Inma Chacon. Interview with the author of Los silencios de Hugo

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Imma Chacon. Photography: Facebook profile

Inma Chacón She is from Extremadura, from Zafra. She is the sister of Dulce Chacón, she also carries literature in her blood and writes novel, poetry, essay, theater and articles journalistic She continues to collaborate in media such as El País o El Mundo. His first novel was Indian princess, which was followed the filipinians o Sand time (finalist of the Planet Award). The last one that she has published is Hugo's silences. And in March the next one will come out The iron roomThank you very much for your time dedicated to this interview where he tells us about her and several other topics.

Inma Chacón — Interview

  • LITERATURE CURRENT: Your latest novel is Hugo's silences. How did it go and where did the idea come from?

IMMA CHACON: I wanted to give him a tribute to a friend mine who got infected from HIV and kept silence for 12 years so that his family and friends would not suffer. At the time in which the novel takes place, there were not yet the treatments that exist now, and it meant a diagnosis with a high probability of death.

The book has had a great welcome. Many people write to me saying "I am Hugo", because the sick still suffer the stigma of a disease that, fortunately, today has become a chronic ailment, with almost no possibility of contagion, but which is feared due to ignorance.

  • AL: Can you remember any of your first readings? And the first story you wrote?

IC: The first readings were the fairy talesI loved the drawings. Later, the juvenile ones, like The Adventures of the Five. And as a teenager, the first thing that came to mind is East wind, west wind, de Pearl S. Buck. I read it when I was 14 or 15 years old, on the recommendation of my mother.

La first story that I wrote was precisely Hugo's silences, but I saved it in a drawer during 25 years, because I needed to distance myself from the story I lived, to be able to fictionalize it and make it credible.

  • AL: A head writer? You can choose more than one and from all eras. 

IC: I love the bronte sisters. Another one of my first reads was Wuthering Heights. It struck me and I have read it several times. They are also  Flaubert, Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Henry James, Margaret yourdinnerGarcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa, Gonzalo Torrent Ballester And a long etcetera. As a teacher of all, of course, Cervantes. I feel that El Quijote it is the best book of all time

  • AL: What character in a book would you have liked to meet and create?

IC: I would have loved to create Madame Bovary, a character with many edges, whom you can hate or fall in love with in the same proportion with a difference of two lines, or even just one. Flaubert knew how to get inside her as if he were her own soul. He himself said "Madame Bovary is me", but it is very difficult to create the body and soul of a character with the perfection that he did.   

  • AL: Any special habits or habits when it comes to writing or reading?

IC: I start to write always for the morning, around eleven (I don't like to get up early), and I stay writing until I have completed what I have proposed that day, even if it is until seven in the evening. If I don't know that I have six or seven hours ahead of me, I dedicate myself to to correct or looking for documentation, but I don't start writing, because I would do it in a hurry.

I always write with a coffee next to. There are times that I forget to eat, other times I make a sandwich or stop for an hour, if my daughter is with me. 

  • AL: And your preferred place and time to do it?

IC: Above all, in mi study. I conditioned it a couple of years ago. I used to have it in my bedroom, but working in the same space where you sleep is not good, and I made myself a study that I'm happy with. It is tiny, but very cozy and very comfortable. 

As well I really like writing on trains, especially poetry, on long trips, when I go alone and I know that time is for me only, without phones, without a doorbell, without anyone who needs you at that moment. I love the recollection What can I get on the trains? I wear the helmets with classical music and I totally evade. 

  • AL: Are there other genres that you like?

IC: I like all genres. I write poetry, theater, story and novel. I have also written essays and scientific and press articles. I feel comfortable in any of them. I have even written the libretto of an opera Of camera. 

For me, the most difficult genre is the short story, even the children's story. It requires a lot of synthesis and a very determined structure, as well as a narrative tension that must be very well distributed. 

  • AL: What are you reading now? And writing?

IC: I'm reading The Divine Comedy. It was a debt that he had from before the pandemic. I bought it in 2019, but hadn't had time to pick it up yet. It is an impressive book. It's fascinating me.

I just finished a novel that will be out next March , The iron room. It's what they call a "family romance". It is a tribute to my mother and, by extension, to my father and my family, and to the mothers of all who want to read it.

  • AL: How do you think the publishing scene is and what decided you to try to publish?

IC: Honestly, I think that too many titles are published each year. There are not enough readers for so many news. there should be a filter It is important to better select what is published, because not everything is good or worth it. I think it is very necessary. It is clear that many would be left out, I myself could be one of them. But it seems essential to me that literature conform to certain quality canons, because not everyone knows how to write, just as not everyone knows how to sing or has the qualities to do so. It never occurs to anyone to record a record if they don't have a voice, but with literature and other arts, such as painting, for example, everyone dares, and books that cannot be called literary are being published.

The very concept of literature is being distorted. What is happening, for example, with the poetryIt is very worrying, young people are consuming a substitute, coming from social networks and rap music, which is confusing poetry with rubbish and the most absolute simplicity, and they are losing the referents of true poetry.  

  • AL: Is the moment of crisis that we are experiencing being difficult for you or will you be able to keep something positive for future stories?

IC: Of the critical moments you always learn. The good thing about crises is that, while they are being resolved, changes occur that are sometimes very clarifying, I don't want to say that they are good, some are disastrous, but they situate us in the moment and make us position ourselves, either in favor, or against, with what this also entails reflexión and critical thinking, so necessary and so scarce today.


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