The Goodness of a Madman is a Pandora ’s Box brimming with ideas, and each one of them is a ‘starting over again’. The ideas in The Goodness of a Madman appear like the threads which form the picture on a tapestry. Each of them reveals the path to a profound framework of thoughts. Through any one of them, one can ‘cast off’ and begin the journey through the tapestry’s picture, from the end right back to the beginning.Here, in the earliest titles of Álvaro Puig’s literary output, we find the voice of the ‘self’ experimenting with the ‘other’. In Broken Fates, the author’s ‘self’ comes in the form of the observation and analysis of dialogue, and his experience is enriched by the information which he receives through his endless interaction with the ‘other’. This ‘other’ is, in his early works, a whole cast of predefined characters who, because of this very fact, demarcate with a high degree of precision the works’ audience. Reader and characters are both familiar and contained within a world as complex and precise as the university scene. The Goodness of a Madman is the result of a process in which the author’s ‘self’ has ceased to be a ‘self’ defined in time and space, and for this reason, that process has come to universalise, in turn, the work’saudience and the ideas within it. The ode to individualism contained within The Goodness of a Madman sketches out a subjective ‘self’ which, with the turn of every page, gradually merges into a universal ‘self’.The Goodness of a Madman is a journey through the autobiography of a penseur who nonetheless does not recognise himself as a learned man, perhaps because he is conscious that his intellectuality has been achieved through contact with others. The Goodness of a Madman arises at that moment in which the author manages to raise himself above his life’s work and cast a bird’s eye over it, extracting himself from his experiences and, at the same time, paying homage to his own knowledge.The Goodness of a Madman is a monologue, based on an endless collection of conversations with the ‘other’ which have taken place throughout the course of the life of the ‘self’ and his literary output. That ‘other’ seems to take on the form of various characters in the author’s numerous works, be they university students, his wife, children (born and unborn*), work colleagues, pupils, godchildren... or even God himself*. This is an undefined God, one who appears subtly, between the lines, partnered with knowledge, and one who nonetheless does not respond to the most explicit of references. The Goodness of a Madman is a monologue born of a whole lifetime of dialogue.The Goodness of a Madman is a book which demands a new method of reading. It accepts no particular generic categorisation, and it is therefore down to the reader to find a means of penetrating it.
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