Saturday, December 4

Rafael Chirbes’s opinion on Pérez Reverte: “He is convinced that he can do whatever comes out of his balls”

Anagrama has published the diaries of the Valencian writer Rafael Chirbes under the title At times lost 1 and 2, which include from 1984 to 2005 and which reveal some of the literary phobias and philias of the author of Crematorium and National Narrative Award, died on August 15, 2015.

In one of the entries in the newspaper collected, the Valencian author makes an aside with the novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte Cape Trafalgar, work that he recognizes produces “repelús, a feeling of rejection that, as the book progresses, borders on indignation”.

“Pérez-Reverte is convinced that as a novelist he can do whatever comes out of his balls (to use the language he likes) and gives the reader a crazy recital of badass language, ‘Vallekan’ language, pure Madrid move in the mouth of these poor men who drank soups in the 18th century “, he criticized in the pages of his newspapers.

Chirbes continues describing the work stating that Reverte, “without leaving that arbitrary space, offers a grotesque of stale Spanishism up in arms against the ‘gabacho'”. And, in his opinion, this constitutes “a form of variant of ‘Torrente, the stupid arm of the law’, in which there is no lack of touches of what we know as the press of the heart.”

In this entry, the author is reeling off phrases from Cape Trafalgar and ironically adds that “the author is academic.” “The artifact is aimed at a public with an ideology as confused as the one that moves the fans of the football fields,” laments Chirbes, who also sees “xenophobia (anti-ranger) and vindication of the usual Spain” in this novel.

“Not even in the forties of the last century the novelists of the regime dared to write a chapter in that tone”, collects the newspaper of the Valencian writer, who considers that Cape Trafalgar “It is not ‘Trafalgar’ by Galdós, but rather it is closer to Pemán or García Serrano, if it were written more intelligently”.

Chirbes clarifies in a part that what “scandalizes” him in this work is not the language “or the anachronisms that he uses as a joke, but what that language translates: manners, the moral type to whom it corresponds”.

“It’s a late fruit of Francoism (…) It’s just me, who hear the Viva España of the football fields, the fucking Valencia of the people of Alicante, the Moorish motherfucker, or Polish Catalan, or the rajalo, and I tremble because I know that there is hatched the egg of the serpent of fascism that comes, “he adds in the newspapers.

“Reverte is shown to us as an Olympic athlete, champion in great leap back. To swallow as modern what history had turned into detestable archaeological residue. Ah! And I repeat: sensible critics have commented favorably, and even admiringly, the book . Can someone come and explain it to me? “, Concludes this journal entry.

On Muñoz Molina: “Those things are embarrassing”

In the diaries, of more than 450 pages and that encompass more than 20 years of Chirbes’s life, other works by contemporary authors are also pointed out that are not to the liking of the author. For instance, The Polish Horseman, by Antonio Muñoz Molina, of which he considers that “it has something slippery, in addition to his desire to exhibit a cosmopolitanism of forced footing”.

“His women are more made of paper than of flesh and blood. On the other hand, the book does not deprive itself of some quite large doses of impudence”, highlights the book published by Anagrama, the label in which the Valencian author published his works.

“I don’t know how Antonio, who has such an attentive ear, doesn’t realize that, on too many occasions, when reading the book, one gets the impression that the author is the only one who has understood this or that problem. His fault sense of proportion, decorum, leads him to say things like that there we were both, Mari Puri or whatever the bride is called, and I, like Kafka and Milena were in Prague. writer “, has indicated.

In addition to other criticisms of writers (Roberto Bolaño) and critics such as Ignacio Echevarría, Chirbes takes advantage of these pages to also reveal the occasional ‘literary intrigue’. As when he remembers being “alternately told” that he was going to be the winner of the Herralde Prize with ‘Mimoun’, but “at the last moment Vicente Molina Foix negotiated, intrigued and ended up taking him away.”