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Courtesy: Fondo de Cultura Económica.
Courtesy: Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Goodbye to Amparo Dávila

The end of a fantastic story.

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Cecilia Eudave is a storyteller, essayist and literature professor 
at the University of Guadalajara

My relationship with Amparo Dávila dates back to the early 1990s when I discovered her book Tiempo Destrozado. I was immediately captivated by her extraordinary stories –sometimes fantastic, sometimes unusual. I have written articles about her, directed theses, and devoured her books over and over again. I consider her to be one of the most important authors of fantasy in the 20th century. Her texts are revealing of the Mexican context of women in the first half of the last century, and she gives a twist to the feminine space by means of non-mimetic literature, through singular and disturbing writing. She managed to create excellent atmospheres so that her female characters could free their other self: the monstrous one. Monsters and fantastic beings that produce catharsis and the awareness of the repressed being; Dávila manages to awaken the stifled or rejected identity of women dominated by the social impositions of the time she lived in. Hers is a literature that insists on change and makes women visible in their context of oppression and disqualification, using the unusual worlds in which her characters move as a pretext.

In 2011 I finally met her in a literary conference organized by El Colegio de México. I was fortunate to be introduced to her and to talk with her, to receive her advice from a writer to another who followed in her footsteps; and above all, to be magnetized by her long-imagined presence. I remember that she told me when I asked her why it took so long to re-distribute and publish her work: "You have to resist, Cecilia, good literature, if it is, over the years it will prevail. One must continue in one's own way, writing, and with one's life, it is the readers, and only they, who in the end have the last word. With the years, time no longer weighs heavily, there is no hurry to get anywhere, to prove anything, only the memories remain, the stories that you have left written, those that in some way will become if they are lucky, eternal... Imagine, when I was going to suspect that it would be translated into Arabic, yes, into Arabic". She just received this news and was very excited. Then she woke up so affable and smiling. I wanted to go with her but she was already surrounded by many people again. So, among that cloud of voices and bodies, she left, slowly devoured by the others. I stayed there as if living the end of one of her stories where the dream does not seem so and reality matters little... 

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