When cold arrives at the heart
Cuando el frío llegue al corazón
This is a story that mixes goddesses, cows and first loves. A marvelous and realistic story about summer love in a northern city and about the discovery of sex. Because his father is on remand in prison, the young Ludi Rivero Pelayo enjoys the freedom of having no authority above him. The summer belongs to him alone. His father is not only involved in a police investigation, which hasled to his incarceration, but also in an illicit love affair. And soon his son becomes entrapped in a similar web. During the summer, Ludi begins his adult life. A languid and beautiful woman takes him along unexplored pathways towards an intense love without future. And this process takes on a classical tone: his uncle and tutor encourages him to learn Greek and, in the shadow of Mount Vespero, on whose Venusian peak he receives the teachings of a retired boxer and now friar, Ludi translates one of Plato’s dialogues. And in that ancient language, everything is present, all the answers and questions that have beguiled him are revealed.
«A brief book that is impossible to put down… The story of a group of normal people with simple lives,beautifully told in a book that maintains the reader’s attentionuntil itsconclusion.» (Santiago Aizarna, El Diario Vasco).
«The best of his three novels…magnificent… Gutiérrez Aragón has managed to do what is essential for any great literary work–or any story, in general–:creatingthe perfect marriage between what is told, and how it is told, between story and language, between, what is sometimes lazily called, style and substance. And in doing that he has returned to his origins: a small Northern Spanish town next to the sea, nestled in the countryside amidst forested mountains. Ina real landscape, wherethe strange and the magical live, –although they are always a suggested presence, never an explicit one– with a captivating levity and a prose that is poetic in just the right amount, Gutiérrez Aragón tells the story of a summer of initiation, perfumed with sweet sensuality, pain, brief pleasures and pain… He returns to the settings of his best, and most sensual films –Demonios en el jardín (1982), for example–, and he does it not as a screenwriter who is having some fun, but as a novelist in full control of his considerable powers.» (Manuel Hidalgo, elCultural.es).
«Wise, profound andemotive.» (Jesús Ruiz Mantilla, El País).
«The authorhas returned to a world that he has previously inhabited in some of his recent films, like, “La vida que Te espera“, with Marta Etura and Luis Tosar.» (Guillermo Balbona, El Diario Montañés).
«A marvellous novel.» (Rosa Pereda, Diariocrítico.com).
«An immensely stylish novel,which transports the reader to a Northern town in Spain in the 1950s … Above all, a writing that represents a pure pleasure for the reader.» (Marta Caballero, elCultural.es).
«The writer finds his most personal and profound voice in Cuando el frío llegue al corazón, a story of sex and death among Gods and cattle.» (Luis Martínez, El Mundo).
«Among the many virtues of Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón as a writer is his ability to create memorable characters … The book is full of flashes of humour in Azcona’s inimitable style… Despite not being an historic novel, the author brilliantly recreatesa particular moment in Spanish history, in which time seems to have stood still in the interminable decades of the long and cold post-war, governed by a society frozen in conservatism … In the background appears, unescapably, the asphyxiating presence of a Civil Guard that is more interested in repression than justice.» (Javier Menéndez Llamazares, El Diario Montañés).
Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón (Torrelavega, Cantabria, 1942) joined the School of Cinema in Madrid in 1962, at the same time as he was studying Philosophy and Letters. His first feature film was Habla, mudita (1973), produced by Elías Querejeta and winner of the Critics’ Prize at the Berlin Film Festival. Among his best-known films are Camada negra (1977), Golden Bear for Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival; Maravillas (1980); Demonios en el jardín (1982), Critics’ Prize at the Moscow Film Festival and Donatello Prize from the Academia de Cine Italiana; La mitad del cielo (1986), Golden Shell at the San Sebastian Film Festival, all produced by Luis Megino. He has won the Fotogramas de Plata Prize for Best Film four times. In 1992, he produced the TV series El Quijote, to public acclaim and with the recognition of the Grand Prize at the Cannes Television Festival. The series was later followed by El Caballero don Quijote (2002), winner at the Venice Festival. He received the Premio Ondas for Cosas que dejé en La Habana, produced by Gerardo Herrero. In 2003 he was chosen as a member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, and was given the National Cinema Prize in 2005. He has also directed operas and plays. His most recent film was Todos estamos invitados (2008), which won the Jury Prize at the Malaga Film Festival. He recently announced his retirement from filmmaking.