Is there any difference? Indeed, this is a chain, and each book is a link. Because if books are made out of books, then which came first? Perhaps, in this single volume, the world would be between the pages, or the pages between the world. This is a conversation—a conversation between books—but above all it is a conversation between the books and the world. A conversation that serves to humanize the world. Through books we advance inside ourselves, we explore what makes us human. Creativity should be creative, there are no formulas, and everyone does what he can and each writer works differently.
A single author writes each book differently, and maintaining that freedom is one of his toughest tasks. Writing is a matter too intimate, and perhaps too risky, to want to involve anyone else in. I have a daughter and sometimes I wonder if I would like her to be dedicated to writing.
I am a Catalan writer and I want independence for my country
So I teach literature, or rather, reading. And the difference between reading and writing is not as great as it seems, much like the difference between hearing and speaking. In a conversation, what matters is what is said, what is communicated, and it is important who speaks, but also who is listening. There is a certain autonomy of the text.
The writer puts something down on paper, but he needs the reader to be able to understand it. Both readers and writers sometimes get drunk on fantasy. This deployment of fantasy can affect life itself. Needless to say, the lure of fantasy has itself often been a literary theme. But there is always a conflict between truth and self-deception.
Literary writing is basically a battle against self-deception. What we call truth—forgive me for being so bold! It moves because it is alive. Power does not like the truth, because power needs to fix it in place—to imprison, tame, and use the truth. But truth changes. Literature attempts to pursue this changing truth, to pursue the change itself.
When literature separates from truth, rhetoric appears. My perception is that, with very few exceptions, universities teach rhetoric. We study a distorted literature—etymological, unlived. In this sense it is an anti-literary education. We must spend our lives fighting self-deception. The university as I know it aims to establish knowledge and convert it into a comfortable rhetoric.
How do you keep a balance between the three in your own writing? I guess writing is basically done to keep the faith that it all serves some purpose. But you will never know the result of your book. It is also a changing truth. One needs a very delicate language for a very delicate conversation.
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As I said, Catalan writers had always kept an eye trained beyond the borders. Somehow Sagarra, Pla, Rodoreda, and Carner all already anticipated the possibility of this international conversation.
Sure, the responses have arrived long after these authors have died, but very often literature is a seed. To put it another way, authors contaminate each other. Literature is like a family, with all the consanguinity and heritages. There are families with good and bad reputations, there are dysfunctional families, there are mafia families, influential families, poor families.
You cannot help but think of his family when you think about someone. And needless to say, as an author, having a good tradition behind you is ninety percent of your work. At the moment, the critical reception has been enthusiastic. As an author, this is a little scary. Being indoors is very comfortable. But much of the work in writing consists of confronting challenges. A Flag of Truce. Bernard Cornwell. The Empty Throne. A Treacherous Coast. Those in Peril. Wilbur Smith. Copperhead The Starbuck Chronicles, Book 2.
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Spanish Embassy in The Netherlands censors presentation of novel on 1714 Barcelona's siege
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