Texto de Pedro Medina traducido por Rossana Montoya
Hernán Iglesias Illa
Argentine journalist Hernan Iglesias Illa traveled to Miami for the first time in December of 2003. For him- as for almost every intellectual and bohemian_ the city culturally represented the paradigm of the banal and sordid, or even as he mentions: “Miami was a black hole that without nerve and joy swallowed humans fusing them in a bland mash of hotels and shopping malls.”
Iglesias did not willingly arrive to Miami, but because the telecommunications company he worked for sent him to a mobile phone congress. The first night he went to the bar at the Delano hotel in Miami Beach and “ I will never forget the impression of game, drama and elegance that I had that night” Gradually, the backdrop of a city that had nothing to do with the city that he had constructed in his mind started receding-which surely is the same city constructed by the ones who have not experienced it- and one afternnon, staring at the little Art Deco Houses in the streets of Miami Beach, he thought that he could locked himself up in any of them to write the novel that he had in mind. Thus began the relationship between Iglesias and Miami. The city awoke in him a particular interest. He returned on his own half-dozen times, which resulted in the book Miami. Tourists, settlers and adventurers in the last frontier of Latin America.
In the 223 pages of the book, the author, very accurately, toys between the genres of essay, chronicle and the tale of travel and presents the reader an x-ray of the city. Very well documented, dating back to the origins of Miami penetrating later, with interviews and testimonials, to what is currently the city: a Latin-American mosaic that has been able to rise above the Cuban exile, affected by the collapse of the housing bubble.
With these variables, the author will be threading the yarn from the skein to unveil what many residents of Miami have found in it: more than a city, is a phenomenon with many edges cast by the shadow of an artificial paradise. In the reading, we will discover a Miami tired of being known before the eyes of the world for its malls, beaches and breasts; which embodies a rich cultural diversity no less than the great metropolis of New York, London and Madrid; in which is hard to see oneself in the long term, yet it offers immediate refuge. And above all, a city that behind the buildings from the postal images of Brickell and Biscayne, contains an enormous population that is risking a new lease on life.
Miami. Tourists, settlers and adventurers in the last frontier of Latin America should be a reading of rigor for all Miami . Of those read in notebooks to take notes. Besides bringing in its pages a bit of personal history of each one of us, is an excellent source of information concerning historical, social and cultural references. If anything you could add, would be maybe one or two witnesses “of the people” given the fact that the majority of the ones that are represented-however not all of them- are icons from the jet-set, politics and business circles. Still, Hernan Iglesias has done a tremendous job and has managed to capture on paper those questions, frustrations and emotions that we carry on luggage all “adventurers and settlers” residing here today.