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Alpha (Osorno)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2201


MARTINEZ MUNOZ, María Luisa. A feast for the dead in Casablanca la bella by Fernando Vallejo. Alpha [online]. 2017, n.45, pp.201-216. ISSN 0718-2201.

Casablanca la bella (2013), the latest novel by Fernando Vallejo, is a continuation of the dialogue the writer has with Death in earlier works. The novel shows and displays the writer’s obsession from the moment he buys Casablanca, an old house in the Laureles neighbourhood, Medellin, and begins its restoration. The refurbishment of the large house, a symbol of long gone and devastated splendour, becomes a utopian enterprise that, though doomed to fail, transcends the architectural scope and reaches revolutionary, political, heights in the narrative delusion. The enthronement of the Sacred Heart when the house is reopened rises as the possibility to reunite the ghosts of loved ones in a heterotopic party and to dream of winning the battle not only over Colombia, the bad mother country, but most importantly over destruction and death. Thus, the writing becomes funerary, inhabited by remnants and the insurmountable presence of the others, the dead and the animals, who find a welcoming place in remembrance and memory.

Keywords : Fernando Vallejo; Casablanca la bella; devastation; death; animals; heterotopy; memory.

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