Presentation by Joan F. Mira

 En catalŗ 

 En castellano 

 

 

 

Right now, I see myself as unable to write a single page, not even a few lines, about myself, about me as an author or as a citizen. I wouldnít know how to go about it: maybe through lack of practice, or an excess of speaking and having spoken, or writing and having written about so many other people and things. Who knows whether one day, tired of looking outwards so much, I might look behind and inside, and be able to give some kind of reason as to why I write and what I write, why I do what I do, or how I see my own life, if I am able to see it. For the time being, the reader of these pages on the network or web of information without paper, can read a presentation by Professor Ramon Lapiedra, who is an astrophysicist, ex-rector of the University of Valencia, and above all, a friend, and therefore his comments are very precise and particularly kind.

†††† To satisfy the odd detailed curiosity, I will resort to some short, abrupt phrases, like ones a journalist uses when interviewing someone. The journalist asks, ďIs it very difficult for you to write? Is it a punishment, as some writers claim?Ē and I reply ďItís very hard, and sometimes itís a punishment because itís a great effort, something one demands of oneself. Writing is my way of being in the world. The other is civic responsibility. But itís hard to write. I do it every day, after reading the papers; all morning, until lunchtime; a short rest and then again till suppertime. However, you never stop thinking about it.Ē But the interviewer wants to know something more specific about this writing profession of mine, so he asks: ďIs your aim to purify your style?Ē When asked this, one has to come up with some kind of an answer, like this one: ďI donít see it in terms of purifying a naked language, but of simplicity. I have never had a tendency to be flowery or to use superfluous adjectives or to suffer from verbal affectation, which when you look at more closely, you find there is often nothing there. The business of pure verbal pyrotechnics does not interest me much. Itís easier than it seems if you know your profession. The most difficult thing is achieving a language of a simple appearance. Real language is spoken language and the way you express things inside yourself or when you convert a memory into words. I try to reflect this in my written language. For me, purification is trying to get close to natural language.Ē

†††† The journalist also wants some comments on my attitude as a citizen which has a certain public history, not very glorious but, one assumes, clear and committed. He then asks, towards the end of the interview, ďAfter so many years of political, civic and nationalistic commitment, havenít you reached the point of scepticism?Ē And here the answer should be long and complex, optimistic or pessimistic, ideological or vital, but itís not going to be any of them. Itís this, ďNo, no. If youíre a Ďresponsibleí citizen, you donít have any choice other than to be nationalistic, although, as Fuster said, it is an annoying sentence. Rather than being sceptical, reality produces a feeling of realism. You see that it is all very complicated, that your country isnít the way youíd like it to be. I would like it to have a certain clear conscience about itself, with reasonable collective projects, that deal with its historic, linguistic and cultural identity and with the very substance of the territory. Itís a country that does not value itself. Our homeland is our heritage. What we have in common: a history, a culture, a language, our cities. All this is heritage. I am personally affected when I observe that the heritage, the historic continuity, the territory, the coast, the mountains are being destroyed.Ē Iím affected by this, and by other things that ought to affect all of us. As people, as citizens of a country, as carriers and transmitters of a culture, as speakers of a language, as readers. And they affect me as a writer. Being a writer is my way of living, and being a citizen of this land, my land, is my way of being in the world.

 

Joan F. Mira

Castellů, December 2005

 

Translated by Veronica Lambert

 

 

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