Elegy to La Puna

Héctor Tizón


 “La Puna,” says Tizón, “isn’t just a hot and cold lunar desert, it’s an experience: it conveys intense sensations of silence, solitude and neglect. There, human beings are forced to look at themselves and ponder the meaning of their existence and most elemental fate.”

Stranded in the middle of this vast landscape, Hector Tizón wrote Elegy to La Puna, a set of stories that had been lying dormant in his memory, some of them with ties to his novels: the story of the dynamiter from Strasser’s Wife, none other than Mariscal Tito, the strongman who ruled Yugoslavia for forty years, who lived in Jujuy, Argentina, in the thirties and worked with the writer’s father laying railways. Other stories include ‘The man who came from the river’, inspired by a character from The Beauty of the World, and one about The Count of Montseanou, a down on his luck Belgian aristocrat who made a living playing the piano in a brothel  in La Quiaca.


Elegy to La Puna shows that the well of good writing never runs dry. Tizón overflows with stories in a distinctive personal, ruminative style that is unafraid to delve into philosophy and metaphysics, probably because he’s a wise man to whom life has been generous with its truths. 


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