This book does not exist. Here there are walls, bursts of laughter, sorrows and illusions; perhaps there are hurricanes. But it's certainly the ghosts of Rulfo who laugh, who greet you, who dance merecumbe and who sneeze. And there are no pages or scents or stories or words. There is a clear recollection of a woman laughing, of a man playing the clarinet, of an old woman's sadness, of a carriage dropping off a passenger. In this sense, Cartagena is a catalogue of emotions which makes your skin glow, and brings back the setting sun, a furtive embrace, an unforgotten kiss, the fufi moon at midday, the breeze in the street which sweeps the porro rhythms and which makes skirts billow, people in offices with briefcases, shade under the trees. Cartagena is here, here is her warmth, smell, taste, humor and love as always; each page turned is a corner, each photograph another memory, a deep emotion, every word a manner of being on the beach again, beyond the breeze, laughter and smiles, every image a fierce memory that gives no respite, that returris, that lives between the heart and the senses.
This is not, then, a book of Cartagena, about Cartagena. This is the very Cartagena Forever, the city invented by Hernan Diaz, the city that everyone forms in her or his memory. Villegas Editores retrieves it from albums, and, without embellishment of any kind, puts it back on the table, makes it profound--as indeed it is--and varied, transforms it into a motive for reflection, a little beyond beach scenes, a little hither of the sweltering heat, perhaps at the exact point where we are with ourselves again before the immense sea, into which the sun is disappearing, while from afar, over the horizon, come the sounds of Felliniesque fiesta which say nothing to us, plunged as we are in the emotion of existing and being, of living once again here in Cartagena.