Luz Gabas on Spanish presence in Louisiana: ‘We tend to hide what went wrong or went wrong’


light gabs (Monzon, Huesca, 1968) had been resting for a month and a half from that “magic night” in which he won Planeta Prize 2022 with a prize fund of one million euros. The jury praised the book, calling it a “masterful novel,” but now that the book is already in various retail outlets, the reader’s judgment comes.


far from Louisiana This is a journey into that convulsive territory at the end of the 18th century, in the midst of constant struggle between the French, the British and the Spaniards. “I wanted to deal with a context in which efforts to move forward were necessary,” the author said during the presentation of the novel in act, led by Sonsoles Onega.

Gabas believes that the time, which he describes in detail on the pages Far from Louisiana almost unknown to most citizens, despite the fact that Spain played a decisive role in the independence of 13 colonies. for 40 years, during which his presence is confirmed. “This is unknown for several reasons. First, because the history of that moment was written by the French, the British, and then the Americans. Secondly, since the generation after Bernardo de Gálvez was busy with the war of independence against France, the focus was not on America but on Europe. Also out of shame, because no one likes to talk about what they lost, we tend to hide what went wrong or went wrong“, – he added. “Consider how good it would be – it’s almost uhrony. If Spain had not given Louisiana to France, it would have ended up selling the territory to the United States. The result would be the same, but we would have more relationships, more historical connection,” Gabas explained to Libertad Digital.

In the case of Louisiana, colonization was different from the rest of America. “Spain came to the place ruled by France, and the same laws were preserved in her, although some improved them. She didn’t start from scratch. There was already a structured company and an administrative and legal system.. He adapted to the French system.”

A tribute to the nineteenth century novel

Gabas says he respected the precepts of the historical novel, paying homage to the nineteenth-century novel, a novel “with many characters, strong, very complex.” In fact, there are over 750 pages in which the omniscient narrator recounts the vicissitudes of Indians, Mestizos, Jesuits, Frenchmen, Spanish soldiers, or French subjects. “It was a very difficult challenge to put yourself in the shoes of so many characters. It was so difficult that it nearly killed me.”. In a large historical framework, the writer draws a stunning love story, full of obstacles between Ishkata, son of the chief of the Kaskaskia Indian tribe, and Suzette, a young Creole from New Orleans..

Fictional characters blend very naturally with the real ones. Regardless of nationality or origin, everyone moves out of love. “All of Suzette’s decisions are about finding the love of her life, but there is also love between sisters, love for the land as represented in Ishqat, a Native American figure, or love for a high sense of duty and responsibility. represented by the military or the Jesuits, they must all fulfill their mission.”



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