“Salirse de Madre” by Andrea Matte: How many memories are there in memory?

There is historical memory, which wants to be scientific and objective (even if it is never completely), family memory, where several voices give an account of the intimacy of that nucleus, personal memory, full of readings and emotions of the subject, the collective memory, with an official side and a subjective and unequal side. Memory is never one and has multiple readings, memory is heterogeneous and complex. This is worth keeping in mind.

come out of the mother Andrea Matte’s early work certainly demonstrates this idea. Although it is a novel and its character is fictitious, the whole is crossed by the exercise of mixing memory and invention. In the narration, memories play and combine, generating a bold, intelligent and well articulated story. Memories here are a hybrid of fiction and memory (like all memories, perhaps, and like all traumas too), articulating a story that captivates, a story of lovable characters, a story that structures a story in which many stories are basis, as if it was a Russian-speaking doll.

The novel takes place during the eighties of the last century; without fictionalizing or transforming this decade into a sort of non-existent paradise, on the contrary, it manifests a reality of events that are organized in the state and private sphere, as well as in the story of a girl and her family, speaking both in the public events of the moment as humanity of the narrator, and without ever falling into the political pamphlet or smug speeches of melodrama, on the contrary, one would say that it gives a breath of fresh air to the vision of that time, due to the frontality and reality that Matte reaches by pampering that temporary scenario .

It is also a well-written text, with fast and well-executed prose, but not for this superficial, on the contrary, reading carefully, it is possible to find sentences and reflections that remain reverberating in the reader, paragraphs that remain with one, even if we have already closed the book. The author inhabits the language properly, forcefully, being efficient when it comes to storytelling, because, in the same way that she is succinct, she is also efficient, a rare trait that sometimes reminds her of Baricco.
Thus reading becomes an experience, a memory from fiction and an encounter with emotions, with the times, with a vintage tone, at the same time with a profound human history; It is the type of text that truly allows you to remember, that is, to “return to the heart” as the etymology of the word says.

Andrea Matte also creates a novel that, it seems to me, is transversal in terms of age. Although it takes place in the eighties, the story is full of sensations, relationships and characters that can be of interest to young and old, this is perhaps one of the greatest achievements of the text, so much so that, in fact, the author constructs it as a broad voice, with a high capacity for connection with its potential readers, since the themes are transversal: love, family, politics, who with a minimum of sensitivity might not be interested in topics like this?

The text is an invitation to make a personal and collective memory of a very well written story and in which it is not at all noticeable that it is a first work. It is a book that, perhaps, today more than ever, is necessary.

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  • The content expressed in this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of The meter.

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