The Edges of Silence, E.J. Jordan’s debut novel, is a modern odyssey. Eduardo, the protagonist, not only faces the aftermath of all the Troys that have gone up in flames throughout his family history and overcomes the cyclopean vision of a patriarchal tradition, but also finds with the help of the Nausicaas that give him shelter the silent boat which takes him home. Silence, as a thematic thread through the different episodes, acquires suggestive nuances as the character grows and matures in his quests; it is the starting point as well as the return harbor.
The novel masterfully integrates a multicultural universe that reveals personal stories and family secrets with great sensitivity. Eduardo’s journey across different cities in the world gradually deconstructs privilege and class appearances. In the process of witnessing the many ways fortune snatches gold and glory from his relatives, Eduardo finds a personal legacy that teaches him to steer his helm in the stormy strait between surrender and renouncement. He listens carefully to the plaintive song of the sirens, and he reconciles himself with the death they hoard under their claws. When he finally finds a purpose amidst the storm, the protagonist builds his home oriented towards his higher self even if it implies accepting that the present is no more than a sea of sand.
Like Odysseus, Eduardo is an architect: he is the master builder of his own destiny, whose touchstone is mêtis, the ‘transforming intelligence’ that characterizes the artisan. Mêtis is not only synonymous with ‘ingenuity’ or ‘wise advice’ but also with ‘just measure’. It is a skill that calculates not only the breadth of space but also the timing. The silences that Eduardo faces temper his restless will and build spaces of meaning.
On the other hand, Eduardo learns that while ingenuity characterizes the engineer, his civility is what enables him to build the agora with other men. And in this, he not only discovers a lineage of teachers who guide him but also his counterpart: the Penelope who awaits him at the end of his journey is also an accomplished architect weaving and unweaving the buttresses of the temple with the mêtis of her words. The odyssey culminates on a bed made of a colossal olive tree-stump, an immovable and triumphal column around which the house is built. In a strident world where no one listens, this novel is a boat of silence for those seeking to make an intimate journey.