In this installment of Page 69,
we put David Trueba's Blitz to the test.
Please set up Page 69 for us. What are we about to read?
It is a fundamental moment in the novel. Beto, the protagonist, wakes up in Helga's house. What happened last night? He is a young Spaniard completely alone and abandoned in Munich. He is trying to continue living.
What is Blitz about?
It is a novel about solitude and the necessity of company, an arm to put around you. It is the story of a sentimental survival.
Do you think this page gives our readers an accurate sense of what Blitz is all about? Does it align itself with the book’s overall theme?
Blitz is a very condensed novel, and my purpose was that every line of the book signals the heart of the book, a sense of the novel.
again. I thought about breaking into a run and escaping
from the apartment, but I wasn’t sure I could find
the door, and I thought it would be terrible to make
Helga chase me down the hall and around the furniture
in the living room. I’d scream, like a coward in a
castle full of ghosts.
Naked, I stuck my head out the bedroom door and
called her. Helga? But nobody answered. I opened
the door all the way and walked down the short hall
toward the other bedroom without turning around.
She was probably asleep. Silence reigned in the apartment,
except for the song of a canary I eventually discovered
in a birdcage in the kitchen. I went naked
into the living room, looked for my overcoat, found
it, pulled out my brand- new cell phone, connected
to the Internet, and left the phone on an arm of the
sofa. There was a note on the kitchen table. Call me
if you need anything, I have work to do. Helga had
written down the number of her own cell phone and
ended with a quick signature, indecipherable except
for the enormous H, like scaffolding in front of a collapsed
edifi ce of letters. Then she’d added the word
Kaffee, with an arrow pointing to the coffeemaker
and the clean cup she’d set out for me, and the word
Plätzchen, with another arrow aimed at a little plate
I went back to my room, stepped into the shower,
and let the water run over my face. Although the
scent of the shower gel was too intense for my liking, I
David Trueba was born in Madrid in 1969 and has been successful both as a novelist and as a scriptwriter. “La Buena Vida” was his widely acclaimed debut as a film director and was followed by “Obra Maestra” (2001), “Soldados de Salamina” (2003), “Bienvenido a Casa” (2006), and “La silla de Fernando” (2007). He is also the author of two previous novels Four Friends and Learning to Lose.
(photo credit to Aldolfo Crespo)