The hideous scene of the family

The hideous scene of the family

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Punch Puigdeval (Sant Feliu de Guíxols, 1963) is known, above all, for his side of literary critic, in the pages of the newspapers El Punt and El Quadern d'El País. As a writer he has published three books of short stories (Amb Dry silence She won the Andromena Prize for Narrative in 1991) and four novels (including Racial Delusions, the Joannot Martorell Prize in 2016), as well as two books about books.

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Commercial novel (1984 editions) is thus the fourth foray into Puigdeval's novel, as he narrates the relationships established between characters of the same family, the Calvés, waiting to receive an inheritance. The point of view of a father, mother and two children shows the reader a family relationship full of hostilities and confrontations, in a decaying and morally destroyed family. Teresa Garriga, Oriol and Magda wait for the moment of Artur's death, “published against his will”, to take over the family legacy. Meanwhile, the summer of San Feliu de Guixols is the scene of conspiracy and lies, in an environment of appearances and social façade. Punch Puigdeval noted that it presents an “utterly desolate” vision of its heroes, who seek to destroy their opponents and obtain what each believes they deserve. “The grotesque spectacle of the human condition always made me laugh,” says the author.

The vision of all this does not stop with touches of sarcasm, and Puigdeval admits that he presents a vision that includes a certain funny touch in the face of this family devastation, because he himself relates deeply to that “black or sarcastic” humor. In the same way, the secondary characters offer a satirical look at the summer community of Sant Feliu and add an “personalized” touch to the narrative.

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Commercial novel It's a “sour, sinister and very ferocious” story, which Puigdeval wanted to write in a style more typical of Georges Simenon, one of his main references, he said in the book's preview. “Simon taught me that the family is always a breeding ground for crime, both physical and moral.”

Commercial novel. Ponce Puigdeval Editions 1984. Barcelona 2024. 320 pages. 20.00 euros

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