According to Andrés Neuman, “the short story is the genre that best knows how to keep a secret”. Based on this principle, and written from an estranged and troubling perspective, El que espera offers the reader a mysterious window, a hospital where the visitors fall ill, premonitory dreams and a variety of strange characters (a beetle-hunter, a hysterical violinist, a Don Juan of the telephone, a man afraid of heights, a taxi driver who hands over the steering wheel to his passenger, a beachboy intellectual, an autistic king, a songloving vampire, a postoffice robber...) who tend to have problems in their relationships with other human beings, as well as with standard logic. If hope, the waiting for death and despair are time’s matter, this collection is, among other things, a homage to restlessness, patience and searching. Divided into miniatures and brevities, all the stories have a characteristic in common: their internal tension. The epilogue-manifesto that closes the collection, besides being an outspoken defence of the short story, attempts to reveal some of the genre’s elements of construction, techniques and perspectives, and distinguishes the very short story from other short texts. The very short story, although it overlaps with the prose poem, the brief reflection and the diary, is a subgenre with its own personality. The reading experience, parallel to that of poetry in its intensity and concision, in its cyclical nature and its sense of openness, encourages the reader to come to his o her own discovery of the text’s enigma. The very short story is, in short, a form of narrative that contains the ingredients of our time: speed, condensation and fragmentation.


Páginas de Espuma (ed. rev.)
Madrid, 2015
Anagrama (1ª ed.)
Barcelona, 2000