Este texto fue publicado en el Times Literary Supplement del 22 de mayo de 2020: https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/ants/
Born in 1956, Antonio Soler is one of the most renowned Spanish writers of his generation. His most recent novel, Sur (Down South), depicts a day in the life of a large cast of characters as they crisscross the author’s home city of Málaga. The story starts with the chance finding of a dying man covered in ants, an image that grows in importance: the ant metaphor is projected recurrently onto the various men and women that crawl around the city following their daily routines and domestic dramas.
There are some echoes here of Camilo José Cela’s classic novel La colmena (1951; The Beehive), but the main reference points are John Dos Passos’s Manhattan Transfer and James Joyce’s Ulysses. Sur deploys the classic techniques of avant-garde urban novels, such as the fluctuation between events and perspectives that are unfolding simultaneously, the narrative jumbling of thought and feeling, and the rendering of slang and incoherence in everyday speech. Soler uses these resources with skill and displays a talent for fragmentary dialogue: throughout the narrative we are exposed to the ramblings of heroin addicts, the angry half-yells of people in fights, the formulaic nonsense of teenagers, and the abbreviations, misspellings and emojis of WhatsApp messages.
All of this is captured with impressive fluidity. Though demanding, the style is not cryptic. Aware of the boundary between Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, Soler seems keen to keep readers within the parameters of a Bloomsday in the south of Spain… [continue reading in the TLS website.]