There is much to review in ‘Partes de Guerra’ (Alfaguara), Jorge Volpi’s latest novel and the second in a series about Mexican violence. after the award-winning ‘A crime novel’. Yes, the theme is violence first, but as with all good books by good authors, there is never one theme and it is never approached from a single perspective, and Volpi is no exception. From the event that triggered the plot – murder of a young girl In the hands of two other teenagers in Corozal, a remote town on the Chiapas border, Volpi unfolds a story full of branches and ends, where it matters not only what is said, but how it is told and who tells it. The author gives this honor to Lucia Spinozi, He is an employee of the Mexican Center for Applied Neuroscience Studies (CENA).
Spinozi and Luis Roth, founder of the center and patron of the time, they go to the village to study the children; it is basically to examine the origin of violence; specifically, Mexican violence. What is going on in this country where there are people hanging from the bridges, hanging their heads? This favorite habitat of the practice of killing women? Roth, a brilliant scientist, insists that the petty killers case may even yield answers against the views of some of his collaborators, and Lucia, his student and now a subordinate at headquarters, follows him – he has no clue. idea. so many choices – in adventure. The story and context of the voyage and everything later on in the account, including Dayana’s murder story, which is the name of the victim. But still, don’t count. He does this in the second person and tells Luis. you louis “So you told us, Luis, with that yellowish glow from time to time Her hopeless green eyes blurred.
Which is basic, because Corozal in between Luis’ hidden face is revealed, and Lucia must face the disintegration of the hero, who has turned into an imperfect mortal. That’s when that ‘you’ becomes a questioner, it becomes a question; and thus, expressing Lucia’s surprise, revealing her narrative power. By extrapolation, Lucia’s voice is the Mexican woman’s voice questioning the man, asking, asking for explanation: telling why. But Volpi didn’t put the children’s story aside, so the reader oscillates between Lucía’s findings on Luis and the science team’s findings on children so that the novel, let’s say, gets fatter as it progresses. Or it gets bigger, but the feeling of getting fat is the feeling that more is always added with the side effect. (but no guarantee: Volpi is an old fox) blood pressure never drops.
If there’s one thing to blame the Mexican writer, maybe it’s drift towards a particular melodramatic tone in a story that doesn’t need it at the end of the novel. And who knows the doubts that plague a writer? But that’s one of the few things that can be said about ‘Battle Reports’, a successful novel that reaffirms, if necessary, the mastery and talent of the martial art. One of the best living Mexican writers.
Author: Jorge Volpi
240 pages. €18,90