Concierto para sordos

Matías Montes-Huidobro


Concierto para sordos is an unconventional work that expands narrative space and point of view to unaccustomed limits. The novel is concerned with the metaphysics of action that strikingly begins when the narrator is garroted. Within an undefined black room, he watches himself making an anguished journey down a dead-end street, each step taking him into ever greater danger. The narrative evokes a dance of death against the backdrop of the monumental necropolis of Havana, the Cementerio de Colón, where much of the action takes place. In this environment a concert for the deaf is played out, a symphony that only the chosen can hear. The reader is taken from the indigenous and colonial past of Cuba through its Afro-Cuban components to a confrontation with contemporary history. The protagonist suffers a genuinely Cuban version of the Kafkian paradox; he is pursued by a monstrous and omnipresent creature that represents both the individual and the collective being, and only through the creative process can he attain freedom.

About the Author

Matías Montes-Huidobro, author of several previous novels, was born in Cuba and with his family became an exile in November 1961. He has taught at the University of Hawaii, from which he retired as emeritus professor in 1997, the University of Pittsburgh, Swarthmore College, and Arizona State University. A prolific novelist, dramatist, and poet, Montes-Huidobro has been nominated for numerous awards in Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, Spain, and the United States; most recently he won the Premio Café Gijón in Spain. His shorter works have appeared in literary journals and anthologies. His novel Desterrados al fuego was published by Plover Press with the title Qwert and the Wedding Gown.