literature”, acclaimed as the best woman-writer of Jewish origin and the perfect example of an exquisite reconfiguration of European modernist ideas, Clarice Lispector is a fascinating author. This is obvious since her first novel Perto do coração selvagem (Near to the Wild Heart, 1943), a book that was awarded several literary prizes in Brazil, even if afterwards the text would be often ignored within the critical studies dedicated to Lispector. Compared to Borges and Kafka and even to the narrative strategies used by Virginia Woolf (apparently influenced by James Joyce’s stream of consciousness, even if Lispector underlined that she had not read Joyce’s creation much later) her book entitled Agua viva (1973) represents a perfect example of a very special kind of aesthetic experiment, underlying the importance of art (painting or literature) in its protagonist’s life. Without being precisely an autobiography, this book is obviously influenced by the author’s life and work, also expressing Lispector’s ideas on two important issues of 20th century Latin American literature: exile and violence.
Among contemporary Latin American writers, the Cuban Guillermo Cabrera Infante occupies a special place. He represents the temptation of playing with words and with very complex narrative strategies, in order to make up a text, Three Trapped Tigers (1965), impossible to be analyzed with the traditional approaches frequently used by the literary critics. This magnificent text is not entirely a novel, nor a collection of short stories, the author himself defining it as a “free book”, representing his own deep nostalgia for his beloved city, Havana, which he lost forever after the complete success of the Cuban Revolution.