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  • 15 September 2021 Independenza A democracy kept in check by fear, insecurity and extremism. By cynicism and corruption. And by blackmail and revenge, in the shadow of secret powers. A great novel ... +
  • 15 September 2021

    Independenza

    A democracy kept in check by fear, insecurity and extremism. By cynicism and corruption. And by blackmail and revenge, in the shadow of secret powers. A great novel is just what is required to lend the impact of a moral tale to a storm of lofty passions and the legal and civil reactions of a population that, despite everything, refuses to surrender to humiliation. And "Independenza" (Independence) by Javier Cercas is that novel in noir form, masterfully translated into Italian by Bruno Arpaia (published by Guanda). Cercas is one of our great contemporary writers, and in his previous works ("Soldati di Salamina" or Soldiers of Salamis, "Anatomia di un istante" or The Anatomy of a Moment, "L’impostore" or The Impostor, etc.), he has also addressed some of the core issues of contemporary Spain, from the contrast of the transition from Francoism to democracy and the resurgence of a military right-wing attempt at staging a coup d'état to the dismay and grief of a country confronted by terrorism. Cercas narrates his Spain with intense precision, but his work also serves as a paradigm of many other political and social crises in other countries within contemporary Europe. Our protagonist on this occasion is a policeman with extraordinary investigative skills and an intense, righteous humanity, Melchor Marín (who readers of "Terra Alta" will already be familiar with). And in the background, we feel the shockwaves of the Catalonian independence movement from a few years ago. A resourceful mayor, being blackmailed over secrets from her past and pushed to resign. A circle of powerful businessmen from the aristocratic families that have always dominated Barcelona, who are adapting to modern times (here, there are echoes of "Il Gattopardo", or The Leopard, by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa). A political system rocked by populist convulsions. And a yearning for justice that does not always see eye to eye with the law. The ending is not hinted at early on, and the tension is maintained until the very last pages of the book. Indipendenza Javier Cercas Guanda, 2021

    Independenza