Alessandro Baricco: “Writing is a very strange animal”

Alessandro Barico is back and in Mexico! The writer overcame a serious illness that he suffered for which he needed a bone marrow transplant, an episode that changed his life.

“Especially my way of living, but writing is a very strange animal. It is in an almost inaccessible part of us, impervious to everything, it grows and invents itself according to its own logic; hardly realizes what is happening around you. She walks a different path than yours. I think my writing, because of what happened, deviated a couple of degrees, while my personal life did move many degrees,” Alessandro Baricco responded to MILLENNIUMin a meeting with the media in Guadalajara, where they even sang “Las mañanitas” in Italian for her upcoming birthday.

The writer will offer on Thursday the magisterial conference “A talk about novels” with which the activities of Guadalajara, World Book Capital (GCML) are restarted.

new narratives

Alessandro Baricco (Turin, 1958) talked about everything, politics, the importance of women in his life (“they are a mystery to everyone but they are wonderful”), the film adaptations of his novels, the digital revolution and of the urgency of discussing education.

“There is no power that loves freedom too much because writing is not controlled since it has incredible power. When the writing reaches the reader is very intimate, it touches the heart and changes a person. Writing is almost a secret but you hit with great force and if you want, you teach freedom. If a writer wants to be an awkward character, he can be, but it’s not required. They can be great writers without being awkward,” she said.

One of his most recent books is what we were looking for. “Of the pandemic as a mythical creature” (Anagram), where he reflects on her, and beyond the health figures a mythical creature emerges that expresses fears and changes.

“The pandemic is not over yet and perhaps in 10 years we will be able to find out what has happened in the world of literature. In Europe there are some very clear phenomena, many flee the cities, their jobs, change their lives and rapid reactions take place and it is interesting to understand them”, he explained.

He added: “What has happened is that when I wake up in the morning I write novels because I have several rivals and competitors in the world, but they are no longer writers, they are other narratives. During the pandemic the landscape changed; the cinema is weaker, there are many live shows, music, the theater has fewer audiences and, on the contrary, the television series have gained a lot of strength and have eliminated many books, readers and it is a phenomenon that happens. It is a new genre of storytelling that is stronger, more loved and newly born and with this we must fight but in a very soft, non-violent way.

The writer applauded the adaptation of nine hundred to the cinema and gave his opinion on the film he is making Angelina Jolie with his work Without blood.

“In general, the writer is happy when they produce a film about his book, it is something that gives you many opportunities, money, reputation, fun. Then they make the movie and you’re less happy. With difficulty you find the real sound of your book. I was able to see some of what Angelina Jolie does and it seems to me the closest thing to my book, it has the sound ”.

And he revealed that many want to make television series from his books, especially from SilkBut I disagree. Silk It is a very light book, things and words that are not written are very important. Exclusively, in this case, I want to be firm and not give away the rights.”

Guadalajara Souvenirs

The writer commented that he was happy in Guadalajara, recalled his visit to the book fair and his first literary encounter with Juan Rulfo.

“The first time I came I hadn’t read Juan Rulfo, unbelievably. It has been an adult pleasure to have discovered it. In him there is something unique and inimitable. For all those who write in Mexico it must be a very important presence. I liked learning a bit of Spanish and reading it like that, it was one of the reasons why I studied Spanish, the sound is very different and you hear the true music of Rulfo when you read it in his language. Very direct and poetic, fierce but humble and coming here is a bit of a pilgrimage to his land”.

The digital revolution has changed many things in the world and the writer commented that it is an invention of liberation and living it, for him, has been exciting and exciting.

“I imagine a world that is more open, freer and more participatory. It was a revolution of freedom that never ceased to be, but it crossed paths with many economic, political, and cultural interests, but it always continued to advance. It changed the way of being in this human world and also caused fear, dread and many weaknesses. Generations had access to too much information with confusion or loss as a result. I think the older generations have not loved to see the world as they knew it disappear. But the pandemic caused the digital revolution to triumph because thanks to it you could have a relationship with other humans.

For the author, digital instruments have also brought more democracy and information to communities.

“They have given access to a huge number of citizens, things that were previously only for a few and gave a voice to communities that thought but were silent. The ‘people’ decided to no longer be guided and it is the dispute that we now see. Seen from the side of the elite, it is a total disaster because they lost their privileged position that had lasted centuries. But seen from the state of health of democracy, I think we can read it as a step to grow but it has generated difficult moments that have already passed. in Italy or the United States. In general, I think that digital tools will make democracy grow, not kill it.”

Finally, after a long talk, Alessandro Baricco expressed the opinion that a debate and reflection on education in the world is urgent, and recommended filling houses, homes, with books to promote reading.

“By example, children will read. If they see their father in that absurd gesture of standing and reading in silence, you sense that there is something special about it; much more, we cannot do”.

The writer will be presented on Thursday, January 26 at 7:00 p.m., at the Museum of Journalism and Graphic Arts (MUPAG). The broadcast of the event can be seen at this link.


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