March 8, 2021

David Trueba: “Albert Camus knew how to detect fascism among his own ranks”


Is there always a desire to move behind art?

Yes, because deep down to move is to stir. The worst thing that can happen to art is passivity, that a painting does not tell you anything, or that nothing moves inside you when you hear a song. When something is stirred inside the person will begin to remember emotions, his own, particular, but associated with what he is seeing or hearing.

What was the last book that shook you inside?

The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead, and also Autumn, by Ali Smith.

What moves you about Albert Camus?

Many things, but perhaps we all take him into account because he was a man who said: “Attention, yours can also be criminals.” He knew how to detect fascism among his own ranks and that has a radical relevance in our day.

“The adaptations that have been made of his works are not memorable films”


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What role did it play in its formation?

I have always had it very present. I am a person who has had a very French training. At school it was the language I studied and French culture ended up being fundamental in my youth. Camus has his own light, he is one of the figures of the 20th century and his thinking, the radical nature of his commitment, for honesty, for justice, was very unprecedented in those years, which has benefited him when it comes to staying in the public eye.

Camus never felt a special devotion to the craft of filmmaker. Why?

Like many intellectuals of his time, he was skeptical of a new language. The literary field felt a bit threatened by the iconic power of cinema and deep down also by its superficiality. Those first generations of intellectuals who lived with the cinema had a problematic relationship with it, like the one we can have with social networks. However, time shows us that in every language a certain depth can be acquired. Yes, he had a certain attraction for the theater: he wrote several plays that are still performed, such as Caligula, and he had a very important relationship in his life with an actress [María Casares], whose correspondence is very interesting. Camus was in that new world but he had that prevention towards the audiovisual field.

“You do art alone but you want to share your loneliness with another”


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Do you applaud the few film adaptations that have been made of your works, in the case of ‘The stranger’, ‘The plague’ or ‘Far from men’?

Perhaps it is one of those authors whose prestige makes the adapter go with his hands tied to the adaptation. Movies adapted from a book have to fly on their own, they are like a new bird, and if you put too much weight on a bird, it will not take flight. I don’t think the Plague and other adaptations are memorable movies, and that’s because of the enormous respect for his books and for him. What it has had is a lot of indirect influence. Camus is an adapted person without knowing that you are adapting him. The idea of ​​the thoughtless person, the murder without motive or the lost person has been more present and achieved great gifts of expressiveness without being literal adaptations.

Like Camus, do you believe that “art is not lonely fun”?

It is true that you do the work of art alone but you want to share your loneliness with another. Writing is the art that physics cannot explain. How one intimacy and another are together without becoming a renunciation of intimacy. We ensure that these intimacies are not disturbed but rather fed. Physically it is impossible.

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