Generosity, consensus and high-mindedness is what the writer, architect and draftsman José María Pérez, Peridis, asks politicians at this “crossroads” that we live in today and that will change the world, although he believes that, on the contrary, they are treated “more as enemies than as adversaries”.
“I think they have misunderstood the moments we are living, because while for most of the population it is a time of responsibility for everyone, citizens and rulers”, others live in “a permanent electoral moment,” Peridis said in an interview with Eph.
José María Pérez (Cabezón de Liébana, Cantabria, 1941) relates this environment more to “enemies” than to “adversaries” with his book “The heart with which I live”, with which he won the Privamera 2020 Prize in February, a novel made from memories and stories of the Civil War and that bets on “the immense value of reconciliation”.
Between the date on which the prize was awarded and the publication of the novel, the coronavirus pandemic appeared and affected Peridis fully, since he was hospitalized by COVID-19: “when I left home to go to the hospital I thought it was the last time, “recalls the author, who insists on warning about the risks of this disease and the need to be cautious.
“We have to make common cause because he is everyone’s enemy,” says the writer, who recalls that the mission of politicians is to try to improve the lives of citizens “and no case has been so clear as this, that it is about save lives and avoid economic catastrophe. “
That is why he criticizes that for some “it is always time to bring down a government” or that they dedicate themselves to talking about issues that are currently secondary “as if Díez Ayuso’s apartment is bigger or smaller” instead of “seeing how we got out of this. “
His novel takes place between 1936 and 1941, in the town of Paredes Rubias, on the border between Palencia and Cantabria, and he wrote it based on family memories and stories told by its protagonists or descendants.
Historical events are not relevant in themselves, they are milestones along the path of the protagonists, delimiting time and situating action.
The story begins in a pilgrimage in the town of Paredes Rubias, where a young woman named Esperanza meets Lucas, who has recently graduated from medicine. Two days later, the war breaks out violently in the town, sowing destruction and hatred among its people.
The families of the two youths are on opposing sides and Gabriel, Lucas’s brother, is arrested and sentenced to death. In the midst of this misfortune, a gesture as brave as it is unexpected will have transcendental value.
One of the characters in the novel is Germán Blanco, a doctor and surgeon and a friend of Gabriel and Lucas Miranda, and is inspired by Herman Blanco Ramos (1912-1988), maternal grandfather of the PP president, Pablo Casado, Peridis recalls.
Herman Blanco studied Medicine in Valladolid and at the German University of Heidelberg. Member of the UGT, he was arrested in August 36 and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He was a doctor and an “exceptional” man, explains the author, a surgeon who in prison performed miraculous operations using improvised material.
Peridis considers that his work is a mosaic on how conflicts affect people: “it is not a novel of the Civil War, it is in the Civil War”.