Juan Cruz: “The post-war period in Spain lasted so long that we forgot”

When? Juan Cruz He was a boy attending an under-equipped school in Puerto de la Cruz on Tenerife’s north coast, when one of the priests who oversaw his education scolded him one day for his poor academic performance, and in front of all his classmates, the class said in a loud and clear voice: ” Juan Cruz Ruiz He risks losing the scholarship as he lives in poverty.”. It was the system’s cruel way of reminding that sick child. What was its corresponding place in post-war Canarian society?. Juan Cruz’s tactful revenge was to read until he saw his name on the school’s hall of fame. And read, read all. And start typing.

Long-time journalist, writer and poet Juan Cruz Ruiz (1948), who has been vice-president of the publishing group Pensa Ibérica to which the same newspaper belongs since last February, has been writing all his life, from the beginning. one day he copied Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’ onto a wall mural in his home with a Spanish translation by Jacinto Miquelarena. And it will be said all these years of writing was a preparation to arrive at the novel ‘One thousand and two hundred steps’. (Alfaguara) is an album of childhood memories combining autobiography, phantasmagoria and fiction. Showing a particularly dark moment in the history of Spain. “This is the most serious and important thing I’ve ever written,” he says.

73 year old boy

Cruz presents ‘One Thousand Two Hundred Steps’, surrounded by friends and readers (and above all, fellow readers) at the Laie bookstore in Barcelona. The smiling look of this 73-year-old man describing his book with the author and his passionate and off-topic verb Olga Merino and journalist alex salmon From the Canary Islands, poor and asthmatic, unknowingly, I looked for a way to escape from the realm of fear and barbarism in words and friends.. “I never grew up,” he says with a short, playful allusion, before inviting the audience’s complicit laughter.

The author explains that the novel was born out of a rather ominous memory: the memory of one of the members of the gang of neighborhood kids. banging his head against the wall of an orchard until it leaves a trail of blood. “I wanted to talk about all the kids who are having real brutal fun because they live in a cruel world.” A world marked by the bewilderment of living in poverty without realizing that there are other ways of life. “We weren’t unhappy children, but we didn’t know what happiness was either”point.

Cruz believes that Spanish society does not know or want to do a rigorous analysis of what happened in the post-war period. and what traces it left, especially in remote neighborhoods. “The post-war period in Spain lasted so long that we forgot,” says the author, adding that today’s representatives of the far right, for example, get goosebumps when they hear that they want to be deported. Unaccompanied minors come from outside. “There was a day those kids were us. And in our own region.” That’s ‘One thousand two hundred steps’.

‘Twelve hundred steps’

Author John Cruz Ruiz

editorial alphaguara

pages 216

Price 18.9 €

Source: Informacion

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