The Argentine writer Carlos Busqued died yesterday Monday at the age of 50 due to a domestic accident, as confirmed by Anagrama, the publisher that has published the only two books he wrote in Spain, ‘Bajo este sol tremendo’ (2009) and’ Magnetized ‘(2018). Busqued leaves behind a short but forceful work, and that of course endorses the label of the cult author that many have placed on him over the years.
An admirer of authors such as Bukowski, Carver, or Bradbury, Busqued grew up in the Chaco, in the north of Argentina, and studied Mechanical Engineering before trying Letters, a career that he abandoned after two months. In fact, his literary debut was quite a surprise. A professor at the National Technological University, he presented for the Herralde prize the novel he had written in the midst of a personal crisis, to “export a climate from within,” and with it came to his discovery.
Busqued himself said that the then editor of Anagrama, Jorge Herralde, called him to tell him that, although his novel was not going to win the award, he planned to publish it anyway. “Although I had doubts about this book, about how it was going to be read –because it is not an obvious book–, on the other hand, I was certain that it was worth in itself, it justified itself. If a guy finds it somewhere else who doesn’t know who the hell I am, where the hell is Argentina, he reads it and catches something. Something takes away », said Busqued in an interview for ‘Eterna Cadencia’.
Set in a murky context, with strange relationships and desperate solitudes, Busqued gave life here to a man who after days locked in his house, watching television and smoking marijuana, receives a call informing him that his mother and brother have been shot to death. ‘Under this tremendous sun’ was the book on which the movie ‘The Other Brother’ was based.
That dirty and at the same time frank writing immediately attracted attention. «The writer who fucks up annoys me. When the author begins to put what he thinks, I get very angry. I am concise because the books that I like tell you specifically what is happening, “he said.
He, of course, did not expect this recognition and it took nine years to publish a new book, in which he changed the register and went to non-fiction. ‘Magnetized’ is the result of the more than ninety hours of interviews he held in prison with Ricardo Luis Melogno, thirty years after he was arrested and convicted of murdering four taxi drivers over the course of a week in Buenos Aires.
With a structure that drinks from the audiovisual, Busqued lets Melogno speak, who expresses himself as a child who tried to commit suicide four times due to the beatings that his mother gave him and who spent his adolescence hidden in an imaginary corner so that no one would see him.
Is Melogno a trickster or were his crimes rather the result of an inexplicable “impulse”? The strength of this chronicle is its ability to disturb. Nothing is clear, nothing is taken for granted. “I suppose that at some point he will have lied, capable, but I say it only to think that he is similar to any of us, who routinely lie and cheat,” explained the Argentine author.
In addition to his literary works, he produced several radio programs and collaborated with the magazine ‘El Ojo con Teeth’. His death has caused consternation in the social networks of the Argentine literary community. On his Twitter profile, where he had a good legion of followers who appreciated his spontaneity and his acid comments, Busqued posted a multitude of messages until Monday morning.
His compatriot and also writer Claudia Piñeiro has shown his pain on Twitter and has sent his condolences: «I would like someone to say that it is not true but yes, with only 50 years Carlos Busqued died, author of several of the best novels that literature gave Argentina in recent years. What a pity”. For his part, the writer and journalist Reynaldo Sietecase has stated that he will miss the “cynical and brave look” of Busqued.