TO In favor or against, Juan Manuel de Prada (Baracaldo, 1970) does not leave anyone indifferent. Many do not forgive him for the tangential, often belligerent, path he chose to move within the literary world, driven by sincerity and distanced from the politically correct. Today he presents his new installment "Lucia en la noche" (Espasa), a novel of intrigue and love full of passion and mystery, which De Prada harnesses with his habitual command of language and a remarkable poetic charge. Alejandro Ballesteros is a writer whose decline and lack of inspiration has led him to renege on everything. When he meets the mysterious Lucia, a person from the dark past, he feels that life is worthwhile again. A well-crafted novel that hooks from the minute zero and where nothing is what it seems. "This is a recurrent theme in my work of how appearances deceive, what seem like heroes are villains and vice versa, how we all hide behind our apparent life, a secret one. Everything is plotted with the character of Lucia, a woman with a back room that keeps a secret that is slowly revealing its complexity and horror and all its poetry, because it has something of an angel or a muse, "explains De Prada.
Wrapped in love
But it's not a thriller, "that would add different connotations in an intimate novel about a love obsession. The mystery starts from her, her relationship with the protagonist and the need that he feels to unveil everything ». And he continues, "I prefer to call it a novel of intrigue in the tradition of Hitchcock. They are mystery films, but always wrapped in love, the fascination that a woman exerts over the protagonist, which is very marked in "Vertigo", to which this novel pays modestly homage, "he says.
De Prada returns to the literary world. An author in low hours who has stopped writing, resuscitates. Do you have some staff? "He always puts himself, but in this case I especially portray a state of creative drought, of personal decomposition, even of boredom and rejection of my vocation that I went through, as well as the regenerative effect that a woman has on the writer. Without a doubt, he says, love has a cathartic, regenerating, redeeming power and I have lived it that way. What I tell has a lot of my life experience, my penance and soul and personal resurrection through love, "he clarifies.
However, influenced by this he writes his best book and barely reads. «I think the great works that are being written today, often go unnoticed, but it is not exclusive of this time, while Blasco Ibáñez sold thousands of copies for works that nobody remembers, Unamuno and Valle-Inclán barely sold a few hundred books» .
Juan Manuel de Prada is considered a loose verse in the Spanish literary scene. «I was from my beginnings at the end of the nineties, where it was a discordant note, my literature was very different from the one that was styled, but, above all, I consider myself like that or a green dog, because I do not share the submission of intellectuals of my generation to the "establishment", in that sense I consider myself an anti modern. My generation is modern or postmodern, of people who have climbed the car of their time. I have tried, as Chesterton said, "to free myself from the degrading slavery of being a child of my time" ».
But, although criticized, do not shun the fight at any time. "It's not that I do not avoid it," he says with a shrug, "it's that I do not meddle in them, but I have no problem defending what I believe in, both literarily and in my vision of the world, the real writer is not the one it adapts to fashions, but the one who fights them and tries to convince his contemporaries that they are pernicious or horrendous. "
Despite this, there seems to be a certain mania for labeling it politically, religiously or literarily. "I am touched by all these attempts to put on labels because they are surreal. When someone calls me faca or podemita, I get the same laugh Do not you realize that I am anti modern and being so I can not adhere to any modern ideology, my thinking is traditional ».
Would you have liked, then, to live in another era better than in this one? "No, I think, like Hobbes, that life on earth is a militia, the harder the combat, the more one enjoys life. I think this time is very good to fight, "he says.