rosa de sant jordi

A dystopia for Sant Jordi

These days have become repetitive reactions of a moment, and although I always wanted to write a dystopia for Sant Jordi, this year, someone has been ahead of all writers and has created the dystopia that has managed to capture attention at the level world of all and, instead of making us read it as if it were the most interesting of the long-sellers, it is making us live that history in its flesh as if it were the best literature ever written. The cruel detail is that reality surpasses fiction and that dystopia is a harsh reality that we are experiencing globally.
This week is Sant Jordi and those of us who write daily or cannot write, because we are blocked, or write little because of the anxiety of these hateful moments. Although I also have friends who have started writing Diaries of Confinement. These days, the only thing that matters is doing something so that boredom and sadness don’t win the battle.
They are being difficult days for everyone, and for literature too. We know that this confinement will be very expensive. The closed bookstores, the books to sell, and the giants of always making August in a world of dwarves. It is not fair play. No. It turns out that those are the rules of the game that we have always wanted to implement and here we are all to pay.
I always wanted to write a dystopia, but I think I already said that, right? It is this constant monotony, in which the rain falls slowly, I need to dream of that wonderful and dystopian fantasy of a better world, because I want to forget that there are people who die in hospitals, although, let’s be positive, there are also people who get ahead and beat the battle. They are applauded by the toilets on their return home, as they are applauded every day at eight on the balconies of all towns.
This year, for Sant Jordi, I had scheduled to sign my book “Clandestina”. I also had planned meetings with my readers, and with other writers, but all of this has been brought down by the Alarm State. To compensate for this in-pass, there are thousands of colleagues in the literary sector with direct on Instagram or YouTube, collaborating and working hard on the thousand and one digital channels, trying to keep the cultural flow at a good pace, and I find it wonderful and very commendable the work that the colleagues of literature: publishers, bookstores, schools of literature, writers, booktubers and literary influencers are doing for our literature on networks, perhaps I will also be encouraged later, but for now, I prefer to continue concentrating on writing my next novel and keep up my work on the texts and research for other novels that I also carry out.
Altogether, something makes me think that all this dystopia that we live will change us forever, and we will all have to adopt a new world. Like in those moments when you collide head-on with a reality that surprises you by being unexpected and that you don’t know how you are going to manage tremendously. This year it will be a Sant Jordi homebound, but who knows? The sector comments on moving Sant Jordi to July, but what if this was just the beginning of that novel dystopia that changes our world from top to bottom at one stroke? What if Sant Jordi is no longer what we all knew before? What if it takes years to return to our old cultural traditions? I throw too many difficult questions to answer, for now, I know.
While someone dared to comment that culture was not important these days, and we agree on one thing: that both science, technology and medicine, and, of course, basic services are vital to overcoming this unexpected reality, but, ironies of life, culture, literature, art helps the sane to lose their sanity a little bit, to avoid them from this ugly dystopia that we are living. In this unusual reality, culture, literature and art are also something very important to move forward, for many of us all this that we call culture is also part of those basic services that facilitate these difficult times for all of us. Some of us even try to make a living out of it, which is the most dystopic madness in these always troubled times, right?
I never dreamed of living a dystopia for Sant Jordi, I just wanted to write it, and these days, the unexpected deaths, the risk of easy contagion, the plastic gloves, the face masks, the deserted streets, the social distance and the environment rarefied makes me think that everything will be different from now on and that perhaps this is only the beginning of that new life that they intend to make us live. A life only imagined in literature, what an ironic curiosity, that we must remember those who said that literature was not important these days when from books, from culture, we can get so many good ideas to manage all this.
While we learn that the longest wait is the one that slows down the time until it becomes eternal, we have no choice but to wait confined, stay safe and sound, help if we can others, but above all wait to see what life will be like from now on, in that second part of this story so dystopian that we are living.


* Journal article published in the Opinion Column of Cristina Redondo: Il dolce far niente, section Tribuna del Diari de Sant Quirze on 22/05/2020

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