The paradigm shift caused by the outbreak of the pandemic will translate into the arrival of an avalanche of trials, already started before the summer, that will aspire to respond to the challenges that the virus poses to our way of life. The most unexpected, and at the same time the most anticipated, is the one who signs Zadie smith, Contemplations (Salamander), to be published in November. The writer engages in a wandering exercise in writing that explores the moral dimension that this crisis contains, from the limits of our empathy in the face of the pain of others to the problem of a racial inequality that also spreads like a virus, passing through a series of costumbristas cartoons about their New York neighbors in full exodus from the city.
It will not be the only title that will try to make sense of this inexplicable present. The historian Timothy snyder, who fell ill during confinement, sentenced in Our disease (Gutenberg Galaxy) America’s lukewarm response to the health crisis from its experience in an emergency room. His book will arrive in October, almost at the time Viruses: the billion year war (Espasa), by Juan José Gómez and Juan Botas; The day after the great epidemics (Taurus), by José Enrique Ruiz-Domènec, and, in the same editorial, From the ruins of the future political theory of the pandemic by Manuel Arias Maldonado. Dan Carlin, creator of the hit podcast Hardcore History, check in The end is always near (Debate) other past eras in which civilization also feared heading into the apocalypse, from the Bronze Age to the nuclear age, while Rebecca solnit remember in A paradise built in hell (Captain Swing) that the worst moments also open the possibility of positive change, with the Katrina crisis as a backdrop. On the same stamp, the doctor Andreu Escrivà will propose in And now what do I do a guide to environmental behavior in these times of blaming messages. Scientific dissemination will also be represented by the astronomer Fatoumata Kébé, with The Book of the Moon (Blackie), and The life told by a sapiens to a Neanderthal (Alfaguara), signed by Juan José Millás together with the paleoanthropologist Juan Luis Arsuaga.
Like every season, the story will not miss the appointment. The Germanist Jesús Casquete will publish The cult of Nazi martyrs (Alliance), where he delves into the cult of the sacrifice of life for the homeland, which the leaders of National Socialism used to erect the myth of new man. Julián Casanova also analyzes the blackest chapters in the history of the 20th century in An untamed violence (Criticism), where he follows the trail left by wars and revolutions, from Spain to Russia, passing through the Balkans. For his part, the British Peter Watson will propose in Secret history of the atomic bomb (Criticism) a documented journey on the creation of the nuclear weapon.
In another record, Patrick Radden Keefe, reporter for The New Yorker, investigates in Do not say anything (Reservoir Books) the kidnapping of a young widow retaliated by the IRA in 1972, a case that would not be unearthed until three decades later. Meanwhile, the French historian Pierre Rosanvallon offers in The century of populism (Gutenberg Galaxy) a critical approach to what he considers the ascending ideology of our century, faced with the terrain given by other political options. The medievalists Philippe Sénac and Carlos Laliena will publish 1064, Barbastro (Alliance), about the bloody battle fought, at that time and place, by Christians and Muslims. AND Gilles Kepel, French specialist in Islamist terrorism, explains in Get out of chaos (Alliance) why the radicalization of the last decade could be a paradoxical consequence of the Arab springs of 2011.
In the area of thought, Gustavo Martín Garzo publishes In praise of fragility (Galaxia Gutenberg), a compendium of short texts where he claims art as a vital need. Gilles Lipovetsky discover in Like and excite (Anagram) the central place that seduction occupies in contemporary society, even politically and economically. The same publisher will publish a posthumous anthology of Oliver Sacks, Everything in its place, which brings together articles on topics such as dementia and schizophrenia, but also botany or swimming. Sixth Floor recovers The responsibility of the intellectuals, the essay that Noam chomsky signed in 1967 with the Vietnam War in the background, which remained discontinued. In addition, Víctor Gómez speaks in The honor of the philosophers (Cliff) of thinkers who stood firm against political or religious dogmas, from Hypatia and Pliny the Elder to Simone Weil and Miguel Servetus.
In the biographies section, the most anticipated title is Sontag (Anagram), where Benjamin Moser offers an unapologetic portrait of the great intellectual. In The Child is the Teacher: Life of Maria Montessori (Lumen), Cristina de Stefano recalls the pioneer of modern pedagogy, so in vogue today. Joan Estruch reread in Bécquer: life and times (Chair) the work of the poet with a political prism, separating it from its sentimental image. Emilia Cortés discovers in Zenobia Camprubí: the living flame (Alianza) the multifaceted personality of a woman who was much more than Juan Ramón Jiménez’s wife. And Alexandra Popoff is coming in Vasili Grossman and the Soviet century (Criticism) the author of Life and destiny and Stalingrad, that Galaxia Gutenberg will reissue with a new translation that incorporates censored and added texts.
Gender studies will be represented by a short but intense volume, I am the monster that speaks to you (Anagram), from Paul B. Preciado, which reproduces the speech he delivered in 2019 before the assembly of the School of the Freudian Cause, in which he urged that French institution, a stronghold of Lacanian psychoanalysis, to update its postulates on sexual difference. The same stamp publishes The new masculinity of always, where Antonio J. Rodriguez analyzes the perplexity of the heterosexual man before the social changes of the present.
For its part, Cesar Rendueles will trace in Against equal opportunities (Seix Barral) a constructive criticism of this hackneyed concept, with proposals to really achieve it. In a similar vein, the philosopher Michael J. Sandel, known for his crowded Harvard classes, wonders in The tyranny of merit (Debate) why we privilege that notion over the common good. Meanwhile, Captain Swing will translate two of the most interesting non-fiction titles of recent years: Nomadic country, Jessica Bruder’s chronicle of the outcasts and wanderers of the 2008 crisis, and White Trash, a journey through the history of the American working class by Nancy Isenberg. For its part, Anagrama will recover The trace of the days where the always magnificent Leslie jamison recounts his long struggle with alcoholism. Finally, music lovers will have the exquisite erudition of Ramón Andrés in Philosophy and the comfort of music (Cliff) and with the dialogue between Haruki Murakami and the conductor Seiji Ozawa, who in Music, just music (Tusquets) talk about Brahms, Beethoven, Bartók, Bernstein and other composers, even if they don’t start with the same letter.