But the year now is 2001, when the Argentine economy collapsed. Graphic descriptions abound of a city under siege by the migratory poor, camped on the streets, desperately attempting to find food or beg a living – a city of ragged shadows and bonfires on corners, of a political structure in crisis. The city that Martel maps out for Cadogan is an even bleaker one, superimposed on an even blacker past. It is this recent history that Cadogan explores through a variety of subplots.
Link via SPALIT.
An interview with Martinez here. An excerpt:
I ask him about what the limit is for the manipulation of the historical reality into fiction, and he shoots me back my own question, eruditely mentioning Tolstoy and Victor Hugo: “What historical reality are you talking about? I don’t think there is any historical manipulation in Tolstoy’s Napoleon in War and peace or in Victor Hugo’s in his Les Miserables, neither is there in the Julien Sorel [character in The Red and the Black] of Stendhal, who is based, as is well known, on a real person. Writing novels is the freest act of the human spirit and it is up to the reader to discern novels from history books.”