With Death in the Garden of the Moon, the fourth novel by Martín Solares (1970), and the second in a police style with touches of fantastic literature, the writer first tried to evolve himself, he confesses, to later consolidate the protagonist, the young detective Pierre Le Noir, born in Fourteen fangs (2018), the first of the trilogy.
With more than 20 years of making imaginary stories, the Tampico narrator comments in an interview with Excelsior that in this second installment, also published by Random House Literature, Le Noir is another person.
Although only 24 hours have passed since the events that he lived in Fourteen fangsHe had to accept the existence of beings that live in the Hereafter, of ghosts, and that the talisman he inherited from his grandmother allows him to see them. For this reason, in this novel the challenge is to learn to use this skill, ”he says.
After three decades of recreating the violence and corruption of his home state, Tamaulipas, in works such as The black minutes (2006) and Do not send flowers (2015), the also essayist affirms that his imagination demanded a vacation from him and, for this reason, he gave life to this fantastic saga that plays with the idea that there is life after death and takes place in Paris in 1927, “a excuse to get into the house of several surrealist artists that I admire ”.
Death in the Garden of the Moon “It is an adventure that can be read separately, insofar as it presents another, much more abrupt stage in the life of the same character,” he explains.
The editor says he thought of a trilogy because, when he finished Fourteen fangs, he realized that he did not want to say goodbye to the group of characters he had just invented, and that he wanted to live more adventures with them.
I tried to resist, but the novels literally woke me up at night, so I would get up to write one more sentence. He had never lived such an intense stage as a novelist. It will be that my Parisian characters live in another time zone, but I have not stopped working on Pierre Le Noir’s adventures since 2015, usually during the early morning hours, and I am about to finish his third adventure ”, he adds.
He indicates that “writing a second novel about one of your characters is like doing mountaineering and discovering that behind the mountain you were climbing there is an even more interesting and irresistible mountain range.”
The doctor in Iberian and Latin American Studies from La Sorbonne highlights that Le Noir is the only detective who has among his informants a ghost and a vampire woman.
He is the grandson of a Spanish seer who inherited his most precious talisman and, in order to survive, in Death in the Garden of the Moon he is forced to find a teacher to teach him to use these gifts. Most crime novels tell how a detective follows the culprits. Here I narrate how the culprits chase a detective, and force him to flee to save his life, “he adds.
On this occasion, Solares revalues the work of the surrealist poet Robert Desnos (1900-1945). “I wanted to give him a central place in this novel, and to be one of my detective’s informants. His story fascinates me almost as much as his creations. Surrealism wouldn’t be so impressive if Desnos hadn’t allowed André Breton to hypnotize him over the course of so many sessions, in order to send him off to explore the literary afterlife.
It was he who discovered the ghost of Rose Sèlavy and, with the enormous freedom that invaded him as soon as he entered a trance, he created some dazzling poems, half aphorism, half prophecy, that do not seem made in this world and no one has been able to match ” .
FREEDOM, A LOST WORD
When asked what monsters did he invent in Death in the Garden of the Moon, the author of The planet Cloralex (1998) and How to draw a novel (2014) details that the greatest of all is the ghost of Liberty.
Salman Rushdie said that the first obligation of a writer is to find the lost words of his tribe. And, after dedicating my first novels to corruption and impunity in the Gulf of Mexico, in each of these three Parisian stories I set out to explore the most important words for the tribe of surrealists.
It was the case of the words Magic and Poetry in Fourteen fangs, of Love and Revolution in the third adventure, the one that I am finishing, and Freedom in this new novel, “he admits.
Solares clarifies that it ended Death in the Garden of the Moon more than a year before the pandemic. “But there are two things in it that seem to refer to what we are experiencing now. First, a very strange disease, no one knows where it came from. To face it, my character must go to a hospital specializing in fantastic diseases. The second element is the new challenges to freedom, as my characters live them.
In Mexico, three things threaten freedom: the sea of propaganda in which we live immersed, intolerance towards those who think differently and the disappearance of the supports that made culture possible, ”he points out.
Our politicians, who ignore the value of culture because they have never realized how much they owe it, believe that we must put it at the command of politics ”.
So it requires respecting their independence. “Culture is not only a haven to rest from the trials offered by the pandemic. Like the great oracle that it is, it reminds us that human beings are not made only of the present or the past, but of all possible times; especially, of everything that allows us to create worlds other than this one, including a future as good as we can imagine ”, concludes Solares.
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