A novel written by the Colombian Héctor Abad, author of well-known novels such as “El olvido que seremos“, has just been published this October. The title of this latest novel is “Salvo mi corazón, todo está bien“. A novel about priests written by a novelist that has little to do with religion. It is about a priest, Luis Cordoba, very sick at heart, who discovers the charm of family life thanks to two women who take care of him while he is waiting for a donor.
We chose to feature this publication because the novel is inspired by the life of the Claretian Missionary Luis Alberto Alvarez, well known in Colombia and throughout Latin America for his competence in various arts such as cinema, music, etc., who died young while waiting for a heart transplant. Let’s listen to the author:
“The novel is inspired by the life and work of Luis Alberto Alvarez, who was a magnificent priest to whom we people of my generation, in Medellin, owe a great deal. He taught us to see the cinema with a watchful, critical, and open-minded eye at the same time. He helped us to go further with classical music, the most sublime that exists for me, and in particular with the work of Mozart, whom he adored. Luis Alberto had two deep-rooted loves, cinema and opera, and he was so enthusiastic and so sincere in these artistic passions that he passed on to many of us the same love for beauty that there is in cinema and music. I was a good friend of Luis Alberto, but other people were much more so than me, so I was able to write the book thanks to what his closest friends told me: family members, other priests, friends, and very close friends of his who helped me with their memories of Gordo. Of course, there was a moment when I no longer wanted to talk to anyone else (every day more and more friends of Luis Alberto appeared, because he was a very dear person) because otherwise the book would become a biography, and not the novel I wanted to write. In the end I no longer wanted to know more about him, so that I could better imagine the character, who is not exactly Luis Alberto Álvarez, but Luis Córdoba, a priest similar to him in many ways, but very different in others. Perhaps in what he was most different from his model is where what I am, or what I imagine, intersects the most. Autofiction is not a genre but a destiny for anyone who writes novels.”Hector Abad
Two years ago his book “Páginas de Cine“, a selection of articles that Luis Alberto wrote in different Colombian newspapers between 1976 and 1995 and that had not been published since 1998, was republished in three volumes.
Luis Alberto concluded his theological studies at the Claretianum in Rome and was ordained a priest there on June 20, 1970. It was in Rome that his passion for cinema was awakened. He attended the Jesuit Fr. Taddey’s cineforum, for priests and religious only, and there he encountered Italian neorealism. He got to know the Cinecittá studios during the filming of Pasolini’s Medea. This passion would never leave him again. He met Elkin Obregón, Héctor Abad Faciolince, Carlos Gaviria Díaz. He received the Mundo de Oro award from the newspaper El Mundo of Medellin, and the Honoris Causa in Social Communication and Journalism from the University of Antioquia.
A good novel inspired by Luis Alberto Álvarez, a great brother of ours, who died young at the age of 53, in 1996, while waiting for a heart transplant.