A reflection by Susanne Beijnsberger
The Charm of the Impossible – The Philadelphia Quintet
A novel in five volumes. A wonderful novel!
With the richness and consistency, sufficient to make it a historical oeuvre. Its use of language, its cultural and historical references, and the remembrance of literature and art and historical events. Though wisecracking in the descriptive, it has the right amount of descriptive ingenuity to avoid saturation and the boredom of a slow story.
Though on occasions it might seem dense, it doesn’t require any specific preparation of the reader. Just let it take you away and let the impressions flow by themselves, which don’t pretend to be understood in full in a first reading, but sediment and invite to successive readings in different moments which surprise with new discoveries on each reading that never disappoint.
The Charm of the Impossible cannot bore with its thrilling well-knit story and its colorful language that puts the reader inside and outside the flow of consciousness of its protagonists. Now reflection, now an explosion of disinhibition without the least remorse.
Fictionalized philosophy, with plenty of picaresque brush strokes, spicy touches, and powerful scenes, with winks to the everyday triviality of every mortal, always in an exquisite and respectful language, which blends introspection and experience, reality and fiction, in a magical alternation that enraptures.
Distilled from the investigations and life of the author, like all novels it reflects much of his personal experiences hidden in the work which is the fruit of an evident evolution far beyond pure fiction. Fiction that despite being strongly linked to the past of humanity looks to the future.
To whom wants to see and is searcher of the essence and reason of his existence, through its characters, through what they think and explore and experience, it offers a wide road of ideas and is able to foster a way of thinking that might be especially revealing for the personal experience.
Everything contained in an interesting story often of great beauty which irremediably transports us from this world to a world beyond the visible in all its colorful diversity.
On the occasion of the recent publication in Spanish and in English of the novel in full in five volumes, first published in Spanish in its shortened version in 2014, and commented in December 2014 I join this comment in English:
It is the title of a great novel.
Great, but for a reduced audience because of the considerable mental effort it seems to require.
Despite referring to a thousand-year-old story, the Ramayana, crushed and squeezed ad nauseam by Indian filmmakers, Jorge Bas places it in the society of today, dressing it with freshness and creativity without losing respect for the ancestors, endowing it with an ending of hope the original story lacks.
It is a pity to see our society dying out with a slow death. It dies of prolonged multi-organ failure. Consumerism, mediocrity, selfishness, prepotency, vulgarity, comfort, ignorance, laziness, idleness, passivity, arrogance, and false wisdom. Everything because medicines such as creativity, curiosity, spirituality, perseverance, and the demands of effort to learn are not liked. In general, everything that requires effort.
People no longer want to think, want themselves to be given everything done already, that makes them laugh, entertain, but above all, do not come with anything sublime, that requires imagination, or work of learning. We have reached the point of the exaltation of the mediocre, especially that no one shall be better than the other, and we are getting lost in a boring abyss where everything is the same, nothing is interesting, and nothing is new. Our youths do not find more incentives, they lose interest to be better and different, and walk behind false leaders who promise to give meaning to their miserable lives, call them gurus or spiritual leaders of any kind. A suicide like any other, only differentiated by a supposed noble cause, which on the other hand ensures the annihilation of the little there is left of valuable in our so-called civilization.
And there you are, my dear writer.
Author of a genius that escapes the understanding of the great majority of mortals because they were no longer taught to think creatively, because they killed the naivety of a mind that learned not to want to understand anything other than what it had been taught, and that, besides, is limited as suits to the Machiavellian policy of extinction of the species as humans.
There is your work, coinciding with an unfortunate regression. Orphaned because language was no longer taught, beyond the modernisms, the borrowed, the copied, and the imitated from so-called avant-garde. To many it all sounds incomprehensible, because they do not know the meaning of the words, which you chose with so much care to capture a story, amalgam of history, progress, thought and intelligent dialogue. Having at a mouse-click all the tools to learn and find out about any argument that might initially escape immediate understanding, people prefer to be lazy and deeply ignorant, instead of wanting to enrich themselves with Art, Philosophy and Science, lying beneath the colorful surface you have painted.
But it requires considerable mental effort.
It being much easier to say one is not here for this, that it is not what one was taught, that one does not want to think, or simply with the excuse of not having time. Because it takes time. Time to subtract from the TV, from the easy reading of princesses of the town, the gossip of those who live by others, and the cockamamy story in general. Our society rejoices in the evil of others, wants to have fun, but in a way that amuses it, morbid, effortless, sit and watch a prebiotic screen where everything is chewed and digested on beforehand, which exempts from investigating on one’s own, from having ideas of one’s own, and do without copying what one sees. Not to inquire in the own existence, completely ignore the Self, and not to think, not think, not think…
But I prefer you, your genius, your constant demand for confrontation with the false self, the Ego, and the perpetual examination of the own existence. A path where our true Nature is finally discovered. It only requires parking the inculcated, going back to the origins, valuing one’s existence, and enjoying the immense wealth it offers us. Only then can we observe this regression with indulgence, like a movie that is not ours, and where perhaps a wisp remains that allows this species to evolve and recover.