QUITO (EFE).— “Mariposas de piedra”, the most recent work by the Ecuadorian Lucrecia Maldonado, has a vampire as one of its protagonists, in order to weave a plot that hovers over the story to motivate a reflection on the role of religion in society.
It is a vampire novel, but, contrary to the scheme of Dracula or similar works, the character is an inquisitor who, through time, wants to make amends for having burned a teenager.
The vampire travels from Spain, where he was immortal because the teenager’s mother cursed him, and upon arriving in Quito he finds out that there is a reincarnation of her.
He begins his search and in the process begins to do small misdeeds with street children. This is how the plot of the 196-page novel goes, divided into five chapters and presented today by the Eskeletra publishing house at the Benjamín Carrión Cultural Center.
Maldonado recounts that one day he climbed to the top of Panecillo, in the historic center of Quito, where an immense sculpture of the Virgin Mary stands.
There he saw a symmetrical figure that seemed to be part of the wall, “until it broke off and flew away.” It was a large gray butterfly, called Tandacucha, which the writer refers to as the “stone butterfly.”
And, for this reason, in the work he talks about how the stone butterflies of historical monuments and tourist attractions are disturbed by a strange creature that seems to dominate them.
A representation of that butterfly, under the shadow of a black vampire with red eyes, appears on the cover of the book in which Maldonado presents a critical vision of the history of the Church: “A balance between the dark and the luminous part.”
Professor of Language and Literature, Maldonado believes that it is a “common place” to say that little is written and read today.
And although he acknowledges that the image has taken center stage in recent times, he points out that the possibilities of reading and writing have also diversified with other media, such as digital books.
He regrets that in social networks, for example, “the written word has been trivialized by not paying attention to the idiomatic correctness or the aesthetics of writing.”
“It’s like a paradox. On the one hand, there is a trivialization of the profession of writing, the characteristics and qualities of writing have diminished, but there are many writers and people who read all kinds of books and digital press”.
He considers that what is important “is training, education, motivation to read; It also has a lot to do with the fact that the plots are interesting, obviously without betraying what one wants to write”.
Maldonado wrote her first story when she was a child: it was the story of a dog that ran after a butterfly and got away from home. I don’t even remember the title.
She was 18 years old when she published her first short story, and she has lived surrounded by literature all her life. Precisely for this reason, she believes that it is the responsibility of parents and teachers to be models for minors to adopt reading habits.