Those of us who know Martin Durand, and we are privileged to be his friends, eagerly expected him to publish this book of chronicles of which they were part or have enjoyed his story either in front of a cup of coffee, in the courtyard of the university or in the car while he was driving.
His stories with real characters, often in extreme circumstances, always caught our attention. After listening to them we suggest, more than once, that they should be put on paper so that they would transcend a wider audience of the amical or family.
As a good chronicler Durand developed, from a young age, a fine and sharp look full of humor in the face of the events and circumstances surrounding him whatever the nature of these: the daily life within the family environment, the neighborhood and the neighbors, the university, a "party" with friends or the national political scene. In each of these events, of which he was a witness and protagonist, he realized that they were worthy of being told. The stage, of most of them, is Lima his hometown, and within the Limeño universe the house of Chota is a fundamental character in these chronicles. Chota Left traditional street limeña emerged in the second decade of the last century, product of urban expansion, very close to Paseo Colón, Plaza Bolognesi and, of course, the Center will be the place where the small bourgeoisie will take its reals. Chota will host for decades several generations of the Durand and Quirós families until its members form new and set out on their way to new urban spaces less congested by the growing urban explosion. As well as Chota Left the Limeño neighborhoods of Magdalena, the Residencial Santa Cruz, Miraflores, Barranco, the spa of Ancón while noting the foundation of San Bernabé, located in Pisco south of Lima, or Puerto Maldonado, in the jungle, are part of the scenarios recreated in the texts.
These chronicles have the fundamental value of offering us an overview of limean daily life from the late 1960s to the first 1990s fundamental period of modern Peru where events occurred that substantially changed our history. On the one hand, the Velasquista government, where the characters will have opposing positions that will defend themselves ultra-fast, and on the other hand the internal armed conflict that occurred in the 1980s will affect and substantially modify the daily universe until a widespread escape to new less violent contexts will be generated.
They are told in the same way as he always did when he had one of us listening to him, which is why his colloquial and close style. But perhaps the most significant feature of these chronicles is that Martin to describe a significant time in the history of contemporary Peru appeals to the old Tradition of Limeña to tell us again and again the same story in which we have been involved until we managed to build the one that best describes what happened.
We know, first and foremost, that we have a good story worthy of the best pen. Why or why modify them? Why appeal to fiction? No need. That is why you prefer to narrate them without altering the scenario and the characters, who are mentioned with their own name, offers them with simplicity, humor and tenderness making each of them a reading to which we wish to return again.
These chronicles are a watercolor full of color and entertaining information that we are sure future readers will fully enjoy and we will not hesitate will serve scholars of the history of urban daily life because they will find in them valuable and relevant information.
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