Xulia’s Matryoshkas

La Voz de Galicia – May 6, 2022 →

Cristina PatoOnce I began the book, I couldn’t put it down. Luz, Xulia, and Sebas’ story hooked me in such a way that after spending a whole day with the three of them, they got in my dreams and came to life during a couple of nights. I imagined them in all the situations that Ledicia Costas created for them, heard their voices in my head, and laughed like I have not laughed in some time. In her masterful novel, Golpes de Luz (Xerais 2021) or Strokes of Light, the writer leads us to exercise the intergenerational muscle, getting into the life and mind of grandmother Luz, daughter Xulia, and grandson Sebas, and helps us think about, in a natural and powerful way, the multiple realities that coexist around us.

At a particular moment in the book, one of the protagonists, Xulia, uses the metaphor of the matryoshkas (those traditional Russian dolls fitting inside one another) to describe a scene at a park where older people gather, and it is here that she drops this reflection, which I have been mulling over for a couple of days: «One may spend life inside one’s own matryoshka, with eyes closed to other worlds that turn around one. Denying to oneself those realities that are there.» And even though the context of this phrase perhaps has little to do with the reasons I have been thinking about it, the truth is that the more I thought about it, the more it fit with the incredible disconnection we suffer nowadays (even though we live hyperconnected), the one that is created between the real and the virtual worlds. And how that other world, the virtual one, is «denying» us perspective without us realizing it because thanks to the web and algorithms–though we may not want to–each one of us inhabits one of those matryoshkas of which Ledicia Costas’ Xulia speaks…

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