A book without borders that plays with the essay, the biography, the autobiography and where the real protagonist is a diary, the text. Argentine Pablo Maurette makes his debut in fiction with ‘Time is a river’, published by Salani-Le Stanze in the translation by Ilide Carmignani, which makes us leap in time and space in a construction with Chinese boxes, between mystery, migration of souls and a touch of dystopia. From Chicago in 2016 where the young Argentine Aaron is doing research for his doctoral thesis on Giordano Bruno, we are then in Romania and in 2041 in Buenos Aires. It all starts when, during the research for the thesis, Aaron accidentally becomes aware of the murder of the history of religions professor Ioan Culianu, which took place in the early nineties. The police have never been able to find neither motive nor guilty. Aaron thus embarks on a personal investigation in which he comes across political plots and secret services, until his disappearance. Twenty-five years later, his brother and two friends mysteriously receive his Chicago period diary and read it aloud in a vaguely dystopian Buenos Aires. “The coexistence of different genres happened while I was writing.
I didn’t know which direction I was going to go. It was a very long process, lasting 5 years. The novel started out as a diary in the first person, that of Aron, and then the diary became an object of reading for these friends who found it “, explains to ANSA Maurette who teaches at Florida State University, lived in Florence as a fellow and speaks Italian well. The text in ‘Time is a river’ thus becomes a sort of ghost. “Towards the end of the writing of the book I realized that this is a novel about reading. Aaron’s friends read the diary, skip some parts, make fun of the text, discuss, make interpretative decisions, seek the resolution of the mystery. There is a very fluid interaction with the text that becomes a character, perhaps more important than Aron “, emphasizes the Argentine writer. And then there is the mystery of the provenance of this diary: where does it come from? How did it come?” It is as if it were a ghostly entity, as if it were a soul that transmigrates from person to person. Aron is just doing the research on Giordano Bruno that he comes across the disappearance of the professor. Aron is a paranoid: he thinks he is the reincarnation of Culiano, but also of Bruno. He elaborates this idea of ​​the transmigration of the souls of the murdered so that if one has been murdered in a lifetime, then he will reincarnate in a person who will in turn be murdered “, explains Maurette who has a reverence for Giordano Bruno.” I have read many works by Bruno. , in depth, but I am not an expert, it is my aspiration. The character of the novel is Bruniano because it is a sort of sublimation of my desire “, he says. In the novel there are 25-year cycles of transmigration of souls: Professor Culiano dies murdered and 25 years later Aron disappears and 25 years later the diary appears. of Aron which represents “the last reincarnation of this entity that comes in the form of a text, a manuscript,” he says.
A great reader of detective stories and horror, Maurette has always also been interested in supernatural elements and here he has also given space to dystopian ones. “I liked the idea of ​​a slightly dystopian Buenos Aires in 2041. After two very tragic events of civil wars, it is never specified in the novel what happened but something very serious has happened to the city and in any case life goes on, the people go out, have fun, “says Maurette who wrote several essays before this debut and is now working on a pure thriller. “I just signed the contract, it will go out with Anagrama in Spain towards the end of 2023”. (HANDLE).