Lorenzo Silva: “The process is suitable for a historical novel, but it lacks a heroic dimension”


The writer Lorenzo Silva

The writer Lorenzo Silva
EFE

The writer Lorenzo Silva believes that within a few years the plot of the you process Catalan can serve as the basis for writing a historical novel like the one he just launched on the War of the Communities of 1520, but he considers that the independence cause lacks the “heroic dimension” that the community members did.

Silva (Madrid, 1966) has reflected on the narrative possibilities of the current Catalan situation during an interview with the Efe Agency in Segovia before the presentation in this city of his latest book, ‘Castellano’ (Destino), which recounts the commune revolt against the abuses of power of Carlos V.

Asked if the particular struggle of the Catalan independentists which at this time marks the Spanish political agenda may one day inspire a book like his, Silva has opined that “surely yes”, although he considers that this plot is missing something. “What one does not find in the process, and I say it without any pejorative spirit but as a simple observation, is that capacity to sacrifice and to sustain frontally the things that one says and that are inescapable“, has reflected.

In his view, “if independence were so imperative and so necessary and so absolutely inalienable”, perhaps “it would be a bit out of place to seek it with subterfuge and do things underneath and say that something is done while doing it. the other”. Therefore, in your opinion, “either that character is missing” or “there is not so much justification behind” like the one that could have occurred after the revolt of the communities, for which, he remembers, “a lot of people risked everything and lost everything”: “I don’t see that heroic dimension in the process, or I haven’t been able to see it yet”.

‘Castellano’ is based on historical events, but it doesn’t fit into any particular genre because it includes personal reflections on one’s own “feeling of Castilianity” that the author discovered ten years ago in himself, from Madrid but with a maternal family from Salamanca. “A feeling of personal dignity, a feeling of how things should be, a certain austerity, the capacity for sacrifice, a direct way of saying things, not beating around the bush or circumlocating” are some of the features that, for Silva , define Castilian.

In the documentation process to carry out the book, on sale since May 5Silva admits to having had many surprises because, although he had an idea about this chapter of the story, he was not aware of the substance of some of its protagonists. As an example of this, he cites the “warrior bishop” Acuña, whom Silva defines as “a character from Tarantino” who “in another country would have starred in twenty films”, since he turned out to be the most “fierce” of all the comuneros and had a “bizarre ending” that the writer has not wanted to remember to avoid making ‘spoilers’.

The “humanity that gets to move” of Juan de Padilla, one of the leaders of the revolt, who continues to fight even when he is already aware of the imminent defeat, or the frankness with which the Admiral of Castile reproaches Carlos V for his mistakes are other details that seduced the one who set out to tell his story.

Despite the overwhelming defeat of the rebellion at the Battle of Villalar on April 23, 1521 and the tragic fate of his leaders and followers, Lorenzo Silva set out to make his particular vindication of these facts in his work. “Although the community members lost the war and their lives, in a certain way they won history,” he summarizes, to point out that the values ​​that the community members defended and that Carlos V found “so intolerable” ended up laying the foundations of the Constitution of Cádiz of 1812 and all the Spanish constitutionalism of the 19th century.

Also of Spanish republicanism and the Constitution of 1978, to such an extent, Silva points out, that the idea of ​​king that Felipe VI embodies today is “the one that the comuneros maintained” against the absolutist figure of Carlos V: “That the king only has sense to the extent that it serves his kingdom “, sums up the writer.

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