Interview Books | Manuel Calderon, author of “Decambados”: “The process caused division and silence”

Whoever touches this book touches a man, a story, a city, pain. It is not uncommon for books like this to be found, full of other people’s lives, as well as their own, the author’s life. He’s a journalist, and has worked for several media outlets, but it’s not just his job that drives him to write here. wildernessbut something like this Awareness of time, time that takes place above all in Barcelona, ​​where he went to live with his parents, from Córdoba, in 1970.

wilderness (Tusquets) reflects everything areas of amazement or uncertainty at the time And the successive years in which Barcelona, ​​Spain, Catalonia presented issues, drama, oddities, fill the book like An unusual river in which there is also dirty water. A mixture of memory, longing and disapprovalIt seems that this book is made so that the will to oblivion cannot erase an experience that the author speaks about here with a calmness that is also typical of his art.

Manuel Calderón was born in 1957. He has the age of experience, that of the country of his birth and a writing that comes from the greats of the time when his career as a journalist began and his aspirations as a poet or philosopher. It is a personal story, as well as a collective one, of a citizen who faced what happened and did so without malice or anger. We spoke with him at the Santo Mauro Hotel in Madrid. His voice sounded like he was being put under a book.

Q: What did you have to divest yourself of as a journalist to write this book?

R was found. I had to take the uncertainty out of writing the log knowing the editor would cut it for you. I’ve always understood journalism as an activity that tells facts but always with a point of view and that’s what I’ve tried to do here. I don’t know if I succeeded, but that was my intention.

Q: What do you think of the press now?

R was found. When I left the daily business of journalism, there was a fellow veteran who said to me: “Manolo, don’t worry, we had the best period for journalism, the eighties and nineties.” And yes, that’s right: many current issues are now confusing and even writing. I like journalism that tells facts, not opinion and mldr; Today there is a lack of decisive ability to tell the side facts of things.

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Q: The book begins with a phrase that relates to its essence: “A land without memory.

R was found. Yes, and then there are book heroes who continue to resonate. They are voices from Spain and Catalonia, from a time when there was no modernity. They are of very pure language and little mischief. We arrived in Catalonia with great joy and it was surprising, because they thought we should be sad to leave our land. But we were ready to merge.

Q: Pasolini is very present here. he himself is a wasteland and mldr;

R was found. well … If it can be. Pasolini died in Ostia, on the outskirts of the city, where there is a memorial practically hidden, because he was accused of having sex with minors and this seems to outweigh his work. But, yes, perhaps that language that he used in his works, in literature and in cinema, has resonance here.

Q: When you talk about Franco, about his death, about the events of that time and when you go further, you write: “I don’t trust memory.”

R was found. Do I not trust memory? well … I don’t know. It would be because I don’t trust tiled memory, which is a very Spanish thing. Best building mosaic with small pieces. Memory is not only selective but always chooses pain. My parents suffered a lot when they were little, but they never emphasized this suffering. Well, my mom swallowed pain and cried for the past. I am writing this book in a context when memory is beginning to play a central role in Spain. But I do not trust personal memory, I prefer the memory of historians. I think in Spain there is a lot of forgetting, but no tolerance. And only if there is forgiveness can things change.

In Spain, there has been a transition from pre-modernism to post-modernism without a deep development of modernism. This is why the so-called culture wars are echoing here.”

Q: How did you escape from what you are denouncing here, from every era of the world in which you have lived?

R was found. Acceptance of all contradictions. Acceptance of perfection and imperfection, right and wrong. I think there has been a transition in Spain from pre-modernism to post-modernism without a deep development of modernity. This is why the so-called culture wars resonate here. For we lacked the solidity, critical modernity, to despise arguments which had no interest. Here I just wanted to stay in a contrasting space.

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Q: Did writing this book harm you?

R was found. This book was a very free space for writing, because it was where I was able to throw in texts that I didn’t know where to put. What’s going on is that I was mediocre with the descriptions. In fact, I say it: “I won’t say everything I saw.” For humility and for the purification of the senses. I’ve got some … Restraint, let’s say. Because I Hate Suburban Pathos: The Abuse of Marginalization.

Q: Language, at the time, at this time, characterizes many areas of the book. In this paragraph about what was said and what was not said, I made reference to a word that still exists from that time: “a child will never say ditch.”

R was found. It is a word from our most primitive and difficult heritage. It is a word in which everything is said semantically.

Q:Bitterness is severely underestimated.

R was found. It is a rip off from the dark side of life. I’m very interested in Juan Rulfo, for example, because he does just that in his books. I’m no Rulfo, but somehow I wanted to follow on his heels in that sense.

Q: What is Catalonia to you?

R was found. I really hate the phrase “grateful immigrant” from Catalonia. ” I feel like a Barcelona man. I go to the same places I went 40 years ago and have a perfect view of Barcelona, ​​a city that still excites me as much as it did when I was a kid. But now & mldr. Now there is a fact that I classify as brutal. And that scares me. But from Catalonia and mldr; I can’t tell you much about Catalonia because I don’t know that. I know Barcelona and that’s it.

Q: What do you think of the operation and everything that happened?

R was found. I covered all this as a journalist, I went to see the Barcelona bourgeoisie, I saw many people in line to vote in the referendum with complete peace of mind. But it seemed to me that they were transporting themselves. I don’t know if I answered you, but & mldr; I saw that in 2017.

Q: You answered me. But tell me now: what are the consequences for this country and for the Catalans?

R was found. I think this is a disastrous result: stopping the possibility of creating a common framework for coexistence in a federal area, which Spain stands for. It was a huge, colossal, and dangerous irresponsibility. Because that caused a rift and caused silence. I know groups of friends or families who have cut off all contact on this issue. This division will have serious consequences for social development, which must always be harmonious.

Q: Is this something that reached deep into your soul?

R was found. Yes, because in those days I noticed the difference between the political reality and the street reality and the extent of the marginalization of Catalan society. The nationalism was so callous, contemptuous and disrespectful & mldr; with citizenship. The lie was of great political value, because many believed Catalonia to be a humiliated and defeated country. something completely false.

Q: Does the wound remain?

R was found. good … I prefer to resort to culture and not take such matters into account. I prefer to do that.

Q: The key word for you is “charnego”, from this word there is a lot to ponder in your book.

R was found. Yes, but “charnego” is a word I hadn’t heard of, and what I noticed was a difference in treatment. The person who receives the immigrant creates taboos and highly developed patriarchy. This is what I think happened, precisely, in Catalonia. Once Gabriel Ferratre spoke of Charnigo with merciless harshness. Juan Marcy, on the other hand, was very understanding and had the courage or even the vanity to bring up a central theme: admiration for the poor immigrant.

Q: Your father did not die a natural death but the death of a poor man.

R was found. My father died of trampling in Madrid. He got hit by a delivery truck and … I wanted to pursue the case, but … I thought my dad was across the street and he made a nod of … Let’s see: it’s been a long time since then. That’s it.

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Q: When one writes, is it possible to ignore what hurts the most?

R was found. It’s this … Here what hurts the most, everything else is poison. I think the process did nothing good.

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