A prolific writer, Neuman – born in Argentina, now based in Granada – delights in language and linguistic ambiguity. In Fracture, he explores the fragmented nature of memory, emotional scars, a city’s wounds after a disaster and the cracks in a relationship caused by cultural difference. He draws profound parallels between collective traumas – Japan’s bombing, Vietnam in 1968, Argentina’s “disappeared”, Chernobyl and the 2004 Madrid train attacks. Recalling Japan’s enforced silence in the war’s aftermath, Yoshie’s Argentinian girlfriend, Mariela, ponders: “Maybe the most brutal thing is not that you were bombed. Most brutal of all is that they don’t even allow you to tell people that you’ve been bombed. During the dictatorship here they would kill one of your children and you couldn’t tell anyone.”
- Originally published in 2018
- Translated by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia in 2020
- Neuman is a poet, short story writer and columnist.
- The late Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño, said of him “The literature of the 21st century will belong to Neuman.”
- If something exists somewhere, it will exist everywhere | Czeslaw Milosz (Polish winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 1980).
- Love came...after the kill | Anne Sexton (1928 - 1974 a US confessional poet & Pulitzer prize winner for Poetry 1967).
- I wonder if there is/any operation/that removes memories | Shinoe Shōda (born in Hiroshima 1910, she was a hibakusha. She died of breast cancer 1965. Tanka (II) finishes with Where is a cure/for my pain-filled heart?)
- ...and if my body is still the soft part of the mountain/I'll know/I am not yet the mountain | José Watanabe (1946 - 2007 a Peruvian poet with a Japanese father).
...the ancient art of kintsugi. When a piece of pottery breaks, the kintsugi craftspeople place powdered gold into each crack to emphasise the spot where the break occurred. Exposed rather than concealed, these fractures and their repair occupy a central place in the history of the object. By accentuating this memory, it is ennobled. Something that has survived damage can be considered more valuable, more beautiful. (my highlights)