Incisive portrait of being by Emmanuel Carrère


Pteaching outside the box, seeing things from above, “trying to get rid of the social and cultural determinism of the time”, of the pre-established. This is the thread that links the books of the French writer Emmanuel Carrère (1957), a sequence, he admits, that he does not know where it leads.

It’s like life itself, one moves forward a little in the dark and then, with the perspective of time, you have the feeling that there is a path, a path that has been drawn, “said the winner of the Princess of Asturias Award for Letters yesterday. 2021.

To be a little freer, more intelligent, to understand better what surrounds me myself is the objective of my work. Writing books is the means to that end. The vehicle may break down or not be in good condition, but it is the one that is used, “he said at a press conference.

After hearing the ruling of the award given by the Princess of Asturias Foundation, endowed with 50 thousand euros and a sculpture by Joan Miró, which this year reaches its XLI edition, the also screenwriter and director indicated that writing is the center of his life.

The reality of my life is very closely linked to what I can tell. Perhaps there is a more visible, more overt commitment; but a good writer, even if he writes fiction or an epic, is always committed to his work, “he added.

In the minutes, the jury made up of 19 people, chaired by Santiago Muñoz Machado and among whom the writers Leonardo Padura and Gonzalo Celorio stand out, explains that the award is granted to Carrère because “his books contribute to unmasking the human condition and dissect the relentlessly reality.

Carrère draws an incisive portrait of today’s society and has exerted a notable influence on the literature of our time, as well as showing a strong commitment to writing as a vocation inseparable from life itself ”, it is pointed out.

The author confesses that he has had to sacrifice some of his privacy by using it as literary material. “It is an option, a lesson. What I can tell about myself takes different forms for everyone. It’s nice to be able to say things that aren’t very honorable about myself. It doesn’t bother me ”.

Who received the FIL Prize for Literature in Romance Languages ​​in 2017 points out that, for him, the characters are the key. “What attracts me the most in museums are portraits, the representation of the human face. And, as a writer, I have the impression that I am a bit of a portrait painter ”.

When asked about his fascination with the dark side of the human being, the narrator who recreates themes such as lies, violence, organ trafficking or madness adds that he has written things that speak of the ability of man to do good, which is much more mysterious than doing evil.

That is to say, it seems that the evil was something extraordinary, vertiginous; but I think that good is more. We hear that both are ambiguous; but it is not true, we always know where each one is, the complicated thing is that we do evil instead of doing good ”, he says.

For Gonzalo Celorio, Carrère “is an extraordinary writer who has touched on very strong and current themes; has concerns of a philosophical and religious nature. I value it a lot ”.

In an interview, the Mexican writer adds that “I have been very fond of his work, it has dazzled me. I like his novels of social references better: violence, atrocious themes, psychological torture, the trafficking of organs in the world of children. He puts his finger on the sore, strips reality, faces it, challenges it.

Rather than abolish the boundaries between reality and fiction, it expands the scales and categories of reality. So real is what is imagined, dreamed of, invented, remembered, what is believed in, that the presumed real objectivity ”, he concludes.

Selected from among 33 candidates of 20 nationalities, the French narrator, who regretted not speaking Spanish but said goodbye smiling with a “see you later”, will receive the Princess of
Asturias from the hands of the heir to the Spanish throne, next October.

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