Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gonçalo M. Tavares interview

"Evil is one of the themes that most interests me. In a certain way, the series of novels that I called The Kingdom (Jerusalem, Joseph Walser’s Machine, etcetera) are novels that try to understand evil, its emergence, its apparent concealment, its hovering over our heads. It might be wrong, but I have the sensation that evil is always around us, suspended, looking at us, waiting for us, as if from one moment to the next we could be the object of evil, victims therefore, or the subjects, of evil: tormentors. Evil circles around us, we can’t fully free ourselves from it. I’m very scared of people who say that they’ve already completely distanced themselves from evil, or those other people, naive ones, in my view, who say that some things that happened in the 20th century will never happen again because people, they say, have learned a lesson. I don’t believe that, and furthermore, I think that naïveté is the terrain where the greatest evil develops. Hence, for me, the importance of literature. If you asked me, in a word, what I think literature can give to a person, I would say once again: clarity. That is, the opposite of naïveté. I believe that evil is always present, threatening or tempting, and naïveté can lead people to confuse evil with other, much more enjoyable things. Literature, good literature, can help us, as readers, to be aware, to detect the symptoms of evil emerging. It’s not about becoming suspicious and cynical, it’s not that. It’s about becoming people who are aware; people who do not necessarily view the things that the whole of humanity seeks to acquire as good, wonderful things. We have to be aware of the signs because I think that history often repeats itself, only it becomes more and more violent. History, it seems to me, tends toward the repetition of evil but with more technologically advanced means each time. Hence, the state of awareness shouldn’t be, not even for a minute, suspended. Literature can help with this, but, obviously, there are many other things, beyond art and artists, that can help us to be aware: social media is, in that regards, one of the most relevant instruments. Moreover, it seems to me that one of the mottos of every newspaper, of every television or radio station, should be to increase the amount of clarity by the square meter. And literature should try to do the same."

No comments:

Search This Blog

My Blog List