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By Pablo Durio | Literature

There you have it to Tom Sharpe: he is dead. The man who is ironic about the customs of the world is dead and he laughed particularly at English customs and, best of all, English customs in the South African colonies. Take him.

There you have it to Tom Sharpe: he is alive and has just been born in London. March 30, 1928, someone writes in the records. His father is a British priest whom the Jews evidently do not like very well because, with the arrival of Hitler to power, he abandoned nationalism to become purely Nazi. Oh Fürher, my Fürher. And her mother lives so ill that she can never take care of him.

At Cambridge (the University she attends to study History and Social Anthropology) feels just as she will feel later in the Navy: a poor man among the rich, or, to be clearer, a poor Englishman among rich Englishmen. He tries to escape from English classism, but it is obvious that Tom does not make good decisions: in 1951 and at age 21 he seeks refuge in South Africa (first bad decision) and there was a small detail that he did not consider: he disagrees with apartheid.

"Communist me? Tom Sharpe asks, "I've never been. It was only antiapartheid, contrary to the treatment that was given to the blacks. I have seen so many people die of tuberculosis, with children around. It was so terrifying that I got over it, and then I found work as a teacher in a private school but the directors were all homosexuals and I was also fed up. So I bought a camera and set up a studio. And for five years I did marriages, baptisms, events, everything while I was writing books against apartheid, but no one published them because I had censorship. Until they stopped me, they put me in prison with all kinds of murderers, and finally they expelled me from the country. .

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There is no passage back but the witty Sharpe already found the way he wants tell the world: with irony he observed the behavior of society and nourished all the material that would later shape the books Tumultuous Meeting and Impudic Exhibition. The inspiration for Tumultuous Reunion comes from the aunt of a friend who used to live near the police station in South Africa, and who constantly complained that "the cries of the (tortured) prisoners disturb one of the siesta ​​i> ". She said it just up, with the back of her hand on her forehead. So the lady was considered, as was the police (another inspiration) whom Sharpe dedicates the book: "to the South African police, whose life is dedicated to the preservation of Western civilization in South Africa. "

Tom Sharpe's books are ironic farces about reality and are full of death and pain (he says so because he has seen many dead and much pain in your life) and do not try to love because "love and farce do not make good crumbs."

It is also known that when they return to see their daughters, Tom Sharpe explains their fear or their safety: when they fight with their husbands, sure they will come with a video in their hands and say "we will see that so funny video of your dad dying ", that something that surely would say some of its personages because that is the humor of Tom.

Finally, between habanos and whiskey and ironies, the 6 of June of 2013, Tom Sharpe dies in Spain, since he never wanted to return to London.

  • Adam Floyd