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About the Author
Nicolás Boullosa (Barcelona, 25 de abril de 1977) es licenciado en Periodismo por la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. En 2007 fundó faircompanies.com, donde trabaja con la periodista y productora televisiva californiana Kirsten Dirksen, su mujer. Además de Barcelona, la familia pasa temporadas en el norte de California y Nueva York. Sendas costas de Estados Unidos, además de México, a cuyo territorio sonorense fronterizo con Arizona viajó la pareja antes de casarse, completan el corpus geográfico y cognitivo de la Trilogía del Largo Ahora --sobre la tríada del tiempo y las edades del hombre, que comprende: 1) "Triskelion" -pasado-; 2) "La rebelión del charna" -presente-; y 3) "El valle de las adelfas fosforescentes" -futuro-. La Trilogía del Largo Ahora se puede leer a lo "Rayuela" (eligiendo cada uno su propio orden de lectura: lineal, especular, del centro a los lados o de manera "rayueliana pura" -entremezclando capítulos de los tres libros-). La Trilogía está inspirada en "Burnt Norton", poema que abre "Four Quartets" de T.S. Eliot: "Time present and time past / Are both perhaps present in time future / And time future contained in time past. / If all time is eternally present / All time is unredeemable. (...)"
It is not an easy task to review La rebelión del charna, the second volume of Nicolás Boullosa's trilogy: Trilogía del Largo Ahora. What makes it different from many literary works is the impossibility for the reader to classify it in a specific genre: it is alternately a journal of the daily life of a modern international family, sometimes down to trivial details; a scalpel-cut analysis of contemporary Catalan political correctness; a philosophical digest linking the author's feelings, experiences, fears, hopes, etc. to various historical schools of thought; a mysterious fiction pulling the author against his will down the bottomless pit of his ancestral origins; and a modernist ode to mastered technology as a creative means to achieve freedom. Boullosa's originality stems mostly from his ability to smoothly blend the different genres, his style at times simplistic and journalistic, filled with the typical omnipresent cross references and quotes, shifting suddenly to an ancient, rich, classical and baroque at the same time, almost Cervantesian, mastery of Castilian Spanish, peppered with the occasional vernacular linguistic snapshot. Spain always had a strong connection with America, California in particular, so it is not very surprising if American culture and counterculture obviously exert such a strong attraction, even a fascination, upon the author, fearlessly adopting the utmost arcane byproducts of the information technology revolution originating in Silicon Valley- another strong link with his wife-, where the Franciscan Missions of Old California used to prosper. Boullosa relishes in the elevated thoughts of the progressive American thinkers and creators, from Benjamin Franklin and Henry David Thoreau to Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Buckminster Fuller and Stewart Brand, cofounder of the Long Now Foundation, with which the author shares more than his trilogy's name. Comparison with Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum comes to mind, Boullosa uses quite comparable tricks to Eco's to immerse the reader, almost to the point of drowning him, into the parallel universes that dwell within the deep recesses of his mind. In fact, Boullosa gives us with this pivotal second volume of his trilogy a recipe book for happiness. Basic unadulterated ingredients, like a family built on a strong, sincere and healthy foundation, proud of one's origins but not enslaved to memory, tradition, or Catalan regionalist clientelism, associated with knowledge and tools resulting from the controlled use of scientific and technological breakthroughs can result in the highest personal development and an optimized creative life, distanced from convention and conformism, a giant step along the way that may eventually result in the breaking of our determinist chains, guiding us in our eternal quest for meaning and happiness. Highly recommended.