The literary desert that Miami was considered to be a few years ago is ending. On Friday night, February 8, the La Otra Esquina de las Palabras (The Other Corner of Words) hosted Daniel Morales who presented his novel La casa del sol naciente (The House of the Rising Sun) (Homagno 2011).
Among the fragments of his minimalist prose and the winks at a phantom country everyone associates with Cuba, we can discover a narrator with the strength to tell the truth, enter the premises of the imagination and create for us a world of realities that belongs to us for having lived it or having lost it forever in exile, disillusionment and the death of hope. La casa… finds its breeding grounds in those atrocious years of the ‘70s and ‘80s, the marginalization and the institutionalized repression against anything that smelled “foreign.” It is a well constructed narrative body and only someone with Daniel’s patience can go so far… and so well.
La Otra Esquina de las Palabras is a gift to us from the poet Joaquín Gálvez, a place for book lovers and bohemian Miami. Located in the courtyard of Café Demetrio, Joaquin specified that the night was dedicated to the writer Angel Santiesteban, who is in Cuba with the terror of the sword of Damocles hanging over his head.
Any afternoon a little man dressed in blue might appear to nicely ask him to accompany him to the dungeons to serve his five-year sentence.
The reason? In the absence of evidence, the withdrawn charges by his accusing ex-wife, and the testimony before the cameras of a false witness, a police expert decided that Angel’s handwriting, the slant of his letters, revealed that he was lying.
On the night of February 8, the fiery words of Idabel Rosales, and the presence of Santiesteban’s sister and his friends was an act of human solidarity. The results of the sale of the book have been sent to Angel, and more, according to those closest to him.
A couple of years ago when this odyssey began an excellent Cuban narrator said something like: “They say that Angel is the center of attention,” which then was only rumors. Now the fire has grown and consumed not only his house but those of all who believe ourselves to be his friends, needing only to rise within the voices of those who accompanied him to literary soirees, to the projects to find young writers, and those who believed they could constitute a learned republic with room for all: those who applaud without being asked and the restless, those who already make up a long blacklist.
All photos by Luis Felipe Rojas
February 9 2013