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Alberto resides in Mexico City with his wife and fellow writer Raquel Castro. He has a degree in Comparative Literature and is the author of two novels and numerous short story collections. Alberto says his stories fall into the style of “slipstream” fiction and deal with the fantastic in strange ways. He has been hailed as one of the most versatile and unpredictable writers in Spanish-American literature.
“A Young Man’s Fortune” is Toshiya Kamei’s translation of “Fortuna,” which appeared in his 2001 short story collection El país de los hablistas.
Many readers will find the young man very hard to understand. He is no downtrodden, powerless person who might justifiably be inclined to fatalism. On the contrary, he is ambitious. But he is also lazy, because he seeks out a fortune-teller to give him a shortcut to his future. When he hears a dire vision, he blames the fortune-teller and lets it go at that.
Perhaps some readers will say, “That’s what you get for an excess of curiosity.” Others may be exasperated and say he should be grateful and prove the fortune-teller wrong.
In satirizing superstition, the story proves a philosophical point. The future does exist, but only as long as it remains unknown. Once a “fortune-teller” reveals it, the very nature of the future reverses, because — according to a Bewildering Stories motto — “Everything we perceive comes to us from the past. Everything we do goes into the future.”
Alberto Chimal’s bio sketch can be found here.
Welcome to Bewildering Stories, Alberto Chimal.
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