Book Notes: Belén Gopegui’s The Committee of the Night

Author: Belén Gopegui

Title: El comité de la noche

Language: Spanish

Year: 2014

I never read anything by Gopegui before because from the references to her work that I saw in criticism I thought she was not my kind of writer. This novel, however, demonstrated that, often, critics cannot be trusted. Gopegui is quite a good novelist.

The Committee of the Night came at the perfect time for me because I needed one more text to analyze to round out my book. This novel says exactly what I need it to say to support my argument.

There are moments in the novel where Gopegui the ideologue loses out to Gopegui the writer. By the end of the novel, though, the author manages to pull herself together, stop editorializing and make the novel work. This is a very surprising, pleasant discovery for me.

The White House Causes September

Remember how I told you about the typically American incapacity to admit the basic humanity of anybody who is not American? Here is an example:

As this NYT story illustrates, the White House is going to great lengths to make it look as if Putin is desperate to meet with Obama.

According to this mentality, whenever anything in the world happens, it has got to be the result of Americans’ actions.

In reality, though, the White House doesn’t make anything look like or whatever. Putin is really desperate for this meeting. Every single independent commentator in Russia or specializing in the subject of Russia has been pointing this out for months. For Putin, this meeting is an enormous win over the “weak and dumb” Americans and especially over the “[nasty racist words] Obama.” This has been all over the Russian media and it’s not the result of White House’s make-believe strategies.

It’s getting so that we will soon hear that “the White House is going to great lengths to make it look like it’s September.”