"Magical thinking is moving too far" | Culture

"Magical thinking is moving too far" | Culture

For the Argentine writer Guillermo Martínez, reality "has an ambiguous point", even sinister. "Conjecture always occupies a place of the real; that is a constant in my work, which usually has two versions or points of view: how true is the known? "asks the author of the long seller The Oxford crimes. Being a mathematician by profession, doubt has its what. Sooner or later he was called to cross paths with another literary colleague, Lewis Carroll, and his Alice in Wonderland that, obviously, "has its dark points, like the Mad Hatter, and a great irony of the characters, the twist of the language, the deformations and the mockery of the common places of education …". Total, which could also be a scenario in which the celebrated professor of logic Arthur Seldom and the student of mathematics G, protagonists of the book that led to the screen Álex de la Iglesia, will now investigate about murders that end with those who work on personal manuscripts of Carroll. It is the basis of The crimes of Alicia, with which on Sunday he won the 18,000 euros donated by the 75th Nadal Prize, organized by Destino, which will be published on February 5.

"Only a nephew of Carroll could read his complete diaries after losing four notebooks that have never been recovered; some nieces-granddaughters were tearing up the compromised pages, but they were writing down the secrets that they eliminated, and those papers give rise to the plot of fiction ", says Martínez (Bahía Blanca, 1962), who created a brotherhood in the novel, which belongs Seldom, inspired by the Royal Society Lewis Carroll.

That the author of The slow death of Luciana B. or A repulsive happiness Go back to the limits of knowledge is more shocking in these times when you only want certainties and everything seems easily demonstrable and univocal. "There is always a certain limitation to knowledge and, in the face of it, the temptation is to abandon science; but it must look for alternative ways: from the impossibility of solving equations of the fifth degree in the polynomials the imaginary numbers arose … From the impossible, sometimes, new paradigms emerge ". Detect Martinez, however, that today "is advancing a lot, too much, the magical thought: astrology, alternative medicines or that absurd rejection of vaccines that is occurring in the middle class everywhere; we look for certainties and absolute truths and the social networks always give you a possible argument for it ". They are, in his opinion, the ones that explain these unscientific attitudes, by generating "the overdevelopment of the individual self: each group finds its reaffirmation because it meets those who think alike; today, on the Web, a cannibal always finds whoever wants to be eaten, "he explains graphically.

Surprisingly, to convey these reflections, Martínez used the thriller police and the English style. "This genre has a certain connection with philosophy, it allows me to put the intrigue and the argument in contact with theses that I can talk kindly about without making a novel of ideas; all police work allows a reflection on knowledge ".

Third delivery

The fantastic Borgian, the work of Leo Perutz (also mathematician) and the worlds of Witold Gombrowicz ("Cosmos, above all "), Henry James and Umberto Eco are referents of background and form recurring in Martinez, which assumes the influence of mathematics in the structures of his book and in that accumulating layers of reading. In The crimes of Alicia, admits, even an English anthropologist, Willard van Orman Quine, appears: "He visited an island with some aborigines who had not had contact with foreigners; When he saw the first, a rabbit crossed and the aborigine shouted: 'Gavagai!'… Well, what did it mean: rabbit, swift, a type of hunting, a name, a religious invocation …? It was an unsolvable problem … "

Seldom and G will only star, he says, one more book. And it will be, he jokes, "in a futurist." "It happens that the happiness of my adolescence is linked to reading books like that, and writing them, with their element of play, I like it". How he liked to participate in the literary contests he did with his three brothers, organized by a father who did not buy a television so that his children could spend more time reading. "He was a communist, very ironic, with culture as the supreme value, which analyzed everything under a ruthless criticism. He instilled in us distrust of certain values ​​and the apparent … ". That's where everything was born.


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