La historia del silencio

The Story of Silence | Anagrama, 1994 / RBA, 2007

» Herralde Prize 1994

A work that reflects on the beauty and the risk of silence, on small unmentionable secrets and betrayals that lurk behind every love.

The two main charactes in the story, a writer and a publisher romantically involved, have a sudden and funny idea while driving through a deserted landscape: “Why not write a book about silence?”.  As the book grows, including stories of friends, questions ("why is silence awkward at a dinner with friends but not on top of a mountain ?") , quotations from philosophers and writers, anecdotes about African tribes… the writer and the publisher stop talking to each other, as if they themselves became objects of their research. Their story seems to come to an end, but a new idea, an exciting new project reconciles them.

This novel is about yet another book that was never written, and also about all of the things that we hide from those people who think to know us well. With the splendid gallery of characters that inhabit the novel, the author displays his implacable sense of humour and shows us to what extent life is a comedy under the constant threat of a tragic ending. Laughter, which we use to scare away silence, is the most elegant way of forgetting for a moment how close that danger is. This is something the series of characters whose lives are intertwined in this book know well.