Uncredited interview about The Zahir, in Spanish.
The success of a book is never guaranteed, because each one is an adventure, a challenge. That is why it produces adrenaline. I believe that only marketing does not create the success of a book. The true architects of the success of a work are the readers, especially word of mouth.
No. What I have felt has been a great relief. The truth is essential for a dialogue with readers. It sets us free. In fact, your response, as had already happened with The Confessions of a Pilgrim, where I opened my soul with total sincerity, without hiding the dark areas, is this time extraordinary. They understand me and are closer to me.
I am a paradox. That is why my literature is also one. The paradox is a tension in my soul, the bow that tightens and relaxes at the same time. I understand that you have to have values in life, but at the same time I have always advocated incoherence, because life is not static, but dynamic, in constant ebb and flow.
Because generally people promise themselves unattainable goals. They want to be happy, they want to get married because others are getting married. They want to be successful, children, to succeed. Everything except the search for true love. They expect everything, except that great love that does not always have to do with success, marriage, or children.
It is because I do not believe that happiness is a value. They ask me through which rivers my happiness flows. The rivers through which I slide do not go in search of happiness, but of adventure. For me life is like a great journey in which I meet my readers, who also walk in search of their destiny. The journey is the great metaphor for both the writer and life itself.
That was more at the beginning. Now many men read me too. Moreover, today women read more than men. They are more curious and, like the protagonist of El Zahir, they like adventure.
I pray with the image of the bow and arrow. I am not a contemplative. I am a man of action. I need to do. I usually practice the oriental Kyundo method. I pray walking, I pray while I work, at any hour.
My god is the Verb, the Word. The one who revealed himself to Moses: “I am who I am.”
Because they are afraid of accepting the border of mystery that exists, and whether we like it or not, will make them inferior. I am not afraid to accept that there is something that we still cannot explain. And that doesn’t humiliate me. On the contrary, it makes me more curious.
It was a coincidence, but it is true that I have always been in love with Islamic culture, whose literature has inspired my literature so much. It is a culture that has always built bridges to hope.
It’s funny, because writing a complicated and dark work would take me only a few weeks. It is much easier than writing clearly. What happens is that darkness and complexity have been confused with a certain intellectuality. There is an intellectual elite that likes to keep culture away from the people. Sometimes I want to make a joke, write a very convoluted and complex work and publish it under a pseudonym. That is very easy.
With none. Simply by denying them a power they believe they have and do not have.
I am a pilgrim writer who travels the world in search of the many adventures that are still hidden from us.