Ricardo Menéndez Salmón, winner of the Biblioteca Breve Prize, is back with a harsh but beautiful settling of accounts with his father.
What do a 1300-year-old Chinese painting, the poetry of Dylan Thomas, the ethnographic research of Lévi-Strauss, a famous quote from Kafka’s diaries, and a scene from Louis Malle’s masterpiece, The Fire Within, have in common? The answer is in a room where a man is in his death throes while his son, the author Ricardo Menéndez Salmón, looks for a revelation that might not exist in the last landscape his father laid eyes on.
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night is an effort to describe the author’s feelings for his father and his loss. Menéndez Salmón pays an homage to his father and analyses the father figure, and, through the reconstruction of his life, he shows the reader the path that has lead him towards maturity.
Like Philip Roth in Patrimony, Amos Oz in A Story of Love and Darkness, or Peter Handke in Worst Misfortune, Ricardo Menéndez Salmón dives into the waters of his family history to explain himself through his father’s lights and shadows. The result is a text full of contained emotion and ardent honesty that speaks of heroism and misery, goodness and disdain, joy and disease.
Setting his sights on his father, Ricardo Menéndez Salmón brings a whole new meaning to the themes already present in his work: evil, childhood, guilt, death.