Thursday, September 23

Argentina: Carlos Busqued, the writer who loved monsters, dies | Culture

The Argentine writer Carlos Busqued in a photograph of Editorial Anagrama.
The Argentine writer Carlos Busqued in a photograph of Editorial Anagrama.Anagram

When the news of the death of Carlos Busqued began to circulate on the networks this Monday, March 29, the incredulity that readers, writers and friends expressed as they found out – I cannot believe it – seemed, for once, an effect of humor thick and narrow of the writer rather than a common place. “Hold on to fake your own death”says a tweet from Busqued that many of his followers began to share. “It would be very dark and beautiful of you, Carlos “wrote one of them this afternoon.

The information about his death has been laconic and closed: his friends confirmed that he was found dead in the building where he lived, and asked for “measure and respect.” Carlos Busqued was born in Roque Saénz Peña, province of Chaco, in 1970, but he lived in the province of Córdoba since he was a teenager and lived in Buenos Aires for more than a decade. Although he barely got to write two books – Under this tremendous sun (2009) and Magnetizado (2018) – his short and forceful work, his marginal brilliance and his contempt for privileged people and speeches (or his affection for the damaged of this world) they were enough to turn his readers into a legion of fans, who did not stop asking for new books, and enjoyed his Twitter account as if it were a work in progress.

The story of how he practically became a cult author with his first book is well known to his followers. In 2008, after a writing process that took four years, Busqued, who was a metallurgical engineer, submitted his first novel to the Herralde Prize. Some time later he received an email signed by Jorge Herralde, founder and director of Editorial Anagrama: in the email, the Spanish publisher told him that his novel had been a finalist for the award, that he had not won it, but that he had liked it so much that he had decided publish it on your stamp. For Busqued, who had written the essence of the novel in the midst of a process of demolition of his personal life, receiving that email was tremendous.

“The change was quantum,” he told me in the city of Rosario eight years ago, “I already know that I have that, nobody can get me out of this.” Shortly after its publication, Under this tremendous sun gained great acclaim from critics and readers, and in the following years it was translated into German, French, Italian, and English. The book is a novel with a dry, laconic, powerful prose, where the characters act as if they are emotionally anesthetized. In different reviews of this novel, where the cruelty of its characters flourishes under the suffocating heat of a town in the Argentine interior, the story is spoken of as an original, oblique story about the inheritance of the dictatorship. Buscad, in any case, rejected the interpretations outside the story itself: “There are guys who kidnapped people during the dictatorship and then had a kidnapping company and I put that because it seemed to me to be illuminating and sinister, but I didn’t want to explain one shit, ”he said.

His relative success also caused a “paralyzing terror” for the continuity of his writing. So much so that his second book, Magnetizado, the result of almost a hundred hours of interviews with a serial killer who killed taxi drivers in Buenos Aires in the early eighties, took nine years to be published.

Busqued was a tall, corpulent man with light eyes, who adored twisted characters, warplanes, giant squid and trash metal T-shirts, whose kindness in treatment seemed to contradict a certain dislike for the human species present in his books. and in their tweets. The reverse of an enormous sensitivity, which seemed to weigh on him. As a writer but also as a presence, as an intellectual — a word he would have laughed out loud if he saw it linked to his name — he had achieved an effect that readers often attribute to tormented authors like David Foster Wallace: that they feel less alone. In this case, his death will also leave a handful of monsters that inhabit each other’s underworld alone.

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