top of page

terrallà review @ letralia

A review of my book terrallà at by Alberto Hernández. This is the Spanish translation of my book αλλουterra by Mario Domínguez Parra (Strange Days Books, 2021). You may click on this link to read this beautiful review in Spanish or scroll down for a clumsy google-translated version into English. Also, click on the book cover to purchase the Spanish edition of the book.


… What if, as I dreamed of having written this story, whoever reads it now simply dreams that they do not read it? Álvaro Menén Unfair

If a man crossed Paradise in a dream, and they gave him a flower as proof that he had been there, and if when he woke up he found that flower in his hand ... then what? ST Coleridge


All dreams lead to writing, despite the fact that the dreamer does not write, because the dreams have already been written in the dreamer's book, who then recounts to his fellow men - as in ancient times when time did not exist - the labyrinthine adventures lived during the night rest of the body.

Dreaming is an art. Not everyone builds dreams from dreams themselves. One usually dreams while writing, but not everything is writing, although it is dreaming, which means that a dream is an elaborate story that leaves the dreamer and could become a controversial reality.

There are subjects who daydream with their eyes open, but those are no longer dreams. They are impulses of reality. A dream is a kind of perfection where all the senses converge to reveal themselves as receptors or creators of illusions, emotions, sensations. A dream is music, movement, smells, colors, traces of a changing plastic, climates, places, paths, labyrinths, myths, memories of others and their own, hyperbole, metaphors, revelations and rebellions, love and war. Every dream is a compendium of the whole collected in the absurd or in the strictest scheme of an impossible reality. Every dream tends to leave the body and become the owner of another body; at that moment the dream ceases to belong to the person who had it or created it and becomes, at the time, the property of all,from orality or from writing as part of the dream that is now another trace and piece of the dreamlike mysteries. Dreams are usually miracles. Innocent or sinful, dreams pursue one goal: to be counted, discovered, added to the day so that the night becomes part of everyday life.

One dreams so as not to die of emptiness during sleep. And for that reason dreams are written, and they do not remain in Calderón de la Barca's expression: “dreams are dreams”. No, dreams go beyond dreams. Dreams are more than dreams. They are perfections that house all the impossible and sometimes unspeakable paths towards eternity, because dreams never die, they continue in the memory of the other, who outlines the otherness of the dreamed.

For all of the above, dreams are deep scriptures, not premeditated. They are infundies that aggravate reality and force it to be part of them. Hence, many of the humanity that dreams create dreams and turn them into nightmares, crimes, dark passions, dictatorships or firing squads. In the disgust that one feels when the eyes open and perceive that the dream has already dissipated.

Minou explains the meaning of the word that gives its volume its name:
it means strange, “from somewhere else”.


Andriana Minou (Greek resident of London), author of a group of illustrated stories and musicalized by herself entitled Terrallá , is an inveterate dreamer who turns her dreamlike adventures into short stories, where she or the dreamed narrator succumb to the truth of the events that happen to him because he lives them, although living is a kind of defeat in the face of the density of the dream.

In the introduction to her book, Minou explains the meaning of the word that gives its volume its name: it means strange, “from somewhere else”. It derives from “tierrallá”, which says about the immigrant in the Kaliardin language, a secret jargon, like all jargon, used by homosexuals to avoid the siege and persecution of the police authorities during the dictatorship. So it could be said that this language too is a kind of dream that contains codes that are impossible to decipher by power.

A definition of the same author notes that "every piece of this book is a movie " microscopic primitive ". The reader could add that they are segments close to hallucinations, because dreams are a type of disease that cures the pathologies of reality.

And aren't dreams part of reality?

Surrealists, so given to emptying reality of its own essence, created dreams from the perspective of automatic writing, from images that dislocated the senses, from the same absurdity that was also experienced in the theater with Ionesco, Beckett. The Dada movement made the daily exist a dream, a position far from the inimitable.

Andriana Minou's dreams are part of the culture of those who know that dreaming is a life project, a job that is downloaded as a story, as a reflection of what could be and what is not. But it is to the extent that it pours into a construct, into writing, into a line to think about, into lines to dream while reading.

Andriana Minou, the author of Terrallá ,
is also a composer, pianist, visual artist and writer.


From one dream to another, the stories. A QR code opens the musical gap, because the author is also a composer, as well as a pianist, visual artist and, well, a writer, a question that amalgamates a whole universe of creative possibilities. His talent leads a character to sink into a water depth accompanied by a fish. The drawing is about to be the verbal backing of a story that supposes an encrypted language. There are abundant references of personalities, a schubert , a mozart, an Edith Piaf and a Xulurisi, who conceive a hermaphrodite son. And cities through which the epic, abundant Greece and ours by inheritance walk: Thessalonica as the background of one of the stories, and Egnatía, Marathon, and a film by Jristóforos Papakalietis, who is said to be a great Greek actor without having been. .

A journey through dreams, through the land of simulacra, through the structuring of an inescapable world in which “my feet are barefoot, they tread on the ground of another dream”.

Everything is possible in dreams. Some turn into nightmares that are later poured out as short, deep, strange, impossible stories. Possible for writing, where poetic images emerge from the prose: "And he washes the other dream, which is at my feet," a clear biblical reference outlined in John 13: 8.

And the imperturbable Greece, the one that is not erased from the collective memory of those who have assumed it as a spiritual bastion and creator: a baboon. "Scribe of the gods, the one who weighs the heart of the dead."

The titles of the stories gloat in themselves.


Once again, the journey will be an active character in these stories. No wonder they are Greek, mythical from the imagination of a labyrinth, from the epic marine and terrestrial, from the spinning of Penelope, from the calluses of walkers. From far away Paris in a concert, an imaginary piano, its tuning, "una gnosienne de Satie", and the sea, as if nothing else. Surrealism, writing as psychic automatism, which only occurs in dreams. And then, in the other, Peter Pan.

Also, when crossing the imaginary puddle, there is New York, the Brooklyn in lowercase, as it usually happens in dreams, where capital letters are superfluous. Dead statues, alive, as "hybrids between Homeric mermaids", and to affirm with all the mouth of the dream: "Here everything is rusty. Even twilight ”. And later, a jump to Egypt , where a saving hand, a lover, rescues those who have been dreaming or living a dream.

The dream proposal invokes the corpse of Cary Grant. I live in death, waiting for a glass of liquor. A funeral, a sacred procession. A corpse with its eyes open.

The titles of the stories gloat in themselves. They range from "Chocolate Sidewalks", a water maze, a "Double lunar eclipse" in a movie theater, a boat on a lake where the dream moves between ruins, unknown places and, again, the sea, a sea that is turns into river.

All texts are labyrinthine, unexpected inventions. Theseus could be sitting in front of the monster and the reader could avoid them. Meanwhile, a snippet, a line, an irreverent mini-story: "a poet stands uncomfortably like a chicken on a marble base while trying to lay an egg."

Pirandello and a play where the one who dreams is an actress. A shattered glass gives rise to metaphorize passion, which will serve to give the stage its title.

A poison, a hospital scandal, a dream whose recurrence amplifies the truth hidden in the imagination. And the daughter of Hans Christian Andersen present as a gift that promises to be later, outside the book, another occurrence. And so, "A milk jungle", "Human skin wallets" ... and more dreams, those that the reader wants to recreate, re-create, invent, solve, inventory, animate with the deep sleep that will also animate the awakening .

The reader, now the protagonist of these stories, has crossed Paradise and has verified that doubt is also a dense question whose answer could be in the middle of a bed or on the edge of a precipice.


Featured Posts
Search By Tags
Follow me
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • SoundCloud
  • YouTube
bottom of page