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Martinez, M. (1989). Voices in Memories: To Marie Langer. Free Associations, 1P(15):36.

(1989). Free Associations, 1P(15):36

Voices in Memories: To Marie Langer

Manuel Martinez

Born Jewish like others are born black or halfcaste or Chinese. The imperceptible brand which marks you out for immolation or abandonment in the hour of defiance. The fear. And the discovery of your own race, borne as a punishment.

The story takes shape in the Vienna of the 30s. The fleeting and unstable Republic, in the confused hour of the invasion. Each to her place and destiny: concentration camp or exile, the round-up or the departure — fortunate and sad. In the end, one is born for tragedy or joy; before war, before life; before passionate Spain, or before the open sea, in search of new horizons. Exile is a labyrinth of cities, like footprints. What anchors us and keeps us is memory. Voices in memories of the friendly old house in the countryside, where little Veronica is growing up and the other children run wild, scattering objects everywhere. Not only the past, but also her strength as a woman. Crossing-over means scaling the heights, soaring upwards, rising on white wings, becoming a bird that knows the clouds, that knows the difficulty of flying through a stormy night. The happiness of being a woman, first and last; the lonely struggle of love against time; living and forgetting the streets of Montevideo and of Mexico, in a web of ideas like so many useless items populating pages and filling minds — minds which wonder about those unexplored worlds that may not exist, but still help us live.


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