The most macabre night of the dead in Mariana Enríquez

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It must be said bluntly, Mexico is one of the most chauvinistic countries in South America, society feels very identified with the Mayan and Aztec origin, with its syncretic culture, that is why it is a paradigm for other nations. It is usual that on the Day of the Dead, women wear the costume of La Catrina, an icon of popular culture. For this reason, since ancient times they have been worshipers and honor the memory of the deceased, not from the perspective of tragedy or pain, but rather they consider it to be continuity of life in the afterlife, which is why they celebrate All Souls’ Day with revelry. , spirits or dead.

The cemeteries are the epicenter of family gatherings, the tombs are lit with candles and decorated with paper of many colors and flowers of cempasuchilcolored tablecloths are spread out and dinner is served.

The stories of cemeteries as the epicenter of ghosts are innumerable. The untimely appearances at any time of the night of ghostly figures is one of the most exciting enigmas that terrify ordinary people; however, for Mexicans, it is something normal due to the high degree of spirituality they practice. Necromancy is the discipline that invokes spirits to ask them for knowledge or favors. knowledge and powers.

Magic, in English, is usually called ‘art’: art. In Spanish, an act of magic is given the popular name of “work”. The preparatory act of trance to invoke a spirit or ghost demands time and work. The writer Mariana Enriquez is used to strolling through the cemeteries of the world, as she told us in someone walks on your grave (Anagram), that is, he speaks to us knowingly.

converted today into one of the most relevant horror writers todaywith titles like The things we lost in the fire Y Our part of the night, his texts are possessed by specters, bones and missing persons who walk freely among his pages. Summoning the wraiths takes effort. Mariana Enríquez has crossed the boundaries between the world of the living and the dead to speak to us of violence and trauma, of revenge and rage. The phenomenon, however, is not new.

In Latin America, for example, there have always been writers working with fear, violence, harm and cruelty, as Harmony Somers, Mary Louise Bombal, Alexandra Pizarnik, Ines Arredondo either Amparo Davila.

From the Greek writer Homer, fantasy or fiction literature, to the present day, has always fascinated readers; but from a different point of view than that of terror, as if the latter were not true literature because a priori it is said that less serious topics are dealt with when, what could be more solemn than the emotion of fear, which is what determines us and basically what becomes a kind of compass in our societies and emotional temperament?

Some writers consider that facing this type of literature entails quite a challenge. It is not easy to get a person to become so absorbed that they not only believe the story they are reading, but feel the fear to the point of needing to turn on the light, look around, and look in the mirrors or under the bed. , enduring the fright. Some readers are prone to these afterlife dramas, to macabre stories; that lead or entice them to be scared and feel visceral things.

I am attracted by the terror of the possibilities of telling the trauma in a non-literal way that, however, helps that story become real, paradoxically; and through fiction, it is possible for him to identify with a character who is subjected to torture by an inexplicable power from beyond the grave, the occasional appearancesthe bones, the disappearances of thingsthe ghosts that they have something unresolved and remain in the human and real earthly plane.

Normally that unresolved something has to do with the violence, with who they were killed or the murderers. Terror allows a narrative of evil that other genres that are more literal and more mimetic with reality do not allow.

Precisely the stories of ghosts, always feed on popular traditions to enchant the grandmother’s house, in which unsuspecting and naive children candidly listen to stories tenses and shockingswhich deals with spectra, violence and loneliness naturally, as if the witches had told him this lucid and terrible nightmare. A pathetic example is found in One hundred years of solitude. Some consider them to be fictional stories.

In my maternal grandmother’s house, on tropical nights, ghost stories were common. I also believe that there are ways to communicate with them, in some members of my family it is something habitual. The grandmother or grandfather narrated macabre and disconcerting episodes very naturally. These memories are captivating, they attract curiosity, perhaps because terror is a momentary event.

At least the reader prefers “something less obscene”, or “Phobias, the dark object of desire or existential disgust are dark emotions available to anyone”; perhaps unconsciously it was this that led me to write the novel “The agony of a teenager”. There is a belief that people who live near a cemeteries are easily possessed by perverse or worldly spirits that have not disembodied, and cause damage or psychological disturbances; others seem undeterred and with some glee admit that they have lived two hundred meters from a cemetery for more than twenty years, and are not disturbed by the dead in their daily lives.

Although, on the contrary, of those who deny paranormal life, there are experts who state that amazement depends on perception or the ability to imagine. Each one carefully hides his demon. And when the criminal side of a neighbor that we thought innocuous appears, it surprises us. We call it a monster. He was a retentive citizen, no more. Someone waiting to lose the disguise. Some reader will remember that in Pedro Paramosince the shroudedand other stories by Juan Rulfo death is always present, because he is Mexican, and therefore he considered that working in that territory should not be considered a novelty.

Similarly, there is no exact demarcation between the living and the dead, because there is no life without death and vice versa. Literature cannot do without this contradiction. As for the phantasmagorical, all writing is, to the extent that we give life to nonexistent beingsfacts of language.

Appearances without matter, but with a voice capable of installing their discourse for generations. The fear does not occur in the macabre night of the dead, as in Halloween, but it is also in the terror of living in societies where inequality and the colonial structure still exist. A Colombian exponent is the writer Mario Mendoza, with the novel the invisible men. That generates a lot of social pain, which gives way to cruelty and horror.

There are people who are exposed to all these bodily and spiritual damages. How not to write about everything that is happening to your skinwhat is happening to you in the flesh, is impossible, writing is that, the word is also incarnated in the spirit of the dead.

The most macabre night of the dead in Mariana Enríquez