An expected autobiography

Por: Daniel Céspedes

Carlos Acosta

For someone to decide to write about someone else’s life or their own memories, they need to have two big points in their favor. The first, to possess a successful pen and then to make it clear that it has been lived in an interesting way or that the curve of interest of life has not been monotonous, because belong to the profession that it is, who is interested in one failure after another, although knowing how to get up also one learns? Similarly, why find out about an existence that began successful, remains the same and will end, with few highs and lows, but an annoying triumph? Not to taste the great and already classic biographers select historical characters highlighted by the interesting of an uneven journey in the comings and goings. It is presented and recounted so that the reader will face, for the first time or again, the protagonist of its pages: be a hero, antihero or an infamous figure.

Portada de la autobiografía de Carlos Acosta
Cover of Carlos Acosta’s autobiography

When you are not a writer of biographies, at least usually, but it is known that existence has been attractive because of the multiple emotions, facts and characters around one, a confession narrated in the first person or a written testimony may well be of enormous interest.
The biography, don’t forget, can reveal a lot about someone, making them closer and more familiar. Likewise, the biography may have the strength to inspire those who read it: by the vicissitudes and triumphs of others we feel that one can make a greater effort not only in the selection of a path but in the development of the chosen. Let Carlos Acosta, who is shown as it is in Without looking back, his long-awaited autobiography that in 2016 the Editorial Arte y Literatura tried to propose to the Cuban reader. He was aware not only of the promotion by radio and television, but of a change of program that surprised those hoping to buy the volume on one of the Saturdays of the book. No explanation, no book. That was the sad balance. However, it was admorated by our means, last 2018, Yuli, the film of the Spanish director Icíar Bollaín (Hello, are you alone?, Flowers of another world, I give you my eyes, Mataharis, Also the rain, Kathmandu, a mirror in the sky), which rests on the text written by Carlos Acosta. We are not interested that we can see her soon in Spanish film week or at any other major cultural event here in Cuba. Do not be discouraged by the viewer waiting for their appearance in the weekly package.
Without looking back you have all the ingredients to like, inspire and move to the most demanding spirit. Who believed that Carlos Acosta came into the world just to dance was wrong; who thought that the cosmopolitan Cuban dancer had to concentrate solely and exclusively on ballet belittled him. This autobiography, in addition to being eloquent and entertaining, reveals another vocation of Acosta: that of knowing how to count. Did you inherit it from your father? Sometimes we can’t imagine where a dancer can come from, while we don’t know the other graces he can share.
In general, this count of the self is divided into a succession of events, first in the neighborhood of Los Pinos, goes through the unalterable insistence of a trucking parent and the affection of a housewife, to the school and extraclass events at the beginning, to reach the takeoff and success of the Carlos Acosta that we know today.
It abounds in Without looking back at the natural count, the precision of the events, the closure far up when not mesurate but intense of each chapter. The spontaneity in Carlos Acosta’s simple and intelligent speech is also appreciated. A descriptive prose that foreshadowed film treatment from the outset. And things are called by name here. Acosta doesn’t walk around with unnecessary, ridiculous poses. It does not deny its origins and its Cubanity.
I don’t like figures, but you have to recognize the more than four hundred pages of the book. I bring it up because in Without looking back you do not even know how you advance in the individual and professional growth of one of the most unique figures of Cuban culture. You can see the graphic testimony, the cover image, the edition of Dania Pérez Rubio and the interest of the Editorial Art and Literature to publish one of the books that would have generated the most surprises and sales in the past 2016.
Let us hope that, in the not too distant future, without looking back, the beautiful and inspiring autobiography of Carlos Acosta folds – although for a short time – all the bookstores in the country. What better colophon for a book? Ω

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