Have you heard of Virgilio Díaz Grullón?

In my desire to learn more about the history, geography, customs and culture of the Dominican Republic every day, I came across a character emanating from Latin American magical realism: Virgilio Díaz Grullón.

Coincidentally, one night, a short story entitled “the enemy”. As if not to stop, I started to read the first few lines but I was slipping with delight until the end of his brief text. At the end of this intellectual appetizer, I was left with the desire to continue savoring the work of someone who, without a doubt, was not an amateur of our letters.

Thanks to the advantages of Internet access, “I googled” the name that I had just discovered and thus I saw hundreds of pages sprout dedicated to  Virgilio Díaz Grullón. I learned that this exceptional Dominican was born in Santo Domingo in 1924, the same year that André Breton published his Surrealist Manifesto in Paris; he received his doctorate in Law in 1946, at the University of Santo Domingo; he published his first short story, any day, in 1958 and was awarded for that work with the National Prize for Literature; then, in 1968, he published Chronicles of high hill and with his story Oedipus He was a finalist in the Hispanic American authors contest sponsored by the Institute of Hispanic Culture in Madrid.

Díaz Grullón is considered to have been the most prodigious writer of psychological short stories in Latin America, comparing himself with authors of the stature of faulkner, Joyce, Moravia, Onnetti y Bennedetti who also brilliantly exploited this type of genre. As a good surrealist, Díaz Grullón uses automatism as a literary form and lets his thoughts flow freely to establish an emotional link with the reader's subconscious. With unique mastery, our author combines elements of fantasy with the everyday life of the real world, making facts appear as viable that would otherwise have been dammed by the borders of the impossible. With him it is easy to feel that the fantastic becomes reality and the common becomes fabulous; the improbable into plausible and the obvious into utopia.

If I, who am not Dominican, feel a deep emotion when reading Díaz Grullón, I can imagine what a son of Quisqueya will feel walking the lines of Beyond the Mirror; Of Boys, Men and Ghosts; Antinostalgia of an Era; Police Chronicle;  or Through the Wall.

As a posthumous tribute to this remarkable storyteller who passed away in 2001, I can only suggest to our readers that they take a walk through any of his stupendous literary creations. They won't regret it...

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