March 1, 2021

the last Frenchman who loves Lorca


"Eyes negros" is the new work of Boyer (Cannes, 1961), which transits halfway between maturity and the loss of a childhood, which still yearns to rebuild. After publishing his poems "En mi pradera" in 2015, he lands now to talk about this enigmatic work.

-Your book is very intimate and talks about an encounter that may not have been real: that of the six-year-old boy with the character Ojos Negros. What's hidding?

-This work, that of literature, does not mean just telling stories. It is to give a sense to the stories we have lived because when we tell them we really discover their true meaning.

– And what does it mean to you?

-I do not know how to explain it. I think that, finally, it has something in the field of spirituality. It does not become religious, but it has a metaphysical meaning.

– Black Eyes symbolizes for you the love that we seek and that, in many occasions, you never get to find?

-Yes it is. Have we ever found love? The truth is that in all love there is an impossible story. It could be said that it is sustained while impossibility exists.

– Then, as human beings we are in a permanent disagreement and, for what it shows in your book, there is a certain joy about it. Do you think we can not be happy without that constant absence of something?

-I believe there is a need to face the inconformity of life itself, its fragility. We have to accept that in every love and in every relationship there is a part of impossibility and, thanks to that, we become more human. True happiness, if it exists, is to accept living with imperfections, like the complexity of life. Literature serves to give meaning to the problems experienced, even the most banal ones.

-There is a great idealization in relation to Ojos Negros, it is something that the protagonist looks for in other people or objects. He longs for that feeling.

-It is a memory of childhood, an image that he tries to reconstruct to understand what happened, while raising it to the category of myth.

-In the course of childhood, how do you perceive it?

-It's a job to remember, from memory. Actually, we invent it, we do not rediscover it. We come from childhood, but we are exiled from it and we spend our lives inventing it. Even so, there are tears, traumas, vacuums that we will never fill and that is Black Eyes. People have to work on the invention of their childhood to free themselves from the suffering of being exiled from it.

– Literature is, for you, a way to reconstruct your own childhood?

-In part, yes. In this book, especially. When the protagonist recounts that memory that he lived at the age of six, in which he puts his voice to the thoughts of a child, it is somewhat cloudy for his age. That is why I ask if it is their adult maturity that speaks, as if it were a distorted memory. We can not rediscover what we had thought when we were children. That would be very difficult. Then, once we are adults, we try to understand who we were as children.

– He gives great importance to emotions in his books, would you say more than other more carnal aspects?

-I have a way of writing that goes through the expression of feelings, sensitivity. When I write I try to move myself and I am not ashamed to say that it is sentimental literature, a kind of melodrama.

-What references do you find in literature?

-I have many. I love Russian: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy; and also poetry and spiritual literature, like San Juan de la Cruz. And I am the last Frenchman who loves Federico García Lorca. In France it is a bit forgotten.

– Do you think that childhood is undervalued?

-In my opinion we are afraid to face that unknown land and see all the traumas from which we have fled. That stage is associated with weakness and, sometimes, we prefer not to face it.

– Do you think it is changing with the new generations?

-The child does not live his childhood now and it is a change that has been going on for some years now. I have four daughters, older, and I've always told them it's okay to get bored. But today we always escape from that. We are afraid of boredom and it is a fear that begins in childhood. The child of today always has to do something and, with new technologies, feels the need to be in touch with someone permanently. In the end, they are empty communications. It seems that they were afraid of their own childhood.

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