Algún día seré recuerdo

Someday I Will Be a Memory | Anagrama, 2023

Concerns, pleasures, affinities, and recurrences make up a tale in which literature, art, and life are inevitably intertwined.

This book begins with an attempt to reconstruct an old, borrowed memory – an impossible but fertile exercise in remembering – and ends with the realisation that sometimes it is preferable to omit some truth in order for a story to be realistic. Between one idea and the other, and in a far from strict chronological order, Algún día seré recuerdo brings together some forty short texts that Marcos Giralt Torrente has been writing since the year 2000. These stories take on the forms of articles and press reports, travel chronicles and diaries, biographical notes and autobiographical fragments, reflections on art and literature, and family cards and the occasional letter, all of which make up a colourful compendium of the many facets that a life dedicated entirely to writing can take on.

Within the book’s pages, readers are witness to a memorable practical self-defence class with a water pistol; we see José Bergamín as a child in an exhibition in Madrid’s Parque del Retiro that kept indigenous people in cages; we meet Marcos Giralt’s intrepid paternal aunt with an uncertain future in a wheelchair, who is sheltered on a Kenyan island; we see the author himself trying out a collage technique in the manner of Kurt Schwitters; we get to know Sergio Pitol, an enthusiastic travel companion in Lima; we read of Joe Strummer asking a young Giralt, “are you lost in the supermarket?”, as he props himself up at a bar; and we read of Frank Sinatra being persecuted by Gay Talese… Whether commissioned or not, these pieces reflect concerns, pleasures, affinities, and recurrences, and constitute a story with various subplots in which literature, art, and life are inevitably intertwined: a kind of B-side to an extraordinary literary career.