Excerpt, Fiction, literature, memoir, MuñozMolina, notes, prose, quote, Uncategorized, writing

Muñoz Molina on the novel


The novel subjects itself to its own limits and at the same time opens itself up to an exploration of depths that are within and without (the writer) and that only (the writer) was meant to discover. You’re writing even when you don’t write. Narrative imagination does not feed on what is invented; It feeds on the past. Every minor or trivial event that one experiences or discovers in the course of an investigation can be valuable or even decisive for the novel, occupying a minimal but precise place within it, like an uneven cobblestone …

… The novel has developed on its own with the unlimited richness of reality and the blank spaces I haven’t been tempted to fill, spaces in the shadows that cannot be illuminated …

…The novel is what I write and also the room where I work. The novel is the fine-point pen that ran out of ink one day when I wrote for five or six hours without stopping and filled an entire notebook. The novel is made with everything I know and everything I don’t know, and with the sensation of groping my way through this story but never finding a precise narrative outline.

— Antonio Muñoz Molina, Like a Fading Shadow. Translated by Camilo A. Ramirez. Published by Editorial Planeta, S.A., 2014. Translation copyright 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York.

Fiction, literature, notes, prose, writing

Notes from the overground


[Madrid diametrically opposed to Berlin and Budapest, floral, still, you have your desolate and rotten neighborhoods, drugs, shit, disgrace, but the temperament is different in Madrid. Why is that? How far is the danger in days, in kilometers? Madrid, city of thieves, Madrid, city of whores. Madrid, the constant ever-changing putrid stench, how I love you. You’re like the bitch I let run wild at the back of the house. She’d wander home some nights after days of abandon with the carcass of another dog she’d killed. She’d lie with it near the house in whatever darkness remained and then take it back out to the fields, burying it, I assumed, at dawn. I wonder why she treated those carcasses that way, like kin, and I wonder why I wonder it. Men have no sanction here. Thirty thousand years ain’t shit next to four and a half billion…]