Swimming in the Dark

Here one encounters the literature that makes language a battleground, in which the structure of the narrative and the combination of message and silence are used as the space in which narrator and reader find themselves in an exploration of possible meanings, forced to think about what lies behind, what hurts, what does not work, or what is done in a different way. - Javier Edwards Renard, literary critic.

Two parallel stories: the old woman remembering her life and losses, those who were “disappeared,” when the city was a mining town and was ravaged by the dictatorship, and the girl in the city now devastated by industries that mark her like a scar. And the perverse and abusive games of the strongest children in the caves and in the sea.

“What do we know about what goes on behind doors that others close? I didn’t mind being seen.You didn’t have to spy through the cracks to find out about me. My voice went through the walls. United with that of other men and women, it could climb the mountains, wade the rivers, encircle the borders and tighten them, be covered with the embrace of the warm and beating flesh of the others. I thought we could come together and become a great resolve. The misery of big cities is hidden in the periphery, like the filth that accumulates behind an open door, like the young girls who compress their belly to hide a premature pregnancy. It’s a gigantic, circular garden that surrounds the city that looks inward, toward its televisions ranting their on-air quiz shows. 

(…) Have you heard how the river sounds in spring? The thaws drag the stones and the tributaries explode between the frictions and contortions of an increasingly restless water. I was never dominated by silence. I did not let it tuck me in with its fake coat. Dominance begins and ends with silence”.

Beatriz García-Huidobro