Ficciones

"This was another of our fears: that Life wouldn't turn out to be like Literature"

Rapture of the deep

“There is something called the rapture of the deep, and it refers to what happens when a deep-sea diver spends too much time at the bottom of the ocean and can’t tell which way is up. When he surfaces, he’s liable to have a condition called the bends, where the body can’t adapt to the oxygen levels in the atmosphere. All of this happens to me when I surface from a great book.”

Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

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New York, 2017

(*)Manhattan never looked so pretty

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We don’t want to hold it together

“Life falls apart. We try to get a grip and hold it together. And then we realise we don’t want to hold it together.”

“The destination was to head towards a freer life. That is a vague destination, no one knows what it looks like when we get there. It is a journey without end, but I did not know that then. I was just on my way. Where else was there to head for?”

Deborah Levy, What’s the point of a risk-free life?

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Bilbao, 2018

(*)Feed the dream, does it seem that we’re staring at the sun?

Distorted clarity

“Crossing time zones in this way can bring upon an unsettling, distorted clarity. It is the altitude, the unaccustomed inactivity, the physical confinement, the lack of sleep, or a collision of all four? Travelling at speed, thousands of feet above the ground, in the cabin of an aircraft, induces an altered state of mind. Things that may have been puzzling you perhaps come into focus, as if the lens of a camera has been twisted. You may find, sliding into your mind, answers to questions that have long eluded you. As you gaze out at the illusory landscape of altostratus mountains, you may catch yourself thinking: ah, of course, I hadn’t realised that before.”

Maggie O’Farrell, I Am, I Am, I Am

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Up in the air, 2017

(*)I’m writing to reach you

 

Our greatest nostalgias

“Every time a couple moves they begin, if their attention is still drawn to one another, to see each other differently, for personalities are not a single immutable color, like white or blue, but rather illuminated screens, and the shades we reflect depend much on what is around us.”

“And so their memories took on potential, which is of course how our greatest nostalgias are born.”

Mohsin Hamid, Exit West

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New York, 2017

(*)You told me I was like the dead sea, you’ll never sink when you are with me

2017: a year in books

  • Me han marcadoLo raro es vivir, de Carmen Martín Gaite (Anagrama) y The Handmaid’s Tale, de Margaret Atwood (Vintage)
  • Descubrimiento literario del añoAutumn, de Ali Smith (Penguin)
  • Me han hecho reírMe Talk Pretty One Day, de David Sedaris (Little, Brown) y Uno siempre cambia al amor de su vida (por otro amor o por otra vida), de Amalia Andrade (Espasa)
  • Me han hecho llorarCall Me By Your Name, de André Aciman (Atlantic Books) y The Light We Lost de Jill Santopolo (HQ)
  • He leído en la playaThe Power, de Naomi Alderman (Roca Editorial)
  • He leído escuchando músicaTiene que ser aquí, de Maggie O’Farrell (Libros del Asteroide)
  • He leído en un aviónQué vas a hacer con el resto de tu vida, de Laura Ferrero (Alfaguara)
  • Me ha perturbadoBluets, de Maggie Nelson (Wave Books)
  • Me ha generado preguntasThe Mother of All Questions, de Rebecca Solnit (Granta)
  • Me ha emocionadoThe God of Small Things, de Arundhati Roy (Penguin)
  • He leído sin poder pararEligible, de Curtis Sittenfeld (Borough Press) y It Ends With Us, de Colleen Hoover (Atria Books)
  • Me ha decepcionadoThe Answers, de Catherine Lacey (Granta)
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Torino, 2017

(*)Melodrama, de Lorde, mi disco del año

 

I envy you the pain

“How you live your life is your business. But remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once. Most of us can’t help but live as though we’ve got two lives to live, one is the mockup, the other the finished version, and then there are all those versions in between. But there’s only one, and before you know it, your heart is worn out, and, as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now there’s sorrow. I don’t envy you the pain. But I envy you the pain.”

André Aciman, Call Me Be Your Name

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Milan, 2017

(*)Every breaking wave on the shore tells the next one there’ll be one more

 

Era esto

“Me enamoré de la literatura porque se parecía mucho a la realidad, tanto que podía confundirse con ella. Pero la literatura me proporcionaba más respuestas que la vida. En ella, los círculos se cerraban, todo encajaba, uno llegaba al final y suspiraba: ah, era esto.”

Laura Ferrero, Qué vas a hacer con el resto de tu vida

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Cape Cod, 2017

(*)Nothing’s wrong when nothing’s true

Autumn

“To take the moment before something had actually happened, and you didn’t know if it was going to be terrible or if it might be very funny, something extraordinary actually happening and yet everybody around it not taking any notice at all.”

Ali Smith, Autumn

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Torino, 2017

(*)Hold the light that fixes you in time

The Great Stories

“The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.”

Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

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New York, 2017

(*)If you get lonely give this song another listen, close your eyes

 

Lo raro es vivir

“Es que es todo muy raro, en cuanto te fijas un poco. Lo raro es vivir. Que estemos aquí sentados, que hablemos y se nos oiga, poner una frase detrás de otra sin mirar ningún libro, que no nos duela nada, que lo que bebemos entre por el camino que es y sepa cuándo tiene que torcer, que nos alimente el aire y a otros ya no, que según el antojo de las vísceras nos den ganas de hacer una cosa o la contraria y que de esas ganas dependa a lo mejor el destino, es mucho a la vez, tú, no se abarca, y lo más raro es que lo encontramos normal.”

Carmen Martín Gaite, Lo raro es vivir

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Barcelona, 2017

(*)Barcelona, how can I forget