Ramifications by Daniel Saldaña París (Trans. Christina MacSweeney)
Ramifications by Daniel Saldaña París
(Trans. Christina MacSweeney)
A thirty-two-year old man can’t get out of bed or leave his apartment. All he can do is recall his life so far, dissect it, write it, gathering all the memories around what would mark his existence forever: his mother’s departure in the summer of 1994, when he was only ten, so that she could join the Zapatista uprising that was shaking up the whole country. Her mysterious escape from one day to the next only worsens with his clumsy father’s secrecy, silence and awkwardness, a man unable to carry the responsibilities for his son and teenage daughter. This worsens with the boy’s erratic investigations to uncover the reasons for his mother’s decision to leave. All he can do is create an anguish-filled parallel world: he will unsuccessfully seek refuge in his origami obsession, or in his sensory deprivation tank in which he locks himself up to see if he can erase his existence. Finally, with the help of Rata, a young delinquent dating his sister, he will undertake a voyage of discovery to the darkest corners of his Mexico City, where he will meet the face of gratuitous cruelty, as well as the selfless kindness of strangers.
In his second novel, Daniel Saldaña París has created a bone chilling, exact portrait of a hypersensitive childhood that must torture and repeat itself in the mind of the protagonist.