The Swifts: Fernando Aramburu



Swifts is a contemporary novel written by the Spanish professor, poet and essayist Fernando Aramburu. The work was edited and published by the Tusquets literary house in 2021. One of the main and most representative concepts of the book deals with life and the ability of a human being to decide how to live it, and whether or not it is correct to end it for own hand.

Fernando Aramburu is a prose writer, and, as such, one cannot expect more than quality in this regard. Nevertheless, Many of his readers have complained about how messy and chaotic the structure of the work is., while others simply point out that this is a formula that contributes to the description of the narrator

Synopsis of Swiftsby Fernando Aramburu

The suicide approach

the swifts, In the first instance, it is a diary: the life chronicle of Toni, an unbalanced school teacher and fed up with the world and its tribulations, that decides -no appeal- take your own life. To carry out this unusual task, it is proposed to keep a meticulous record. There he recounts all the conflicts, misadventures and twists and turns that, in his mind, led him to think about committing an attack on himself.

Whether in the end he commits the act or not, it is a fact that it will come at the right time. Meanwhile, the reader will have the opportunity to learn Toni's biography in detail: her thoughts, ideas, intimacies, fears and all kinds of problems. His way of writing his memoirs is filled with an acid look that seems to place him beyond the conflicts that afflict him, becoming, on many occasions, the possessor of a privileged black humor.

The diary as a key point in the construction of the protagonist

"I have planned to commit suicide within a year, I even have the date planned: July 21, Wednesday night." This is the self-sentence of Toni, a gentleman who has reached the autumn of his life feeling that he has done nothing useful. Likewise, he perceives that he has not genuinely loved anyone, and, to top it off, He fervently believes that there is no reason for which life is worth living.

Of course, all these conjectures and feelings are revealed to the reader through the intimate text that he has proposed to write throughout that year that has been granted as a limit to evaluate his situation. Every month, between August and the following July, the protagonist prepares to pour out all his experiences in that confessional space that is his diary, where Toni will present pieces of his story that are intended to complete his biography.

Without reservations or considerations

With the sole exception of Pepa, Toni's dog, all the characters are unpleasant. However, this not only serves a purpose, but is understandable, since the work is narrated in the first person, and the protagonist is unreliable. With this usual acid and sincere tone that characterizes Swifts, the main character talks about all the people who have set the tone in his existence.

Thus, the reader can meet —under the opaque light of Toni's battered mind— Amalia, the ex-wife of the protagonist, a woman who, after years of a failed marriage, leaves her sailor to live out her newly acquired lesbian fantasies. Likewise, it is known about Nikita, Toni's son and a consecrated idler for whom the main character, more than affection, feels a kind of pity and condescension.

A reckoning with the past

According to Toni, her childhood was marked by abuse and lack of appreciation. Consequently, her parents do not fare very well in her memories. in the pages of Swifts It rains reproaches of the most varied nature towards the couple who saw the life of the protagonist. It doesn't make a dent in Toni that her mother is in a psychiatric hospital while she suffers from Alzheimer's, or that her father has been buried for years.

Everyone is the victim of his black and acid humor, of the release of his anger —this includes his brother Raulito, Amalia's parents or the director of the school where Toni works trying to educate a lot of young people who, in reality, they don't interest him. Perhaps the only person who is a haven of peace in Toni's life is his best friend., which, behind his back, he calls "Patachula", because he lost his leg in an attack.

Love does not escape suicides

The only ones that seem to cause an iota of love in Toni are Pepa -your pet-, Águeda —an old love that reappears inopportunely—, and Tina, a sex doll thanks to which the reader can participate in the most heartfelt and tender entries in the book.

Each of these aforementioned characters plays a fundamental role in the existence of un Ton who walks with Pepa down the street in Madrid —a city that turns out to be another character—. While the swifts —birds— fly over the rooftops, free above all else, Toni sees absolute and simplest independence reflected in them.

About the author, Fernando Aramburu

Fernando Aramburu

Fernando Aramburu

Fernando Aramburu was born in 1959, in San Sebastián, Spain. He is a Spanish writer, professor, poet, prose writer and essayist, winner of great honors, such as the Royal Spanish Academy Award (2008), the Tusquets Novel Award (2011) or the National Narrative Award (2017). In the literary universe, he is known for novels with enormous impact, such as Homeland (2016), which gave him very positive reviews.

Aramburu graduated in Hispanic Philology at the University of Zaragoza. Years later she moved to the Federal Republic of Germany from where she taught Spanish classes to the children of Spanish-speaking immigrants. Later she retired to devote all her time to literary creation.

Other books by Fernando Aramburu

  • Fires with lemon (1996);
  • Empty Eyes: Antibula Trilogy 1 (2000);
  • The trumpeter of Utopia (2003);
  • Life of a louse named Matías (2004);
  • Shadowless Bami: Antibula Trilogy 2 (2005);
  • Clara trip by Germany (2010);
  • Slow years (2012);
  • The Great Marivián: Antibula Trilogy 3 (2013);
  • greedy pretenses (2014);
  • Swifts (2021);
  • children of the fable

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