The man who disappeared and no one searched: a story of family secrets and silences

Rewrite this content”Missing (an investigation)”, by the Chilean writer Alberto Fuguet, is a novel about the search for his uncle, who disappeared in 1986, in which an extensive narrative poem breaks out that tells in the first person the life of this “lost man” who, for more than three decades, he did not want to be found. could be called Missing but, in Latin America, that word carries another meaning, one attached to the history of the dictatorships that, during the 1970s and 1980s, devastated the continent and cut down an entire generation. That is why to title his novel about the disappearance of his uncle in 1986, the Chilean writer Alberto Fuguet preferred the title Missingmore consistent with the landscape of the American east coast in which, from one day to the next, his father’s brother was lost without a trace.“In 1986 my uncle Carlos Patricio Fuguet García He vanished from the face of the Earth, from the city of Baltimore, in the state of Maryland, United States, far from his native Santiago de Chile. She simply stopped calling and her letters began to be returned (…). Since then we have not heard from him. Since then he has been missing. Missing. no one knows where it is”, writes Fuguet in the journalistic chronicle that gave rise to the book.However, his uncle’s was a disappearance that, at least his family, did not alarm: one day he was there and the next he was not, but no one looked for it. During his childhood, Fuguet grew up hearing diffuse and elusive stories about the whereabouts of Uncle Carlos. Over the years, he became one of those family secrets that, given the reluctance of adults to explain to the little ones something that they themselves do not fully understand, generated in little Fuguet a curiosity impossible to satisfy. Thus, against his father’s mandate, he decided to go through the thick family silence and start a search that, due to lack of resources, money or interest, his family had never carried out.It may interest you: Alberto Fuguet: “Grindr made me want to be a less sensitive writer”A more or lessthat is the starting point of Missing (an investigation), published by Penguin Random House: an established writer who travels to the United States to embark on a search for his uncle lost three decades ago. But what might at first glance seem like a thriller catchy or a dark policemansoon takes an unexpected turn and turns the expected structure of those genres upside down when, almost at the beginning of the novel, the uncle appears.With his first book, “Mala onda”, Alberto Fuguet quickly became one of the most loved and hated writers in Chile.Little by little, the voice of Uncle Carlos begins to gain importance in the course of the novel, in a kind of plaster that, growing upis filling the gaps in that story of silences and secrets. But, unsurprisingly from an author known for blurring the rigid boundaries of genre and experimenting with the infinite possibilities of storytelling, the novel’s climax is precisely the moment when stop being a novel and, for nearly 200 pages, turns into a long poem.Thus, the voice in the first person of the singular that is maintained, almost without interruptions, throughout the book, goes from representing Fuguet himself and becomes that of his uncle who, in a kind of long and sectioned epic poemnarrates his own life: the move from Chile to the United States, the failed american dreamhis escape, his passage through the jailalcohol, drugs, women (and the occasional man), the return, odd jobs, poverty. A life that, he admits, “is, from other eyes, a bit pathetic, I know.”But, despite everything, there are no complaints in the life of Uncle Carlos: “Nothing went the way I wanted, I’m worse than I ever imagined and, at the same time, not everything is so bad: I have some energy, I have some health, no money, but I can live, live with dignity, basic”.It may interest you: “Literature is still mysterious”: an afternoon in San Isidro with Rodrigo Fresán, Alberto Fuguet and Samanta SchweblinHow much fiction is in Missing, and how much of reality? In order to disengage from that scrutiny that is usually made of works today -as if literature really cared-, Fuguet chose as an epigraph a phrase that Ernest Hemingway wrote in the foreword to his autobiography, paris was a party: “If the reader prefers, they can consider the book as a work of fiction. But it is possible that a fictional book sheds some light on the things that were told as facts.[”Missing” puede comprarse en formato digital en Bajalibros clickeando acá]one always stumbles or redoeswhat he promised not to do again:in my case, go back to my father,to the house, which was no longer my house,but it was the houseMy parents’ house,My father’s house.when you have thirty, thirty-five days to go, they call youand they ask you where you are going to live,you have to have an addressmy dad offered his housebecause they were going to ask me for a placeAnd if you don’t have the address,they don’t let you gothen one has to go forcedwhere a relative or friend,they approve or they may disapprove,It depends if you think it is a decent, adequate place,the only case where that doesn’t happen is whenyou serve your entire sentence,They don’t care where you’re going to liveyou can go to a shitty hotelto a piece in the center,but since I had to do my probation,my probation,and wanted to go outI had to agree to go to my father,get out of prison to go back to prison,clearly not that:It would be disrespectful to think that,but i thought soI thought about it when I signed,to go out,to arrive,to be,so much running,so many turns,so many years and return to the same,to the same codes as always,say that address in orange county,in the bull,that was the name of the neighborhoodthat suburban piece where they lived at that time,the prison system approved the change,originally I had to be in elei,but i was able to get the change to the other countyand return to my parents to this site,it was a new placeverde,cleansed,no buildings,only houses,gardens,wide streets,y nothing,but nothing to do.Alberto Fuguet (in the center) with Rodrigo Fresán and Samanta Schweblin at the 2019 Leer San Isidro Festival. (Carlos Furman)you can move a lot whennothing to tie,nothing stops youi was everywhere:east-west,from here to there,from coast to coast,wandering,exploring,north by northwest,south by southwest,from there to here,criss-crossing, on the road,every which way but one looked for me no more.I was not hiding,grounded,in the shadow.I was movingI moved everywhereI never stopped.lost?i was never lost,I find it almost insultingI’m not a little boy who got lostin a mall before christmas.I didn’t get lostI’m not a loser.No, I’ve never felt lost in that sense,without north, adritf.I always knew what I wantedwhere i wanted to beI wanted to be awaywanted to be free,I wanted to travel and live light.[Los libros de Alberto Fuguet pueden comprarse en formato digital en Bajalibros clickeando acá]interior life?Of course I haveyou have a life even when you don’t have a life,what is a lifenothing worse than comparingI no longer compareI don’t compare myself anymore,I also know that it is unfairbecause there are so many people who supposedlyHe has more than me and he can barely hold oncan barely stand itit is barely supported.I had my suzette stage,my barbarian stage,But that doesn’t mean I didn’t exist.before or after,your partners do not define you,at least they didn’t define me.a woman who wanted some more sex,when I still thought that sex could help me,he told me that I had never fallen in love.maybe it’s truemaybe,I don `t believe,I think things happened with Suzette.maybe that was all that happened, exists when one is not in lovemarried,paired up,one exists the same,one really existsmaybe one more existsbecause everything feelsalone,You’re not in the middle of a hysteriaof chemical sickness, of biological alterations,And no one is there to help youto listen to you,you have no one to verify that you time, a guy, in the keys,told me:al final, love has something of a lie,It’s an idea, beyond what you think it’s not,you think you love but deep downyou love to be loved back,Or do you love what you imagine you love,you love what you would like to love,you love what you don’t have and would like to have,maybe that’s why you later catchthat you loved or were friends or sleptwith someone you despise,with which you have nothing to do,in which you would never trust,not for a minuteif that is so,How do you explain that something happened before?I do not know,sometimes I thinkwhich is nothing more thanloneliness what pushes you,which leads you to look for another.Now I’m alone, yeahmy life is, from other eyes,a little patheticI know.Nothing went the way I wantedI’m worse than I ever imaginedand, at the same time, not everything is so bad,I have some energyI have some healthno money but i can livelive dignified,basic,but since I have light,…