“I invent reality because I don’t like it”

You’ve interviewed many great writers. Did you find simplicity in them, pedantry?

In interviewing writers, I discovered that those who are good at writing are also good people. For example: Richard Ford not only disappointed me, he surprised me. He was very generous. Writers have always been very generous to me. Some criticized it, such as John Williams, whom I could only meet by fax, but… I know him very well! I read them all. And that’s what writers appreciate: knowing their work, knowing their life. And so empathy is mutual during the conversation. What I mean is: I can’t help but admire them. On the contrary: I admire them more. As Alejandro Zambra said, they make me feel less alone.

It’s exactly the same, because fortunately as a freelance journalist I can almost always choose the interviewee. I always choose who I love, young or old. I remember a very young cartoonist telling me that he wasn’t sleeping thinking I was going to interview him. ‘But if you interview real wonders, what are you doing to interview me?’ It is important to ascertain that they feel this respect and that you respect them too. You should only see what’s above, not what’s below. We have very valuable young people. And not only journalists should look at the big ones, and well-established writers better do too. Because they usually don’t, really.

How does this disdain seen in many writers result in Spanish literature?

It seems to me that the only thing that suffers from this is Spanish literature. Spanish literature is fragmented because of the lack of respect among writers. There should be a lot more respect and a lot more admiration. Don’t turn your back on mutual admiration and what others are doing. A strong literature is one that supports itself and understands each other. Spaniards tend to be very narcissistic: ‘If it goes well for me, great. And if it goes well for you, I don’t want to see him.’

I believe that when you are not very clear about what you want to do or who you are, when writing is not an urge for you or a way to be in the world, what you do is become a very lost person and your literature becomes a passion. a weather vane that turns where the wind goes. This misleads the publishing industry because it does not know where to go. In South America, on the other hand, it’s very clear: They don’t get involved in how other people do it. And I plan to follow this line.

He published a book that seemed to be the culmination of a journey. How did you feel when inventing innovations that Joyce or Cabrera Infante dared…?

Yes, an anti-authoritarian book in every way. Punctuation due to language use… It is very important that Spanish is flexible, allowing you to play. My life is small, but I can exaggerate in a story. I always think of stories, character names, sentences… I record and use everything. In my opinion, a work should talk about the artist, and even do so by adapting the words. If I italicize a word, I’m saying it’s a word in disguise, as if it wasn’t entirely sincere with you. Italic means not to be the person one wants to be. Come on, what am I inventing because I don’t like reality. But after all, there is a naked person. There is no social, political or historical context in this novel. Even the characters have no age. The reader does a lot of work here, always imagine. I offer him something, but he decides how old the character is, whether he likes him or not. In adult cases, they can be older children. It’s up to you. You even decide how they look. Sure, it’s a stylistic challenge, huh.

What did it take to be Laura Fernández now?

A lot of things. First of all, I never gave up. I used to laugh a lot at myself. It was like John Fante’s Arturo Bandini. For example, I told a friend: ‘Keep this, because one day you’ll be able to say: It belonged to Laura Fernández’. Hahaha. So was I, John. Always very clown, like Bandini. But I never stopped working. I studied a lot, studied while studying, and at the same time was already writing. But he spelled it wrong. It was very dramatic, cheesy. But I did not stop writing. Never. I finally found a publisher that would one day publish it for me. But just when my book was ready, my first book!, the publisher went bankrupt. Anyway, I decided to give it up. There were people who talked a lot about me. Agustín Fernández Mallo, for example, spoke about him on his blog. I identified many things with his leadership: the Nocilla generation. Since I don’t like the way literature is done here, I wanted to do something else. Just like that generation. And I felt very respected and welcomed by them. Then Seix Barral published a novel for me. It was really good, really. But then I felt that it wasn’t me. Because what Seix Barral expected from me limited me a lot. One day Claudio López Lamadrid told me to send him something. I finished a novel, sent it to him, and two weeks later he called me. And from that moment on, my life changed. Because Claudio saw me exactly as I was. And one exists if and only if someone looks at you and throws you in the ring. Ah, but what I didn’t tell you is that when I was a year and a half, I had a heart problem. I have a giant scar on my back and I knew I had a poorly healed heart murmur and bronchitis as I understood it. I said to myself: maybe I’m in a period of pause. That’s why I’m going to live intensely. You have to be brave and do only what you want. Just whatever you want.

And do you already know who you are?

Well, all life is a process of self-knowledge. I’m getting to know myself better and better, but there are still many mysteries.

What is the secret of the alien soul?

I don’t feel like I’m from here. I guess it’s because I’m an immigrant daughter. I am not aware of the history of Spain because I believe that Spain does not care about people like my family and me. I grew up on the outskirts of the city with parents of no background, one from Extremadura and the other from Almería. My grandparents weren’t here. And everything I saw on TV seemed more real to me than my weird life. The series had families. Three of us were alone. Then I started reading children’s classics translated by Círculo de Lectores and… I felt that they were talking about me. And if I read any Spanish writers… they wouldn’t mention me. Then I found loser’s literature, where Americans are the best, because almost all of them are children of immigrants, grown up in weird, mismatched, suburban contexts, segregation…. And I identified with it.

Has journalism dampened that passion or is it still there?

Stay on your site. What happened is that journalism started out as a very street thing for me. A TV went off in a bar and I called the agency I work for to offer teletype, hahaha. It was so. I like that you didn’t sign messages at the agency, it wasn’t self-centered, it was your job to decipher the world for others. Then I went to El Mundo, I was already signed, and the good thing was that I could develop my own style. They gave me space and I learned a lot. By the way, this book is full of journalists.

Now they know him. And you know a lot about this country. How do you see this country?

They know me, yes. I was awarded the Critical Eye Award. They called me and let me know and my blood pressure dropped. Because I thought: they’ve already seen me. Spain has already seen me! I say this as a writer. And that’s what I wanted: to be seen as a writer. Let them see that there is a type of book like I do. I spent the whole day crying non stop. Your happiness. So now I see Spain as a less hostile, friendlier and more open place. There is already less bias to approach a book. As in recent years, the reader has been reprogrammed and is more open than ever.

You need to be in great shape to write the way you do.

Yes, I try to write for 40 or 45 minutes every day. That’s enough for something to shine. The last part, when you have to write six pages already, tires me out because you already know where you’re going. But at first I only think of laying a brick every day. I don’t know how long the process will take. It could be three or five years. I do not know. And I liked it.

Do you feel you have reached a moment that promises another?

Yes, but the harbinger of this is peace. You saw me, okay: then I can always be a writer! Because I love bookstores, I also like to be recognized in bookstores. very nice And… I didn’t think this would happen to me in my lifetime. When they gave me the Finestress Narrative Award, I said: How wonderful, I didn’t think they would give this to me in life, hahahaha. I have a feeling of unreality that slowly settles in. But I also feel that one day I will wake up, that I have nothing to experience, that one day I will wake up and everything will go on as before.

It has so many lifetimes… How did you overcome the temptation of self-editing?

Because I have nothing to teach. The best facts are told through fiction. Fiction keeps me alive. I’ve always been an Alonsa Quijano. And I believe that an experience is not universal. An experience is personal. The only truly universal thing is a novel. Look at Kafka: he will always remain modern and universal. It’s not fair to just cry in front of the reader: Look what I’ve been through. No. I just don’t believe in your own fiction. I believe in fiction.

What role does talent play in literature?

You were born with a predisposition to certain things and that’s it. I have a tremendous ability to concentrate and also the ability to escape. But I also have a huge social disability, I prefer to read… So you need incompatibility with life. I don’t know if it’s talent, but there is incompatibility. I really love music, I tried to sing and compose but… I think I would be a frustrated singer. So I dedicate myself to writing like playing games.

The novel ends with the sentence: “He who has never felt at home feels at home for the first time.”

This is something that recurs in almost all the endings of my novels. Because for me literature is being at home. Everything is better there than in real life. There you can be young, old, child, you can fly. There you are completely free. Let’s say you can have a normal life and a parallel life in fiction. What is great?

Source: Informacion


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