A hipster in empty Spain: Daniel Gascón

Unhípster en la España vaía

Unhípster en la España vaía

Unhípster en la España vaía is a satirical novel written by the Spanish philologist, editor, translator, screenwriter and author Daniel Gascón. The work was published for the first time in 2020 by Random House Literature. Since its release, it has had all kinds of reviews, including the best and the worst, but that is precisely what comedy should generate: debate.

The discussion that has arisen due to this work has drawn the attention of film directors. In 2020, it was announced that Netflix would adapt Unhípster en la España vaía in serious format. However, in 2023 it was learned that Prime Vídeo had bought the rights to make a film under the direction of Emilio Martínez Lázaro.

Synopsis of Unhípster en la España vaía

An ironic portrait of the city and rural Spain

The novel begins when Enrique, the protagonist and narrator, who decides to make a big change: He moves from the hustle and bustle of the big city to get away from the memory of his ex-girlfriend. This takes him to his uncles' house in La Cañada, where he intends to set up a collaborative garden and integrate into the community to help it improve with his new-age thoughts and his naive conviction.

As a result, ends up doing yoga in the corral during the mornings, in addition to looking for quinoa in the store and trying to find coverage to make new posts on Instagram. Soon, the protagonist set up a workshop to teach about new masculinities. The man is, clearly, a spoiled child with a hero complex, something like an octopus in a garage.

The modern Don Quixote

Somehow, Literature, when it is good, presents an invented reality which is responsible for transporting its characters from point A to point Z, going through a series of problems that are designed to transform them. To carry out this colossal task, there are several narrative structures and styles that help build the stories and the people who inhabit them.

In the case of A hipster in the Spain empty, the conflict is read from the title: The novel is about a young man, a little stupid, who decides to leave the circle in which he moves because he thinks he could do better elsewhere. The arrogance of civility runs through his veins, and this is even more noticeable when he arrives with his Quixote pretensions to organize everything that is not up to date in the town.

The importance of character building

Despite the aforementioned, Enrique is one of those detestable characters that it is not possible to hate, and this is due to the skillful construction that its author gave it. When we read or watch a movie, what determines whether we like an element or not—if we care about it and want it to do well—is the way it is put together: its background, evolution, qualities and defects.

Everything counts, even the smallest of details. If, for example, a character dies without having been developed first, the reader will most likely not care. In this sense, the idea is to provide the cast with personality, aspirations, motivations, life. Without this, not only does the plot feel empty, but all the consequences, good and bad, cease to matter in the long run.

The coupling and evolution of the protagonist

To the surprise of all the inhabitants of La Cañada, Enrique finds his place within the town, to the point that he falls in love and becomes the new mayor. The protagonist seems willing to resolve some conflicts, such as the filming of a film about the Civil War which makes some members of Vox think that the anarchist revolution has broken out in Teruel.

Likewise, it resolves conflicts with neighboring towns, prevents an American singer from wearing the traditional La Cañada costume in a concert, in a flagrant case of cultural appropriation, and Helps kidnap Greta Thunberg during climate summit. In each subplot Gascón's delicious satire jumps out, and his mockery of civil, environmental and technological movements.

Main themes of Unhípster en la España vaía

This novel presents an adventure comedy, as well as an ironic portrait of the cultural clash between urban sensibility and rural vision. On the one hand, Madrid is dynamism, noise, people coming and going, detachment and modernity, while La Cañada is a strange gallery of eccentric characters who, at the same time, are loaded with an uncommon humanity.

At the same time, The town and its people represent the central values ​​of the novel, with the debate focusing on the present day. and the hypocritical perspective of recent times, such as environmentalists who travel for long periods of time using private planes, or those enlightened by moral superiority who believe they have the answer to the evolution of society.

About the Author

Daniel Rodríguez Gascón was born in 1981, in Zaragoza, Spain. He graduated in English Philology and Hispanic Philology from the University of his hometown. He also studied at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, United Kingdom. The author He began his professional career as a cultural commentator in The Herald of Aragon. Years later he moved to Madrid to work as an editor and columnist.

Gascon He has collaborated with other authors, with whom he has published essays and fiction. An example was a text he wrote with Antón Castro, his father, about Javier Tomeo. His solo debut came with a book of stories. Subsequently, he published several novels, obtaining great national success with two of them. Likewise, the writer is co-writer of All the songs talk about me.

Other books by Daniel Gascón

  • Parables and monsters by Javier Tomeo (1999);
  • The turkey's age (2001);
  • the passive smoker (2005);
  • Everyday life (2011);
  • entresuelo (2013);
  • The postmodern coup (2018)

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