By Naiare Rodriguez Perez

Zaragoza, Sep 19 (EFE).- The writer born in Barbastro, Manuel Vilas, presented his anthological collection of poems “Una sola vida” in Zaragoza. He goes through the days of the week “as if someone were putting his past in order”. “People are time and the minutes lived will not come back”, because life is not like going to the supermarket and asking “a two for one”, he assures in an interview with Efe.

It is a book with a melancholy gaze that was born as “a literary testament” and that opens the door to comedy, as Luis Buñuel did, thanks to a walk through the decisive moments of his life that stopover in Huesca, his “sentimental homeland”.

Question: Where did the idea of ​​time travel come from?

Answer: It’s a journey through all my poetry and what touches me the most. I wanted to give them a different and original arrangement. I have been writing poetry for many years and this book is like a kind of testament. I’m 60 and I think I’ve written more than I have left to write. There is a certain melancholy of passing time, but it occurred to me to process it over the days of the week.

“I was very fierce, but time takes away that spirit of fighting and rebellion”

Q: The course of the week is then a walk in time?

A: It’s an anthology book. I hadn’t completely collected my poetry yet, but this book is different. It’s fresh and has a special order. It is as if a person were putting their past in order. Not chronologically, but according to a more festive and imaginative criterion.

Q: Collect old poems. What did you observe in them when examined?

A: I was very fierce, but time wears away that fighting spirit and rebellion. Sometimes you blush a little when you see how childish you were with those noble words. What I see is that time has passed. We should have different names for each of the moments of our life because the human being changes according to his experience.

Q: In some way, has this genre always been linked to you?

A: I started out as a poet, but we were starving. I went to the novel. I have a vocation for communication and I want to write literature that touches people. For me, writing without readers makes no sense. I wanted to practice bilingualism between poetry and the novel, although sometimes criticism distinguishes it.

Q: Is poetry the best way to tell certain chapters of a life?

A: It is literature that is capable of telling life. There are denominational novels which are wonderful and poetry which is also wonderful. There are many autobiographical books, although poetry has always had this component.

Q: You can find a poem in Huesca. How does this land make you feel?

A: I was born in Barbastro. I cannot explain myself without my geographical and cultural origin which is the Pre-Pyrenees and the cities of the region. It is my sentimental homeland and, when I go there, thousands of memories come back to me. The Barbastro I used to live in no longer exists and when I walk around the city what I see are ghosts. I walk the streets and think of everything that was there before, including the people. Now there is nothing and yet it is my memory. It has great sentimental value.

“I’m an optimist, I don’t believe in the end of the world or anything like that. That seems like absolute nonsense to me.”

Q: There is also one dedicated to a future poet…

A: It’s trying to talk to the people who are coming. I’m an optimist, I don’t believe in the end of the world or anything like that. Sounds like absolute nonsense to me. This story of humanity is incredible and we came here to destroy the universe. Climate change is a horrible thing, but I’m sure someone will come up with something at the last moment. There is also a sense of humor in the novel, which has to do with my geographical origin. I am from the same place as Buñuel (the filmmaker was also Aragonese, from Calanda, Teruel) and, although we raise the most terrible existential question and the most agonizing abyss of human beings, we always open a door to the comedy.

Lost time

Q: The title alludes to the inability to recover time. Are we forgotten?

A: I want to remind the reader that the minutes they are living in right now will not return. The entire book is designed as a defense of life. Minutes lived won’t come back because you can’t go to a supermarket and say I want a 2×1. You have to live intensely without anything or anyone ruining you.

Q: It’s a kind of “Hakuna Matata”…

A: The adversities, anxieties and terrors of the world are also told in the book. Enjoy the world knowing it. There is an affirmation of personal freedom.

Q: Are we people, therefore time?

A: Yes, people have time. I wanted to remember it through the symbols of the week. It is articulated in seven days, a perception of time that everyone recognizes.

Q: Which poem would you define your book with? Is there a turning point?

A: There is a very important poem that I dedicate to the death of my mother. The title is his phone number, 974310439. It is located on Wednesdays, mid-week.

Q: And now, more poetry?
A: Now I’m with a new novel. I’m going to alternate because if another book of poems comes along, I’m going to go without eating three times a day (laughs).

Edited by Isabel Poncela

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