The Revival of Concha Piquer in Manuel Vicente’s Prose

Before the book leaves your imagination and begins writing, Manuel Vincent In recent years, his editor’s photo has always come to him in faguareAnd the Carolina Royo“What would this woman say about this incident?”

Carolina Royo is responsible for taking Vicente along paths that writers sometimes avoid and that really make up the “editorial cause” that’s why so many artworks that, without that touch, wouldn’t finally make it to bookstores.

In this case, before making the table, with suggestions usually well heeded, the author and editor meet in this restaurant on Calle Santa Engracia in Madrid, where Vicent holds meetings with friends from the press or from life, and now we have asked those who are sitting with us to explain How did it happen and how did it happen Portrait of a modern woman It is the title of the author’s latest novel Malvarrosa Tramway. Before that, there were other images of the modern Spanish world, among them images Duke of Alba (Great Agiri) also Carmen Alvarez de Toledo (A blonde woman’s chance. This modern woman from the latest novel is Shell BakerPerhaps the most powerful Spanish song legend of the twentieth century.

As it usually happens when the idea arrives, while it’s still a project, the editor examines it “with the attention that all Vicen’s projects deserve.

The conversation continued about the tablecloths. We were interested to know why the publisher wanted to know how his novel, Manuel Vicente, began.

Caroline Rio. Because Manuel usually starts from a real character and tells his story and at the same time the story of his era. There is a lot of reality, but there is also a lot of imagination. This book in particular has a great start. You think you know a lot about Concha Piquer because you’ve been hearing things your whole life, but

P. And to you, Vicente, what feeling does putting the period at the end of the book make you?

Manuel Vincent. Well

Q: What things did you discover?

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MV Focus method, for example. But this is something later. What I mean is that I initially sent him the first chapter of the book to see what he thought of the tone and almost forced him to return it to me after it had already been edited, just as it would have been read in the book. She said to me, “Well, I do, but we’ll probably change things up later.” In the end, I read the entire work and the book actually had more oxygen. Reading your work from the outside means that they see your strengths and weaknesses and therefore the quality of the book increases.

P. What did you contribute to this book, Carolina?

Commercial Record It’s like Vegas: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. The editor’s work must be invisible to the reader. The end result is the result of Manuel’s work. He listens to my suggestions, but the talent is his.

P. Have you rejected any suggestions?

Commercial Record Start.

Q: Is he an obedient writer?

Commercial Record I do not like the word docile. I think he understands very well that working with the editor is teamwork. We talk and convince him or he convinces me.

Q: Manuel, when you think of getting close to this character, Concha Baker, is it because it’s about her autobiography?

MV Yes, but wait. Regarding Carolina’s work, I remember that with ava at night [su libro sobre Ava Gardner] You made a mess with a split personality and … Thanks to her, I realized that I had no talent for it. She was responsible for organizing it and only then was she able to see what the book looked like. In this about Concha Piquer, she is a character who epitomizes a country, a time, and herself is already a novel, you don’t have to invent anything. Well, the atmosphere yes. There is fantasy to enhance reality. But in his story & mldr; I just put his life. It’s a life I knew because it was a part of my life.

If I were a professional, I’d document myself, go to New York, see the house he lives in, the theaters he’s been in … But I said: If I imagine her, she will have more power. ”

Manuel Vincent

P. Was documentation necessary?

MV One day, Perez Galdos was delivering an article to the newspaper where he collaborated, and as he went he saw a fire and saw a woman jumping out of the window. He came to the newsroom and said to her: Now that he came … Then they said to him: Then write it down. And he: Oh, but then I must go see which street it was, and what the number was, and who that woman was and … I’d rather imagine it. Well, same for me, Juan: If I were a professional, I’d have to document myself, go to New York, watch the house you live in, the theaters you’ve been working on … But I said: If I imagined her, she would have more power.

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Commercial Record Manuel was able to create the atmosphere from the imagination. In this case, the sights and facts of Concha Baker’s life are well known, and it was not necessary to document much.

P. You, Vicente, look at Piquer’s relationship with the members of Generation 27.

MV That generation was a turning point for Spain. The cultural euphoria of a country is more dynamic when it looks at the horizon of freedom. On the 27th the republican outburst was seen and that this outburst is more creative than freedom. Seeing it on the horizon encourages more creation. The same thing happened with the end of the Franco regime. Franco’s last years were more exciting than when democracy arrived. But when the dictatorship bends in the back, because I’ve always said the 600’s over Franco, creativity arises. Well, when Piquer came back to Spain from New York, she didn’t even know how to speak Spanish, she sang by hearsay, spoke English, Valencian, …

P. meets Blasco Ibáñez and this relationship allows her something like talking about her ancestors, Vicente.

MV He coincided with her in New York when he made his travels around the world. He went there to embark on a cruise around the world with some millionaires and took the opportunity to write About the world of the novelist. That was when he met Concha Baker, but later they had no relationship because when she returned to Spain, he was exiled. In short: Blasco Ibáñez, Sorolla, and Concha Piquer are a tripod for an era and a way of being.

P. There are Spain 27, Spain 36, Spain 39, and Spain in the post-war period.

MV Yes, I remember Concha Baker on Post-War Radio, she was always home with her three-minute narrations, as Manuel Vazquez Montalbán said of her songs. Because that’s what his songs were: some voiced narratives. I went to school and a song by Concha Baker came out the door or the window. So all the way. So when I got to school I already knew the story had a beginning, middle and end.

She was a professional ready to defend her profession against any hindrance. This barrier at the time was the Franco regime. What should be stopped while saying the part? She didn’t stop singing and paid a fine.”

Manuel Vincent

P. You are telling the elusive relationship between you and Franco. How was your independence accepted?

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MV Well, with the fines. She did not have a very specific ideology. She was a professional ready to defend her profession against any hindrance. This barrier at the time was the Franco regime. What should have been stopped while he was saying Section? She did not stop singing and paid a fine. That you had to get up to say hello and not say hello? pay a fine. What did he say MANSPIA instead of home one day, What is censorship? Pay another fine. And so all along, never give up. This is an ideological limitation in the sense that he gives great importance to his profession. She is the first American-style professional, with a very authoritarian nature. One day, Manolo Caracol was fired from the company because he arrived drunk. Because he learned it in America. That autocratic character allowed him to confront men and the Franco regime.

P. In the novel there are some last chapters that have to do with your own experience of it and reality.

MV Yes, because I just want to be honest about how long I’ve lived. I did the same with the Duke of Alba, who was also a fictional character. With Piker himself. There is little to imagine. His story is fictional.

Vicente manages well that boundary between what he lived and what he imagined.”

Carolina Royo, Editor

P. But, Carolina, how did you realize that Vicente in the end said of himself?

Commercial Record It’s just something Manuel’s readers are used to. And he deals with that very well, that boundary between what he lived and what he imagined. What I really like about Manuel is that he usually puts the central character to live with other characters at the time. It may sound a bit opportunistic, but no: what it does is wrap an entire era in a few pages.

MV Carolina had the idea that I would put myself in the opening lines of each chapter so the reader wouldn’t notice a jump too abrupt afterwards.

Commercial Record Yes, and so in the end you become another character.

P. Vicente: What is wrong with this book?

MV Everything is true in this book.

Commercial Record It’s Vincent’s reality.

P. in the title already mentions that Piker was a modern woman. What is it talking about?

MV I hesitated to put image of a strong woman also Portrait of a modern woman. I put the modern woman down because she was the first artist to take the lead in her destiny by nature. Or she took her destiny and defended her career as a woman today.

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