In the last three weeks, Javier Sagarna (Madrid, 1964), director of the School of Writers, has received close to 2,500 micro-stories for the contest that he organizes on the radio program La Ventana de Cadena SER. In all of last year, one of the most stories came, accumulated no more than 27,000. Confinement has set in motion the creative machinery of the community. What are these new works about? How will we read them? What role does the covid-19 play in all this? And how will they build social thought after this crisis?
“The number of stories using the confinement situation has been increasing, but not only in relation to confinement but also to prisons or deserted islands,” explains Sagarna, a graduate in Pharmacy and president of the European Association for Creative Writing Programs. “Obviously this takes up a lot of space in the creators’ heads, but there is always room to write about something else. There are people for whom the creative world is many kilometers from the real world. There is scope for other types of issues, “he warns.
For Sagarna, postcovid stories “will tend to explore our fragility, they will delve into life more than death, in a more intimate facet and in the meaning of loneliness.” Also, he says, flight to the countryside and the environment will occupy an important place in the next literature. “There is a wonderful setting for counting things,” he highlights. Empty streets, the people stuck in their houses, the silence of the city. Factors that favor all kinds of stories: “Of detectives, of love, of terror.” At the time, it was “postwar Vienna” that covered the crime novel The Third Man (1950) by British writer Graham Greene.
But great events are not always the focus of history. “For example, 9/11,” says Sagarna. “It is written about it, but many times in context, as something that happens throughout history. It was not addressed directly. Many times you find more strength there, “he reflects. In the end, literature gives us a space of absolute freedom, it allows us to approach what we have or to flee from it as much as we want.
The paper book comes home
The confinement, according to Sagarna, has linked us to the space of our houses. “We have realized their role and in this sense I believe that paper books have a great opportunity. We build the intimacy of our home through them. Being at home leads us to want to have a good paper book in our hands, ”he analyzes, and makes a special appeal to people to go out and buy copies. “But we have also realized the importance of music or good series,” he clarifies. And there, online has become important. “We have broken into everyone’s house, you know someone’s dog while you work. With these little things the world is enlarged ”, he says. And that, of course, also favors the creative process.
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