Yani Canetti
I Am
I Write
I Have

I Think
I Say
The Say
I Do
I Confess
I Share
You Share
  My Family
My Sons
My Friends
My Teachers
My Editors
My Country
My Family

My father's side of the family, hmmm... how do I explain them? My father comes from a “family vine” (rather than a tree) of Spanish and Swiss grandparents, Swiss and Italian great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents from Italy and every other spot on the European map.

The stories from this side of my family are transatlantic legends, but they say that some of the Canettis had a famous travelling circus that went from Bremen, Germany to Florence, Italy... “no, no,” one of my aunts assures me, they were well-read men who devoured books until the early-morning hours and made love to their wives in the bright light of day... “no, no,” another aunt tells me, the Canettis had castles in Transylvania... “of course not, certainly not,” my grandmother says, “what do you mean castles? They didn't even have houses, they traveled around the world. One time your great-grandfather went with some Unamuno guy to who knows where, your great-grandmother locked herself up in studios in Madrid, Bern, or Geneva, to paint racey pictures of naked women and to write poems that Ramón Gómez de la Serna later dared to celebrate, and your grandfather made love to me right in the middle of a bombing during the Spanish civil war and in a shelter nine months later, as the sound of a bomb pierced my ears, I exploded in screams... and your uncle Alejandro was born, screaming and crying.”

Indeed, indeed, my father’s side of the family is a puzzle in which the pieces are hidden in a map that legends are made of.


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