Many writers turn to their craft in an effort to conquer grief and past trauma, and Marcos Giralt Torrente is no exception. What’s curious about Father and Son is its circularity in this regard, as Giralt Torrente seems to also be lassoing his grief in order to spur on his writing. As the book progresses, the act of grieving and the act of writing become one, and the result is peculiar, visceral, and powerful. There’s an immediacy throughout, aided by Giralt Torrente’s frequent deployment of the present tense, and it’s a reminder that the past is a living document, one that can be perpetually reexamined and reworked.
So, while Father and Son is a poignant, personal examination of the remnants of his relationship with his father, it’s also about writing–in particular, how to write about the past. It’s about losing as well as gaining and creating something meaningful out of that which was all but destroyed. It’s about “Death and life mingling, as always, but shaded by something that supplants life by merging with it and moreover aspires to triumph over death itself.” (p. 81)