Of course writers don’t see themselves as God. Writers would be much better at universal creation than the Old Bearded Guy – more action, less void and hot women on every planet. Nonetheless, we writers do get accused of god-like delusions, but only by people who know us really, really well. Oh. Alright, so maybe the world actually does have a point to make on the subject. That is largely the subject of Facundo Raganato’s fantastical novel The Author. The notion of both the Author and his Characters having actual interplay with one another within a fixed and real (although changeable!) setting has some truly delightful precedents. Of course there’s Pirandello – I rather suspect that The Author is an answer to Pirandello’s play “Six Characters in Search of an Author”. Then there is Woody Allen’s classic short story “The Kugelmass Episode”; not to forget Duck Amuck, the Chuck Jones directed cartoon where Bugs Bunny draws (and tortures) Daffy Duck. So Raganato’s story has a fine ancestry; then how’d he do with it?
Violet opened the door slowly, and peeked inside with curiosity. Ashamed, she walked inside and closed the door. Her room, which had the same designs as the others, was so small that probably no more than eight characters could fit in it; however, there were four empty corners; no portraits, only one dazzling sconce. She sighed. The torch had no fire, so she placed it on the floor and sat down next to the door. Watching the candlestick upon the sconce, she sat there, watching the only flame, quietly, watching, how carefully it burned, softly.
‘“Hello?” She said. Nobody responded, so she closed her eyes and sat there thinking.’
The above excerpt is typical of Raganato’s clipped and unembellished writing. That style works for The Author as there is so much fantasy going on in the plot that there is no real need to get up the purple passion prose. It also means that Raganato avoids clubbing the reader over the head with meanings and ways of thought. The Author might be about God, Religion, Mass Manipulation, all of the above, none of the above, or a tribute to cartoon ducks. You the reader are free to fill in the blanks yourself. All good novels allow for a conversation between the text and the reader, and Facundo Raganato’s The Author is.