Encuentros con la narrativa Javier Cercas



the this this is this is the results as you can see many many years as you may not know of Ariel's work it's a book that's been unwritten many more times and it was written you say at the beginning and it's had many many of those unwritten incarnations that go back a good way in fact I sort of got the impression that it might have been your first book at one point you know to say the child is in Astoria Whitman still and then suddenly it was a story that he was absolutely not going to tell and even within the book you were definitely not going to tell the story and then here it is so can you tell us a little bit about this because of first of all I would like to tell the story not by her because I always tell the story yeah in the question itself anyway and my first serious question I asked myself yeah I mean my family I come from aluminum but they come from a tiny but if the thirst of twenties was really going for really and the hue of my family it was the equity I mean the main types of this book this book was a young boy in cold Medina was the am tall pine of my palate and you know was my family was whether rich people at this tiny town and rich people that when they went out of the town where of the places where for people that could eat a bit and people that almost couldn't eat that was a difference you know the social differences in this place this point was the first one first person in the in this we could talk to the university almost and he was a sort of young insightful and when when the war started 36 you know the person he wants to work with and seven and four who was more than and things that went to war hero that want to take the family homeland today we're talking about the Spanish Civil War you know whom he was a criminal presence I am the body in the and it was that in fact when I was there and I was there is a captain book Omaha practice but that house like this this for us people were strategies of is work terrible war which even last three years they lasted forty three years because obviously the was extension I don't know I 78 with the in my opinion 81 that we conceal it we look corrected we met another past to a better pass us by as you know the guy who invented was called Marco who invented you know a romantic epic melodramatic one for past to conceal or will get it and my my answer is that is where to mean finally you should its first of all to know it in all its complexity and then to understand and so understand is that justify is exactly culture it is the same mistakes so finally understood that they innocent that doesn't was it was a possible it was a senator so personal and then and the Senate no reason to know is very difficult to know the path of your own family is very little especially if your family I hope families happy because our families I mean there's a yeah right on is on our back that I've heard people that have Edison people that have been in very difficult circumstances a war things like that and it's logical and they have the right to be silent but I think no because why because if you know your past your heritage especially your bed painted and you understand it you can control it if you don't know it and you don't understand it it is this path that the virtue and then you keep repeating all the time the same mistakes by the way what's happening today not understand not to me to everybody around you know an oxidant we already seen obviously the same mistakes that we need 30 thanks yeah well I think these symptoms right I was by very much on that says I mean I mean there are stories now you who is like freezers way that and this creates I mean is here right so sorry and he or something what's the end of what this is the end of war coming yeah well never let's yeah so sorry was you know the story of that we haven't read Sandra's telling me since and about a man who is not try to escape the firing squads he becomes a hero because you know he'd survived but in fact the real hero is the person who found him in the forest and that can go so the person who saved him who is invisible is in fact a Republican and the person who becomes a hero is a national and then so that's where good for this is a fiction and its counterpart the current counterpart audible the dead is but in fact it where a character in the book and he threw out the filmmaker who made a film of soldiers of someone and said oh I see so you invented a pretty fiction to cover up or you know whatever he says ugly car so the true what we call so just now coming as a secondary chapter was in a way I suppose will be suggesting the reason why but anyway I'm just trying to assert that that's the twinning of these two books ago instead this is an assumption of yeah I wanted something different which was mainly respects you know the past was present in these books present parties for instance so this is mu saying that it is about time imaginations that things as my generation for a moment talk about one that this you know oh and this guy this my generation oh by the way by chance his terminus then he burst with this tiny episode forgotten face of the world and finally he discovers their fastest present that's past is that they make sure with President Rivlin that in that past that he thought that was completely irrelevant he finds there so now with this book and now I want to also you rate that question of form which is very interesting because the question of what a nonfiction novel might be and when it might be in your hands okay except because the character in soldiers of Salamis is a fictional character and played by a woman in fact in the film here there's also a character called myself because this is almost an unteachable it's not exactly so and I mean there are two story the story is a very very traditional historian doesn't want to invent anything he sticks to the to the packs into the documents the discussed documents wants to you know be very precise and very almost not interpret anything just tell the story she says picture your village to tell story on the stain in the twenties and thirties to miss microcosms anyway and this this this is restoring the spice you know the literature okay end up on the other side you have you have where I'm called the process of the know I went adventure novels on the adventure of writing notes on dough and this is very general this from salt years on on the website you have story of the recent past and then the process of telling the story so my doubts my perplexity is over the thousand verses of the narrator you know there are some which telling the shown in the process itself so the point is that is that in the story non-fictional 2% everything it's like clockwork so it's more fictional just wonder if you if you quite on board with the idea why would be described as a novel it is well do you have a because there was this guy in this because you know I mean okay so I was working on that for three years you know talking to people and in a time to write an old meaning picture provision is a picture and I'm hopeful over not that the extremes like that anyway and I discovered that I was wrong and I couldn't go on with that I was it was a bad choice to write a fiction on another fiction because this person infirmary I mean it was said that he was the greatest impostor in history is the messy of the ridiculous it was attacked and we out if you need water man percent is right so even be in the sort of loser face book there's a scene action very early on where the character hurry up so cancer is talking to very brave I who is a filmmaker and he says what you don't do this you know what are you thinking and he exactly spelled out although possibly in the fictional conversation in the controversy that's going to erupt as a result of writing this book and then they both go on this kind of semi road trip and so that they're on board you and right so I mean can you give me briefly evoke what you imagine the controversy was going to be and whether it's been met with that in Spain when you write about one of these subjects in in Spain the book the book is not controversial it is not cannot be a good book it is impossible I mean we're dealing with fascist why in the world people my points and when we deal with the worst past we practiced here we are kids being an apologist for the panelists I mean yeah what because first of all first of all I think that I was I was surprised he's like posture and and we met Paris in Monday we were discussing on one thing because I was talking to him about his book the problems at the LA and told me something that is very interesting it is difficult to think about about European Occidental after the world whose speed factor is a fascist and it is not a monster because we have I mean it was it was you and you be consistent because people some people don't understand the difference between understanding and justifying I mean well that's according to me and that's why I'm not anymore a performer writer whatever I thought that Lisa was not useful that which you know it was a game and that which just that and and he was the district that was completely against the idea of politics in which turn and you know Sato Oh that's what real TV really that can we must instrument so that we understand but people don't like that I mean it's very safe if you don't say all fascist were bad guys bad guys you are just justifying and that's what you think that's great you might be you know why we are repeating the same mistakes so so you working activating the bomb all the readers again well this one this small bomb here in your family what do what should we take from that if anything I mean I'm a prescriptive but is there anything we should be thanking for the book the will specific we should pay you are some complex questions you like although there is all their time we were thinking it might read from the book in Spanish in which I can really wonderful sentence at the end enters a three page sentence just for you which is a brilliant application of how the past is so winners or without certain things never die and but let's see how many questions you have so we never good enough so this was a very different mask for many reasons and in this case because tight so that was tied to my personal history the imposter was close to myself this is the back edge interacting there if there is one in the back I'm frightened you've explored the past and the effects of the past on presents there's a lot going on in Spain I know you're teaching in Corona I wondered if you want to kind of tell the story what's happening at the moment more directly or if you think the best way to do that is to continue to explore a kind of a generational story it is impossible for me I mean right I like to the newspaper and I write all the time I love these bosses also person something like the word even we must stop and then the dust settle see I was unable to know you know I don't think I know that this is all countries including the oldest democracy in the world has problems for us Spanish people this had to was like because he says it is better not to I'm part the time which is the worst part it is very not to impart it because you're married and I know that it is in transition so composition Roxy we decided we – you know but again you must understand and we have a movement like the name but I did not give six well people can begin to lose that is the focus of pasado [Applause] actually by the cleane McLain yeah sorry and McLean and I have special information that I don't have a claim but this was still talking but I wasn't hearing him anymore and bit by bit the yuphoria don't enjoy in which I felt myself lifted turned into something else or maybe it was me who thought he was turning into someone else a sort of happy and mediocre and old Odysseus within that expedition through the shadows of that big empty house in search of the Lord of all the dead have just revealed the most elemental and most hidden most recondite the most visible secret which is that we don't die but my mind when I have not died that's what I thought all of a sudden or rather what I knew that my wife and my son and my national nestor would not die and I would not die either for the shiver of vertigo I thought that nobody dies I thought that we are made of matter that matter it's not destroyed or created it just transforms that we do not disappear we transform into our descendants just as our ancestors transformed into us I thought that our ancestors live on in us as we will live on in our descendants it's not the dative metaphorically in our volatile memories I thought they live physically in our flesh and our blood and our burnings we inherit their molecules and with their molecules we inherit everything they were whether we like it or not despise it or not accept it or not whether we take it on or not we are our ancestors as we will be our descendants I thought and at that moment I was overwhelmed by a certainty I've never felt now I think I could have thought that at any other moment or better yet that I should have loved it or at least intuited it but the fact is that when I felt that for the first time I was in that former operating theatre in that abandoned mansion of that village lost in the middle of that ayah beside my mother and my wife and got there so because a family dog I thought that I was at the summit of time on the infinitesimal and so fleeting and extraordinary and lately people of history in the eternal present with the incalculable Legion of my ancestors beneath me integrated in me with all their flesh and their blood and their bones turned into my bones and my blood and my flesh but all their past life turned into my present life taking them all on converting into all of them or rather being them all I understood that writing about my own manner was also writing about myself but his biography was my biography but his mistakes and his responsibilities and his guilt and his shame and his misery and his death that his defeats and his fear and his filth and his tears and his sacrifice and his passion and his dishonour were mine because I was him as I was my mother and my father and my grandfather back off and my great-grandmother Cutter Elin and the same way that all those ancestors who gathered in my presence just like a crowd or in innumerable Legion of dead people or a forest of ghosts just like all the Bloods that flowed into my blood coming from down of the past I understood that telling accepting and when our story was to tell and accept the story of all of them but man when man I would live on in me as all my ancestors lived in me I thought that too or on euphoria or on stealthy joy I told myself that this was the final and best reason to tell my mother and when men are story the definitive reason if I know when our story had to be told it was most of all I said to myself to reveal the secret I had just discovered in the realm of the shades and the profound darkness of thought forgotten ruined palace where his legend began and where I saw it then as if written in a radiant never written masterpiece I was going to finish my novel that transparent secret according to which although it might be true their history is written by the victors and people weep legends and writers fantasize not even death is certain [Applause] thank you it doesn't thank you very much [Applause]

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