April 18, 2021

"We are a country with a lot of sexual freedom, but there are still places where there are still many complexes"

"We are a country with a lot of sexual freedom, but there are still places where there are still many complexes"


That library in the center of Madrid breathed naturalness and sincerity when we began the interview. Whether it was because of their youth, their charisma or their closeness, the conversation was a pure song to the way of living and to see the world of the new current generations: worries, tastes, tendencies, creativity and a touch of restlessness. Elisa Levi was born in 1994 and has just published "Why the cities cry" (Planet), a novel in which Ada must travel to Japan to say goodbye to her best friend Denis, who has committed suicide. Being her sole executor, Ada is alone, on the other side of the world and transmits in the lines of this book her thoughts of nostalgia, melancholy and uncertainty that she experiences during her trip. She cries, and also the cities.

"The novel alludes to the questions that life asks you, that in order to answer them you have to grow", explains Levi, "then, really, I still do not know why cities cry". She has not grown enough yet, or at least to answer that question posed by the narrative. But he has done it to dare to touch topics that are generally taboo. For example, suicide. "When I did not find my own criteria on this topic, I wanted to know exactly what I was thinking and I really wanted to approach it," the writer continues, "and it came out very natural to me. Although it seems to me a subject with which people do not empathize, I believe that I do it myself ". It is not a matter of normalizing it, but of being able to talk about it normally. According to Levi, it is important not to talk about suicide, but rather to talk about the reasons for it, "because even if they talk and stop being taboo, you can get to another perspective," he argues.

This book addresses several complicated issues. And not because of their difficulty levels, which can also be, but because, like the one mentioned, they can be uncomfortable if they come out in a conversation. One of them, is it sex? According to the writer, "it is no longer taboo and that is very cool," he confesses, "my generation is much sexually free and there is no more value judgment around it." Unfortunately, the same does not happen with homosexuality, which, according to Levi's point of view, "we are a fairly free country on the level of sexual freedom but there are also many places where there are still many taboos and complexes", and points out: "Above all , it happens more with the couples of women, there is more modesty ".

Ada and the Shibuya crossing

She has gone from poetry to narrative, a change that she defines as "very natural". When she finished with the promotion of "Lost in a bowl of cereals" (Espasa), a collection of poems that transmits the dialogue between body and head, the writer considered continuing to write verses. "But poetry arrives in a moment and if it does not arrive, it does not arrive," he confessed. Therefore, he embarked on the adventure of writing a novel without having absolutely anything clear. "Until, suddenly, I got the image of the Shibuya crossing and a woman standing waiting to cross," he explains. From there, Levi began to write, "the first chapter came out on my own: to say that this woman was not coming, but was going to the airport, so where does it come from?", She continues, "and I started making a creation of characters and I got into the story. "

She began to make decisions, an action to which the young writer does not fear and believes "that it is a point in favor for a person and for the creative world as well". She created Ada, her story, her personality and also her tics and vices: when she touches all of her fingertips with her right thumb, as if telling something, "she connects with her own body, involuntarily, and makes her Remember that this is her and it is there, "explains Levi. In addition, the protagonist has vices: the lexatín. "It seemed interesting to put a person who takes it as one who takes a candy," says the writer arguing that could reach "that moment in society in which we took antidepressants unconsciously." This way the problems could be solved, with a "give me chemical and that's it", easy and without compromises.

Youth and traditional mail

"I'm more of the thing of the here and now," confessed the writer referring to the Internet, explaining that "it's wonderful but it also takes you away a lot". New technologies and new generations go practically hand in hand. However, this does not mean that all young people have updated social networks at all times. "I am a person who does not publish all the time and does not interest me either and I think the internet is still the great unknown".

In "Why cities cry" (Planet), Levi combines this technological path with another completely traditional: the conventional mail: "It is very good that our generation belongs to the Internet world, but I need something that links me to the world of my parents, "he confesses. His taste for analogue has made it evident by putting between the lines of the novel that detail of stamps and mail, "that I find romantic and beautiful, a song to what it was and that could also work now."

Being a writer so young and, at the same time, with so much journey, she represents with her creations the youth and the need that this one has to take into account her past, as well as that of her parents: "we had access to a much better education and we had all the opportunities in the world, "he argues," and, suddenly, the crisis came: it was in the face of that great disappointment that the capacity for adaptation that exists in my generation was born. " She affirms that with her work "I give voice to my concerns because I feel I have something to say", he continues, "but I do not feel that I give a voice to someone, another thing is that they can be shared with you, but that depends on each reader, "he concludes.

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