Luis Chaves

NOVEL | 2016 | 132 pages

With Salvapantallas, Luis Chaves undertakes the task we have considered impossible for so many decades: he has written the total novel. It achieves this not by recurring to the devices of nineteenth-century literature—or those of the great Latin American novels of the mid-twentieth century—which sought to encompass all aspects of the human condition in one work, but by splitting the nucleus of a narrative to extend it from the first moments of a life to the very last moments, which take place as the work we are reading is being written, with stories of nights and trips and meanders that take the narrator-author on that rough street called survival. It is at once a novel, a collection of stories, an essay, a book where we lose ourselves in the digressions that allow the nostalgia and the memory. Luis Chaves gives us a story that had to be told in the simplest of ways with a first-order narrative impulse.


Charmed by his minuscule illuminations—those soft and precious moments that only a poet can narrate—I turned myself into the narrative. But Salvapantallas is a trap. Behind the deceitful familiarity of his diaries and his notes, Chaves is weaving another form: one that is painful in its small sparks, but absolutely vital.
— Samantha Schweblin
Luis Chaves, one of the great poets of Latin America, goes from verse to prose with absolute ease because he knows that it’s all about focusing the breath. As he already did in his beautiful book, 300 paginas, in Salvapantallas he once again metabolizes his childhood moments, the vestiges of his adult life, the dreams that narrate the backside of our destiny in an unforgettable book.
— Fabián Casas
Salvapantallas is the novel of a poet, that is, a huge book with very few words. With humor and a narrative freedom that is contagios, Chaves tells his life at lightning speed: the strange moments, the ridiculous rolls in the hay, the mistakes, the mapless trips, the moments in which one feels lost in one’s own home. He is born, he goes to the circus, he watches soccer, he escapes, travels, takes drugs, travels some more, takes more drugs, his friends die, he has two daughters… The great disaster of the survivor shining bright with words.
— Pedro Mairal

Vamos a tocar el agua
Falso documental
POETRY, 2016
NOVEL, 2015
300 páginas
POETRY, 2010