Immortal Stars

A look at contemporary Argentinian literature was offered to book fair visitors in the form of a meeting with the writer Mariana Enríquez, who introduced her latest book published in Czech, entitled This Is the Sea.

Why do famous rock & roll artists often die young? How did Kurt Cobain or Jim Morrison become legends? Such is the main theme of the book This Is the Sea. What might at first glance appear as a somewhat superficial nit-picking about the lives of rock stars, their fans and the world of drugs, proves much more profound thanks to Mariana Enríquez's peculiar approach to storytelling. By adding tension, the supernatural and a touch of morbidity, the author has created a special cocktail, which the readers find attractive and tasty, judging from the book's success. "I wanted to write something more airy, lighter than I had done so far, and this environment of rock stars and their fans was exactly the right thing. Some authors, when they want to relax a bit, write poetry, but I can't write poetry so I simply wrote something completely different than one might expect of me and it's been very refreshing," Mariana admitted. The idea for a book about rock fans and their almost morbid infatuation with their idols had hatched in her mind for quite some time. "I attended a concert of Backstreet Boys once for professional reasons and I just couldn't get it - what is it that all those girls see in them? I was fascinated by the mass insanity, the fanaticism, but I also noticed something like sisterhood. I finally arrived at the conclusion that the girls were experiencing a certain kind of initiation into sexual maturity and that this represented something like a vent for these feelings. Women don't have as many opportunities to set their feelings free - men watch sports and women go to concerts like these," she explained. "For a long time I've been interested in the life of various sects and similar groups, and rock-band fans also display a kind of sectarian behaviour, which I found intriguing." The main protagonists of This Is the Sea are rock fans with a twisted plan - they decide to kill their idols, thereby giving them immortality. Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison died under mysterious circumstances and both have turned into legends. How did they die? Was it really a suicide? And would they still be so famous today, had they not died young? Both the plot and the book This Is the Sea are worth further exploration.