“There’s a germ of madness lurking in the human race.” Sylvia Iperraguire’s book to burn us

There are three characters in the beginning: the narrator John William Guevara (aka Jack), the English recipient (such as McDowell or McDownes) and the main character in the story, the aboriginal Jamie Boton. Technically these three figures will be present throughout the novel Sylvia Iparaguire Land of fire (Written in 1998 and published by Einaudi in 2001, now not available) But at some point you will forget about it and you will be completely stunned by the story of a man from the land of fire from the legendary Cape Horn, who will one day be stripped of his nudity as a native. Was torn down and educated to be an English dandy, a man who many years later was accused of killing an entire English mission ship.

Land of fire It is a book that maintains a subtle appearance, a story that takes place on the edge of a familiar world that reaches us more than a century after its event. A story told in a letter: Jack will actually tell the story of Jamie Botton’s magic story through a long letter which will then reach England near this McDowell or McDownes. Writing, therefore, compels one to remember, to perform a task of reorganizing one’s life, to dig into spoken words and instead unspoken words, to rediscover the meaning of one’s existence on earth in gestures. While telling this story, Jack lets himself be known, more aware of his own life; Writing thus becomes dialogue, and it is only in conflict with one “you” that we meet the first human need: the recognized need. The need to be recognized by others is a very strong request for help that must be satisfied: if we are recognized we can allow our own existence, we are seen, we are there too.. The story of Jamie Button is also a request for actual recognition; Jamie, a resident of the land of fire, carries in his body a symbiosis with ancient traditions and nature, even the most inaccessible, which he cannot escape. Botan wants to see people put in their original context. A man who carries the ancestral honor for the life of every animal in his muscles and bones, be it man, animal or plant.

Writing about memories is like chasing a herd of frightened animals: “The words seem to be running blindly to the herd of animals, bumping into each other, chasing each other.“To keep things in order, we need to stop constantly, move on day by day, reverse the normal rhythms. In fact, Jack will start writing at night and rest during the day, letting the night rise without disturbing the moon and feminine side of man.” When the light goes out, the emotions dug up in the past come out of the graveyard, they become ghosts, the memories are clear vision, we smell and the cool smell of the ocean waves, we are back in that life we ​​almost forgot. We admit that we exist, we Dedicate to writing.

Jack says his mother died when he was younger, his father was rare until that moment, he was almost scared of her, he didn’t know her. But the death of the mother gives the father a sense of responsibility towards that unknown child, then something happens. “He lowered his legs from the bed and kept his eyes on the floor, breathing. He slowly raised his head and looked at me. It was my father’s first time She saw me. It was a slow, silent and mutual recognition

Jamie Botan was seventeen years old when he was “captured” by an English ship and then taken to London to be educated, to be educated in the English way, and to be inspired by Christianity. Jamie Botton, however, is not his real name, but the captain of the ship handed him to him because, while snatching him from his canoe, the captain jumped a button, down. Desi is not a fool and his body is resistant, the mystery of thousands of years has settled in him; He was born in an uninhabited country, where the inhabitants of the land of fire do not cover themselves to escape the cold and wind, they remain naked. Their nudity does not know the feeling of shame, they only possess their bodies and it is not theirs alone; These wild tribes have a sacred reverence for all creatures, they practice true and deep sharing, if one has plenty of food he does not keep it for himself, on the contrary he offers it for the whole population and keeps only the smallest part. Children themselves are a blessing, they are everyone, everyone takes care of them and adults, looking at children, must remember that they too were children.

The land of fire is the abode of the barbarians who do not know the concept of primitive man intimately without knowing how to name it; They are one and all together, there is no division and no rights. Rude people don’t know what theft is, they don’t know what “mine – yours” means, nature gives them what they need and nothing more. The excess that is available is evenly distributed, it is simply a received grace. When whites came to this country, barbarians learned to hate. Whites kill sea lions, kill their cubs, whites don’t know that nature knows the value of an animal killed without a real need. Whites are evil, an idea that frightening barbarians didn’t know before.

The story of Jamie Botan is a story in contrast: from the position of our culture, as the reader is safe in our home, we go back to human history and restore a very deep sanctity, which lies in the nudity of the body, to protect. A common territory, the earth. Land of fire This is a basic book, it invites civilized people to completely revise its principles, to reverse the orthodoxy of science (we know something about it, perhaps) as a function of getting things back to normal. The balance is so delicate, killing a baby seal can trigger a storm and destroy an entire crew. And it’s not magic, it’s just the need to recover the death of an innocent creature with more deaths. Nature can’t apologize for that, Jamie Boton knows.

Land of fire It speaks of the sea, of the obsession that strikes sailors. Anyone who has chosen life at sea, anyone who hears that call is a man like crazy. There is a hidden call in the sea that only fools can hear. “Unless there is a definite seed of insanity hidden in the human race, men will not support anything to run into the sea. It is impossible to go back once you try. The sea is an excess and such knowledge leads to a certain point“Dionysian and Apollonian emerge from the abyss, intertwined with each other and cast in the bright pearls of an oyster, which creates a wonder to protect themselves. A slow recognition in.

Land of fire It is a necessary book to go back to the beginning of life, to acknowledge that the universe has to pay a price for every work done without real need. The barbarians of those countries know the reality from the dream, they still know how to dream and know how to recognize an important vehicle in the dream, there is a message to catch in the dream. In fact, Button will know that he will see Jack again in a few years, a dream declares him a ship, one sleeps in another dimension, time is a relative thing, it stops being linear, time is sea water.

A book that is a slap in the face of occupation, we believe that we are embodied for civilization, a book for us to return to the land of fire. Sylvia Iparraguire wrote this book to make us like fire, we must burn to burn the night, to respond to the need for recognition, to burn ourselves completely for existence, never to give up burning. There is “no devil” in Jamie Botan’s country.

Clery Celeste

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