1. A House to Compose

    12:07 by gate3freel


    A House to compose (2001): Summary
    A pianist Olivia Kesler looks for a home and a shelter that would inspire her to compose. The search is not easy. Nothing satisfies her. The artist refuses to be confined in an insipidus burrow. During her journey full of surprises, which is a musical journey as well as an architectural odyssey, we follow, step by step, all the concerns and thoughts of the pianist. In her passionate pursuit, Ms. Kesler enters delirious neigbourhoods and gets lost in unsafe suburbs. A House to compose is a reflection on the creation and the beauty, on the obssession and the accepted ugliness. The author defends musicians and architects who not only do not limit themselves repeating easy melodies or building ugly blocks, but they take a risk and force their heads imagining new things. The book can be also understood as a journey of a self-sufficient and eccentric woman who isolates herself from the common people and stands up for love and art.
    The houses in this story are divided into three groups: the vertical, the horizontal and the fragmented ones. The ideal, the reality, and the crisis.

    A portrait of our time: the housing problem

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    In A House to Compose, PerpinyĂ  faces a current problem: housing. To find a place to live is an eternal aspiration of any living being. In addition, at the end of the twentieth century, much of the economy of the Western world and the one of Spain in particular turns around property speculation. The overvaluation of the phenomenon will be one of the causes of economic and existential crisis of the early twenty-first century.

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    The house is our mirror: Show me where you live and I will tell you who you are

    Every home is a picture of the world. An imago mundi. Each person is identified by his home. Tell me what house you have and I will tell you who you are. A farmer is identified with his land, a trader with his store. But Kesler has no mirror, she does not have any place to indentify with. She’s a kind of a stateless, homeless heroin.
    A House to Compose, besides being a novel, it is also an essay on the phenomenology and psychology of home. The architects and thinkers specialized in the subject that Perpinyà especially appreciates are: Amos Rapoport, Mario Gaviria, Juhani Pallasmaa, Oscar Tusquets, Tom Wolfe, Witold Rybczynski, Gerhard Schwab, Otto Bollnow, PietilÀ, Lloyd Wright, Gehry, Niemeyer, Zaha Hadid, Jeab Dollfus, Stephen Gardiner, Georges Perec and the Eupalinos by Valéry.

    A new genre: fragmented novel

    This book is not exactly a novel, but neither is it a compilation of stories. The stories progressively develop into other stories (the first ones are simpler, the last ones more complicated), and little by little and chapter by chapter, they weave a common story in the manner of a novel of assembled stories. They are like independent floors of a building that together form a house. If the literary genres allowed us, this new Perpinyà’s genre could be called ‘a serial novel’, ‘a fragmented novel’ or ‘a composite novel’. As the reader goes through the novel, the stories become chapters of a larger work. It is the reading process that transforms the stories into a novel. The latent novel begins to appear about halfway through the book. As we move forward, the fragmented feeling fades and the novelistic weight becomes more preeminent. The more chapters we go through, the less independent we see the stories, and the stronger is the main narrative thread that conglomerates them: a seeker of flats, an ironic observer named Olivia Kesler.

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    Music as a creative act

    Music is as a useless luxury as literature. A House to Compose is crossed by several ‘leitmotive’ of literary sonorities  that are interwoven throughout the work that evokes the expressive recurrences, so characteristic for Wagner or Beethoven. Let’s see some of them: Kesler has a baby grand piano, severed as art and headless sex… It is like Salome who cut off the head of her lover… Hands and lovers… The intimacy of touch with eyes closed… The pianist who plays for money for the powerful ones satisfying  their orders, like a prostitute…
    A brick is a brick is a brick evokes in a low tune: a rose is a rose is a rose by Gertrude Stein and opposes to the art and harsh reality, with the variations that result into: a window which is an escape which is a door…

    Aesthetically, the book defends the piano music from Schubert to the present, through Chopin, Liszt and Debussy, as well as Baroque music by Marais, string quartets and architectural and musical avantgarde. However, not all of it. PerpinyĂ  does not tune neither with Bruno Maderna nor with Messiaen, but she does with “CarrĂ© for four Orchestras and Choirs”, “Microphones” and “Stimmung” by Stockhausen, with the “Tea-party” and the version of Soler’s “Fandango” by Tomas Marco; with Joan Ginjoan, Fatima Miranda, “Le Marteau sans maĂźtre” by Boulez, “Roig” by Albert Sarda, the “Ionization” by Varese, the “First construction (in metal)” by Cage, the “Elegy for horn and piano” by Poulenc, Lutoslawski, Nyman, Carles Santos, etc. The “Kreisleriana” by Schumann seems to her weak and poor, but the Opus 47, the “Kreutzer Sonata” by Beethoven sounds delicious to her, especially the first and the third movement. Her well-appreciated music lovers and critics are: T.W. Adorno, JosĂ© Iges, GarcĂ­a del Busto and the conductor Carme MirĂł.

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    Karlheinz Stockhausen

    Photography and the union of the arts

    The novel claims the union of the arts. In A House to Compose, literature, music, architecture and photography merge all together. The book is accompanied by a gallery of images of buildings and environments by Manu Bausc that illustrate each of the chapters of the book.

    In 2002, a year after the publication of A House to Compose, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations appears on the market interpreted by a pianist Uri Caine. Each of the thirty-three variations is illustrated with a drawing of a different house. The tuning could not be more appropriate.

    Art and Literature of Houses

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    Javier Vallhonrat: Smoke House

    The crossing between houses and art (sculpture, literature, theatre) is exciting. PerpinyĂ  recommends: “Smoke House” (2004) by Javier Vallhonrat; “Chiffon houses” by Do-Ho Suh; the comedy “Tiles” (1999) by Desola; movies “Under Construction” (2000) by Guerin, “House of Sand and Fog” (2003), “Five square meters” (2011) and “The Pianist” (2001) by Polanski; the novel The Pianist (1983) by Jelinek; the poems “Invaded House” (1995) by JimĂ©nez MillĂĄn and many poems by Joan Margarit, a poet and an architect who presented the novel of A house to compose to the public in 2001. As for the literary-musical creators, PerpinyĂ  highlights Kundera and Bernhard and The Unconsoled (1995) by Ishiguro. The exhibitions at the CCCB in Barcelona of “Soul Houses” and “Requiem for a ladder”, coeval with the appearance of this book, were excellent.

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    Do Ho Sun

    Georges Perec, “De la difficultĂ© qu’il y a Ă  imaginer une CitĂ© idĂ©ale”, Penser/Classer, 1981.

    Je n’aimerais pas vivre en AmĂ©rique mais parfois si
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre Ă  la belle Ă©toile mais parfois si
    J’aimerais bien vivre dans le cinquiùme mais parfois non
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre dans un donjon mais parfois si
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre d’expĂ©dients mais parfois si
    J’aime bien vivre en France mais parfois non
    J’aimerais bien vivre dans le Grand Nord mais pas trop longtemps
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre dans un hameau mais parfois si
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre à Issoudun mais parfois si
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre sur une jonque mais parfois si
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre dans un ksar mais parfois si
    J’aurais bien aimĂ© aller dans la Lune mais c’est un peu tard
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre dans un monastùre mais parfois si
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre au « NĂ©gresco » mais parfois si
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre en Orient mais parfois si
    J’aime bien vivre à Paris mais parfois non
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre au QuĂ©bec mais parfois si
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre sur un rĂ©cif mais parfois s
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre dans un sous-marin mais parfois si
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre dans une tour mais parfois si
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre avec Ursula Andress mais parfois si
    J’aimerais vivre vieux mais parfois non
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre dans un wigwam mais parfois si
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre Ă  Xanadu mais mĂȘme, pas pour toujours
    Je n’aimerais pas vivre dans l’Yonne mais parfois si
    Je n’aimerais pas que nous vivions tous à Zanzibar mais parfois si

    Compra Una casa per compondre: 



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  2. Mistana

    12:07 by gate3freel


    Mistana‘s (2005): Summary

    Mistana is a place inhabited by forty selfish and sick people, Quixots and losers who arouse our sympathy and revulsion. Like any enclosed space, this lost and misty town enslaves its inhabitants. Why don’t they go to live to a better place? When facing the dictatorship that hangs in the air, every person from Mistana reacts in a different way, from anxiety to frivolity, exemplifying the perspectivist religion professed by PerpinyĂ . Like the Saramago’s blind ones and Rulfo’s ghosts, Mistana’s madmen live in a symbolic space that resembles a Greek tragedy passed through Cocteau and with the air of Fellini’s Satyricon.

    The village of Mistana is circular in shape and is nestled in a small Celtic hollow surrounded by menhirs, similar to the one of Avebury, in England. Along the streets, there are water channels, reminding the ones of a Spanish village Candelaria, that merge in the dark with rumors of the conversations.

    In the book, the weather with its inpenetrable fog symbolizes the influence of the family and the society over the individual. These influences, hardly avoidable, can be negative and stifling as the eternal fog of Mistana.
    However, PerpinyĂ  does not think that the influence of the climate (of the parents or politics) should be deterministic or operate in one direction only. The influence is there, it is quite important, but diverse. For some people, the fog of Mistana is tragic, for others lubricious or spiritual. The villagers behave as spa sybarites, but also as lost blindmen; in order to understand the feeling of blindness the author becomes a regular reader in the libraries for blind.

    Moreover, Mistana is a tragedy about motherhood and dead children. It is also undoubtely a reflection on madness. The village is a forgotten and secondary place. Its protagonist, Simbert, is a loser. While In a Good Mistake, Perpinyà reconsiders Aristotelian punishment for a mistake, here the author fully endorses it. Jofre’s erotic escape with Sendal has a disproportionate impact as in Greek tragedies.

    NĂșria PerpinyĂ  builds this fantastic story about family and madness with a rhythm in crescendo that falls like an avalanche. Mistana is a poetic novel written in a delirious language, steeped by verses in prose that magnetize its readers. PerpinyĂ  was considering to skip the aesthetic prohibition that, until now, has willingly complied: the consonant rhyme. Its sound in the novel, sometimes almost cacophonous, gives to the novel the ugliness and metaesthetic contradiction, adequate for madness. The labyrinths of echoes and resonances of poetic prose express the mental labyrinths of the characters and provide the legendary air of a romance. The puns in A house to Compose had a musical fucntion; here they symbolize the obsession. This expressive resource disappears in the later books of the author.

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    Mistana, Manu Bausc

    The fog in literature and art

    The books where fog plays an important role are of a poor quality. This was the unexpected conclusion that PerpinyĂ  did after investigating in the literary tradition of the fog. She had two options: to change the fog symbol for another one or to improve it. Well thought, the field was virgin. Apart from some exceptions such as the surrealistic Naval patrol through the fog by Calders; the philosophical mist “Nivola” by Unamuno; or occasional poetic mentions, no writer had dealt with this climate in depth and dignity it deserved. The author refused to believe that the fog was not guilty of anything. Maybe, it was all a fault of Aristotle who, in The Metereologica, said “the fog is a sterile cloud” and a “secondary” phenomenon. PerpinyĂ  had to dissociate the fog from all the negative clichĂ©s and to recreate it beyond the ghosts and science fiction. Despite being aware of having entered an unknown misty forest, in the lyrical passages, Mistana could resemble Turner’s blurred paintings with music by Debussy in the background. The artistic recreations of this phenomenon have higher quality than the literary ones. The following examples prove it: “A fog building” by Fujiko Nakaya; “A room of thick fog” by Veronica Sanssens; a sculpture by Diller and Scofidio installed on Lake NeuchĂątel (“Ring”, 2002), a kind of a ‘heaven gate’ or a violet cloud of “Trans” by Stockhausen, that represents a music bridge with the previous book by PerpinyĂ .

    The Satyricon by Petronius (Ist century, Nero’s period) is not related to Mistana, despite the sexuality of the baths, but Fellini’s movie under the same title does. Starting from the common point of men who get lost in fog and arrive to a brothel. The film, splendid, is a mixture of Cocteau passed through Greeneway, while Petronio’s work (if Latinists let us to opine) relates a sassy feast that turns to be boring.

    Mistana, Joan Porredon

    Mistana, Joan Porredon

    The fog of Lleida

    The Mistana fog has also an autobiographical dimension. NĂșria PerpinyĂ  Filella was born in Lleida, a town famous for its winter fog. The fact that Lleida’s fog was always criticized by its inhabitants called Perpinyà’s attention, because for her the fog was beautiful and literary. It could be considered as one of the few things that give character to the place. The fog confers personality to a bland town and brings it into brotherhood with other misty places in the world.

    In Mistana, PerpinyĂ  adopts the same literary engineering principle as in A Good mistake: to reverse the hypothetical flaws and turn them into virtues. The fogs of Lleida and Mistana have aesthetic energy that cannot be ignored or overlooked. When there is fog in Lleida, it is no drama: it may not be practical but it is a beautiful sight.

    Further on, the autobiography is blurred. Lleida only serves as a setting for the inspiration. Nothing further from the intention of the author and reality than to contend that Lleida’s people are crazy, unsuccessfull, libertine or mystical.

    Was the misty smoke from London or from Charles Dickens?

    London. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets, as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, wadding like an elephantine lizard up the Holborn Hill. Smoke lowering down from the chimney -pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snow-flakes-gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun.

    Charles Dickens, Bleak house (1853)

    Magi Morera, “Wandering” (London, June 1914)

    Nothing here talks to me about the beloved land.

    How far I am from the cradle of yesteryear!

    All that I feel and see is a strange to me:

    Neither this sky is mine, nor this sun.

    My eyes open until it hurts,

    In the effort to accommodate so many blessings:

    But… , I think of my humble Lleida and…  no!

    All this is not mine, although it’s better.

    I am seeking, wandering, for a family flower,

    Or some spark of warmth of a homeplace.

    And I randomly incline my eyes, and my heart breaks

    A bank of fog on a huge river…!

    And I see my Segre and its foggy winter…

    And I kiss the Thames for a pious memory.

    About the psychological influence of the climate

    The main character of Mistana is a meteorologist, Simbert Orhiac. He is not the only one. On the canvas of the book there are many more, such as E. Fontserù or V. Sureda. The book pays tribute to the authors who have studied the relationship between art, nature and climate, from the eighteenth century to the present: Tardieu, L. Dufour, A. Galceran, Rodríguez del Castillo, E. Conde, M. Palomares, etc. Some of these theories are outlandish and unscientific and, for that matter, the most adequate to the madness of the book. We would like to highlight the outstanding Geopsique (1911) by W. Hellpach, with the subtitle: “The human soul under the influence of weather, climate, soil and landscape”. Despite having been written in the twentieth century, this essay has a romantic connection with Mistana.

    Continuously modified by our senses and our organs, we carry, without even realizing it, in our ideas, our feelings and our actions, the effect of these modifications. The climates, the seasons, the sounds, the colors, the darkness, the light, the elements, the noise, the silence, the motion, the rest, all act over our soul.

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (XVIII century)

    About madness

    Mistana is a novel about madness and, in consequence, it is full of dissociations, contradictions and depressions. Properly speaking, PerpinyĂ  sorrounds herself for a few years by intellectuals, psychiatrists and writers who have reflected on madness: J.E.D. Esquirol, W. Styron, D. Cooper, Steinberg & Schnall, O. Sacks, Castilla del Pino, Laing, KrĂ€pelin, Torcuato Luca de Tena, P. Benoit, Erasmus, Sartre, H.P. Lovecraft, Maupassant, Gogol, L.M. Panero, Blanchot, Hölderlin, Cioran, and, among others, U. ZĂŒrn.

    The book starts with a quotation that builds a bridge between this novel and the pianist from the previous one, A House to Compose: “The Princess of Homburg gave a piano to Hölderlin. He cut the strings, but not all of them, so many keys could still sound and he could do ad-libs.”  Bettina von Arnim (1840)

    My madness has had no witnesses, no one has realized my folly, only my privacy has been mad. Sometimes, frenzied, I’ve been beside myself. They used to say: How happy you are… And yet, he was a man, consumed from head to toes, at night, he used to run through the streets and shout; during the day, he quietly used to work.

    Maurice Blanchot, The Madness of Light (1973)

    Mother! Mother! Come help me, please! If I go blind and lose the sense like my father, whatever will become of my son? Oh, I beg you, tell me how we survive our folly!”

    Kenzaburo OĂ©, Tell us how we survive our folly (1966)

    In this village there is no electricity

    the fuse box has burnt out many years ago,

    we are the heirs of a cursed trail,

    in fits and starts, from who knows who.

    Enric Casassas, “The Village”, We were not (1993)

    A tragedy

    From the Greek tragedies, Mistana receives two inheritances. One of the genre, rushing into chaos as a result of errors of the virtuous people. The book exeplifies Aristotle’s theory of a tragic hero and shows that it still works; however, with less dogmatism because in the present time, there are other ways to create tragedies.

    The second one is the Oedipal background between Ghomar and Simbert. The mother, a languid but authoritative philosopher, has subjugated her son and the entire village. “What the mistress is like, so is Mistana”. The father is the mayor, Jofre Orhiac, a kind of an anarchist Quixote. The hypothetical king of the village, instead of being killed at the beginning of the work, is muredered at the end. But not because of a misunderstanding.

    Compra Mistana  


  3. The Privileged

    12:07 by gate3freel


    Summary of The Privileged (2009)

    The Privileged, a dramatic novel set in a museum, reflects on the art and the massive growth of cultural tourism. The protagonists are the guards of a local museum that is being transformed into a museum of contemporary art. The novel adopts a point of view of secondary characters and reflects on the contrast between the importance of beauty and the indifference of the people who look after it.

    The Privileged is a comic novel about managers and workers, a cut and thrust among coworkers, injustice and power struggles.

    The title points out the rested work of the guards who apparently live like kings and how lucky they are to work surrounded by pieces of art. The town’s name, TelamĂłs, comes from the Latin” telamone” a pillar in the shape of a human figure, like a caryatid.

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    Elaboration process

    After anxious Mistana, PerpinyĂ  decides to write from greater distances. The humorous tone of The Privileged is committed to a more social and active sight.
    The idea was born in 2001, at the Gulbenkian museum in Lisbon. The first draft was about a guard who used to listen to the public opinions; but soon after, instead of a passive guard, the guards with their own views were imposed. From 2001 to 2003, PerpinyĂ  studies museology, art history, regularly visits museums and galleries and goes into the labor problems of subordinates, a world that was completely unknown to her. In 2004, a humble defender of the order, Pere SerivĂ , a character inspired by the author’s father, is imposed as a protagonist. The book is organized in a binary manner: the first part is set in the old museum, the second part, in the new one. In 2005, the plot conclusively revolves around SerivĂ  as an unjustly treated victim. The motive of blaming an innocent puts SerivĂ  in the brotherhood with Silas Marner, Marguerite Gautier and William Tell, among many others.

    Caravaggio. Crocifissione di san Pietro (1600)

    Caravaggio: Crocifissione di san Pietro (1600)

    An ironic and dramatic novel with an invisible author

    The work blends a traditional novel with a dramatic one and admits two genre readings: as a novel or as a theatre play, without a narrator’s voice. The narrative parts provide additional explanations to the dialogues, as well as they work as the invisible stage directions of a performance, though longer and reflexive.

    Historically, the novel genre is the daughter of the theatre (and epic poems) and is born in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The Privileged makes the same path in reverse. It is a tribute of a modern novelist to the theatre and to the peace and modesty of small museums.

    In a novel it is tended to identify the author with the narrator or any of its characters. In theatre, the author remains behind the curtains. This is what happens in The Privileged. The point of view of the author does not coincide with the narrator’s one; much more traditional and classist, easily assimilated to the director of Quinci Climent. It is also very different from the views of the guards who look at the paintings with contempt; neither can be assimilated to the eccentric director nor to the artists. However, as PerpinyĂ  deeply admires the art, she participates in some of the refined narrator’s views of the director Esmirna Trevi and of some experimental artists, and, even in some of the comments of the guards; therefore, when exposed ironically, they should be understood as a self-irony.

    We would misunderstand the intent of the author if we interpreted the book as a postulate against vanguard and museums. Nothing further from the truth. However, the guards and visitants are free to think and to make mistakes as much as they want. Not in vain, it is a black humor work addressed to the lovers of art and of the “dolce fare niente”.

    Dorothea Tanning, Children's Games, 1942

    Dorothea Tanning: Children’s Games (1942)

    Perspectivism: each guard is different

    The Romans used to say, he who sees everything identical, does not know anything (“nihil novit quien aeque omnia”). Laymen see all the forests green, while for botanists every green spot is made ​​up of dozens of different species. Similarly, each guard is different from another although they wear the same uniform. Each angle of view, each attitude varies. The perspectivism goes beyond the eminent hero that obscures the secondary characters and beyond the single framework that throws its drafts to the garbage in order to look more original. In perspective thinking we do not find egotistical grandstanding but many collective histories that vary depending on every nuance. In the colour palette, all the reds, the yellows, the greens and the blues are equally important. The psychological spectrum of The Privileged is varied, such as the series of Bacon, Warhol or Sol Lewitt.

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    Where are the artists?

    The artists, the true protagonists of art, are absent from the book. The author wants the readers to note this void and be offended: so many people around the art (directors, curators, dealers, public, guards) and the most important, the creators, represent the background. Something similar happens to the publishing industry, much stronger than a poor writer, or to the food industry that takes advantage of the farmer. The absence of artists in a book about art is significant. However, the paintings themselves appear in the book and in large numbers. All this aims to mean that the ego of an artist weighs less (and rightly so) that his work.

    The front cover photo of the book The Privileged by Manu Bausc corresponds to a sculpture by Pierre Cortot “The soldier of Marathon announcing the victory” (1822). The sculpture from Louvre expresses the antithesis between collective triumph and personal defeat, stating the tragicomic tone of the book also ambivalent. Additionally, it is an existentialist manifest: we run, we conquer our ideals and… what for? What is the art for? On the photo by Manu Bausc, the heroic death of the runner carved in white marble contrasts with the passivity of the guard; discreet and wearing a dark suit. The framing of the pubic area underscores the importance of eroticism in art and opposes again to the grim attitude of the guard.

    Cortot au Louvre, Le Soldat de Marathon annonçant la victoire (1822)

    Cortot: The soldier of Marathon announcing victory (1822)

    The art is a world apart that has nothing to do with the evil and ridiculous disputes of the politicians, neither with mortgages, nor with the TV news. Some people are isolated from the reality through football or chess. The paradise islands of PerpinyĂ  are: classical music, good books, love, friends and art. The top rated painters in The Privileged are: Caravaggio, Ribera, Van Gogh, Bacon, Magritte, Ingres, Manet, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Flandrin, Ramon Casas, Corot, Friedrich and Turner. Among the Catalans, stand out: Ramon Casas, Rusinol, Fortuny, BarcelĂł, Perejaume, Plensa and DalĂ­. Furthermore, in the novel we can find some irreverent deconstructionist interpretations of Picasso, Gauguin, Warhol and DalĂ­ that should not be necessarily attributed to the author.

    Museums and guards in the literature

    Teniers, El jove Leopol d Guillem a la seva_galeria de Brussel.les (1650)

    Teniers: Leopold Wilhelm the Younger in his galerie in Brussels (1650)

    The character of a guard belongs to the literary archetype of a servant crossed with a sentinel at his most serious, passive and marginal version. Though belonging to the same category, a guard has nothing to do with zanni, jesters, nor with the cheeky servants. The character is also quite far from the curiosity of gatekeepers, who are the expression of a collective servant of modern times. The guards, in literature and in pieces of art, are scarce and quite secondary. The exceptions are only few and recent. An important place occupies a novel The Museum guard (1998) by Howard Norman where a guard steals a painting for love. We can also highlight as remarkable the absurd and existential situations of The Caretaker (1960) by Harold Pinter, The Doorman (1987) by Reinaldo Arenas, Tomasso (1996) by Buffalino Gesualdo, a splendid socio-political story “The guardian of the Chinese vase” (1991) by Slawomir Mrozek where a guard represents the threat for what he is watching, and, among very few others, “The guard of a recreation hall” (1991) by Garriga Vela: “I am lucky to belong to a certain elite who enjoys excessive time to meditate and this same time disrupts it.” The guards of The Privileged are the marginalized of art but, paradoxically, they are continuously physically present.

    NĂșria PerpinyĂ  synthesized at a lecture “Fictitious museums” the relationship between museums and literature and established the following typology:

    1. Novels about living paintings and statues

    2. Novels about mystery in museums

    3. Novels about fake paintings and robberies at museums

    4. Literature with baroque and labyrinthine museums

    5. Novels about fantastic museums

    6. Stories and novels about comical museums

    7. Novels about ideological museums

    8. Novels about love in museums

    9. Metartistic novels that reflect on museums

     Magritte, La LĂ©gende des SiĂšcles (1948)

    Magritte: La LĂ©gende des SiĂšcles (1948)



    A portrait of our time: tourism, museums and security

    If in A house to compose PerpinyĂ  faced the current housing problem, in this novel, she deals with the tourism and, in particular, the mediocre one that visits the museums with reluctance, following the schedule of an organized trip. The author also speaks out against American security hysteria and its police and violence derivations. To PerpinyĂ , it reminds her of apocalyptical sermons about the demon that centuries ago served to frighten people and see the sin everywhere. She believes that with less state and police control, the life would be more comfortable. In museums of Switzerland, where there are plenty of masterpieces, the supervision is practically zero.

    Compra Els Privilegiats 



  4. The Calligraphers

    12:04 by gate3freel


    The Calligraphers (2011): Summary

    The Calligraphers recreates university intrigues of a department of ancient calligraphy that is obliged to modernize.

    Three teachers represent very different pedagogies: a libertarian, a vocationally demanding and an authoritarian one. The three of them want to influence on the students. A teacher forms but he also deforms. A Pygmalion creates and destroys.

         The work is a reflection on education and a tribute to ancient and handcrafted worlds that are eclipsed, symbolized by handwriting that stops being useful.

    It’s a poetical requiem, but it’s also an entertaining piece with a dose of mystery, since it is necessary to find out whom a black hand that moves the threads of the destruction of the chair belongs to.


    A marvellous theatrical experience

    Compared with the euphoria or the solitary desperation of writing a novel (about which the readers do not know anything until a considerable amount of time has passed), the fact of preparing a theatre play is a party-time. It means to go out of the isolation and to celebrate things all together. The protagonists are alive and discuss with the writer, by means of the actors; why does she make them go out of the scene or why does she make them cry if they want to rebel. During the work on a theatre play, everything is shared in a team: from the economic problems for the props passing through a perfect gesture that avoids a reply. PerpinyĂ  begins to write the play thinking of the actress NĂșria Casado who had been her student years ago. Then, she collaborates with the company Nurosfera, Imma Colomer and Pep Planas. The playwright acknowledges that the actors and the director have improved the original text; they have made ​​it more agile and entertaining. Before, when PerpinyĂ  heard talking about the passion for the theater, she could hardly imagine it was so close to the euphoria of having a crush on somebody, floating on heavenly clouds during months.

    The director Oscar H. Sanchez stamped the play with a climate of suspense by means of envy and machinations of the teachers, demonstrating that a reflexive theatre play could easily turn into a thriller of revenge; and also into a disquieting comedy.

    The premiere of the play was in Lleida on December 14, 2010. It was entirely sold out each day of the performance.

    In this link, you can read the text of NĂșria PerpinyĂ  the day of the presentation of the book at the Institute of Theatre.

    And in this link, there is the dossier of the the company Nurosfera and the trailer of The Calligraphers:

    The calligraphy portrays us: tell me how you write and I will tell you who you are

    A writer and an actor transform into characters. They are themselves and they are not. Every gesture expresses what they think or what they want us to think. The calligraphers are tortuous. The language portrays us: if we talk to it, it will tell us who we are. An angular letter is aggressive. A round one, sweet. The mute letters, inhaled ones, the parentheses, the suspension points have secret meanings. The centre of our existence, the letters, are impregnated in our skin. We are like the old hand-presses, so human, with a mistake on every page.

    The Beatles's signatures

    The Beatles’s signatures

    8 Blake_manuscriptcorreccions w

    Blake’s Manuscript

    In the play, the signatures of The Beatles, so different to one another, or a signature of Francisco Franco, resembling in its shape a railway, are psychologically analyzed.

    Nationalism, multiculturalism and progress

    The Calligraphers has a nationalistic sense. The chair intended to be closed, unprofitable and with very few students, could perfectly be a chair of Catalan studies or of any other minority language. The defense of the small against the huge, the ancient knowledge against the current and economic interests are continuous along the dialogues of the play.

    10 espriuimprenta w

    Salvador Espriu’s handwriting

    Furthermore, this play arises from an unfulfilled desire to know other languages ​​and cultures of the world. We may be cultured in French, but illiterate in Japanese: in Manchu, in Lak, in Tulu, in Nepalese, in Finnish, in Bengali.Within a few thousand years, races and languages ​​of the world will be unified and the centuries of diversity will be fondly remembered. The unification has already begun: we are much closer to each other but also more equal. How can be understood that the progress kills the minorities but, at the same time, the modernity defends them?

    11 Kufc antic w

    Old arabic Kufic calligraphy

    12 caligrafia-china vertical w

    The Calligraphers claims the ancient world of fine craftsmanship. However, its position is more aesthetic than sociopolitical.

    PerpinyĂ  does not share a retrograde, sexist and traditionalist nostalgia for the past times.
    The constant changes in customs and technology happen very fast. The vinyl, as well as the cassette, and almost the DVD, are outdated. Nowadays, the music is heard by means of mp4s or ipods. Tomorrow we will witness a new invention on the market.

    Although Perpinyà feels a strong curiosity for the progress, starting with the originality of the avant-garde, she felt obliged to claim, on one hand, the Catalan culture, and, on the other hand, she wanted to bid farewell to the ancient world, handwriting, crafts and all the species close to extinguish. All this world of our grandparents that our children will no longer know asked for a requiem. However, what happened is that the funeral of The Calligraphers is tearless and unofficial. It’s, perhaps, because the good-bye sighs are mixed with the welcomes of the changing times.

    The university and the education on the stage

    NĂșria PerpinyĂ  talks about her own profession, the education, in the essay More than a machine, a winner of the International Essay Prize XXI Century of Mexico, 2010. This book is a theorist brother of the theatre play The Calligraphers which displays similar ideas in a dramatized way.

    The university ranges from the secular knowledge to the research of the unknown. It is as bad to stay behind as to look forward only. In any case, the university is the stronghold of thinking, and all of us who form part should be worth of it. To think or to copy: that’s the question.

    The three teachers of The Calligraphers represent three different pedagogies. Thanks to this teaching staff, students can understand the diversity of the world, if they don’t die in the attempt. The influences on students are crucial. To educate means to stimulate but it may also influence too much. The teacher is a Pygmalion that forms and deforms. The price of this indelible imprint is high. The teacher, the one who knew everything, will die ignoring the most important thing: he will never understand the way his creatures were, nor will he ever know what mark the life has given to them. A good student adores his teachers, capital letters in gold leaf, until he rises above and surpasses them.

    14 Gerome_pygmalion-galatee w

    Jean-LĂ©on GĂ©rĂŽme: Pygmalion and Galatea (1890)

    The book ends with a long dedication to the best students of NĂșria PerpinyĂ  at the University of Lleida.

    The calligraphy in art

    Alongside the book writing, PerpinyĂ  became interested in calligraphy in the contemporary art. The artists who attract her attention in this field are:

    – Reflections land art on writing by Perejaume.

    – Johanna Calle. In “Lessons”, she includes part of Kafka’s The Trial wrote in German but in reverse, making the text unreadable, highlighting, in this way, the absurdity of the situation. Similarly, she experiments with unstable writing lines, as can be seen in the image on Perpinyà’s blog.

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    Johanna Calle. Kafka’s Lessons (2007)

    – Jaume Plensa and his sculptures made of mesh and letters like “Soul” and “Self-Portrait”.

    Rodney Graham. Typewriter with flour (2006)

    Rodney Graham. Typewriter with flour (2006)

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    Jaume Plensa: Soul (2008)

    – Dennis Oppenheim, “Two stages of painting transfer (moving toward a future state)” from 1971. It is a performance of guessing what another person writes on your back that appears in the most erotic scene of The Calligraphers.

    – Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen, “Listening Post” (2006). The piece consists of 234 mini labels of consecutive letters speaking all at once, it is hundreds of messages and words as a symbol of the complexity of humanity. It is published in the New York Times.

    – And, among many others, there are the letter love tattoos from the movie Pillow book of Greeneway, a 35 mm film by Rodney Graham about a machine with tears and a kind of snow on the top.

    Buy The Calligraphers 




  5. To the vertigo

    15:50 by gate3freel


    Summary of To the Vertigo (2013)
    A woman with frosted hair bursts into the shelter, close to faint. The guard runs to help her. He takes her to a bedroom, he gently removes her clothes, like a surgeon, and begins to apply all types of care. While trying to revive her, he falls in love with her, even before he realizes that she is Irena Besikova, a legend among professional climbers.

    To the Vertigo is a story about a great love, an unusual triangle and an enigmatic and lonely female climber. Irena’s decision to stay as a guide on the Tammarians’s mountain range causes one avalanche after another. The passions lead the protagonists to the very edge of insanity. The vertigo of amorous attraction competes against mountaineering. The wilderness disagrees with the urban civilization. Will they run the risk to lose family and professional comfort for a crazy thing? The devotions are incompatible. And especially when they are idealistic and extreme. Despite the obstacles, climbing and complicated conquests advance stage by stage.
    Written in intense and elegant prose, To the Vertigo is a romance novel, plenty of landscape and adventure. The work raises two major debates: the one of passion and the feminism. It is also a tribute to the mountains where the characters, drawn by uncontrollable urges, merge into real climbers. To the Vertigo is a stunning and overwhelming literary mountain that attracts us to the summit, tirelessly and without even realizing it.
    For a normal reader To the Vertigo will be a love story, a story of a destructive passion. Good readers will realize, at the end of the book, the metaliterary dimension and the importance of words and imagination. And they should decide what has been real and what has been not. To the Vertigo means the vertigo of the mountain, the passion of love, the love of arts and of any drug that possesses us and makes us obsessively crave for it. For a climber, the most important are the summits. For a lover, his love. For an artist, his art.

    Cover photo
    The author of the picture of the book published by EmpĂșries is the reputed photographer Jimmy Chin, a mountaineer and a regular contributor to National Geographic.
    The female climber is Kate Rutherford ascending Freestone wall in solo style with Upper Yosemite Falls in the background, in the natural park of Yosemite in California.

    Buy To the vertigo 



  6. Calendar

    15:28 by gate3freel

    LLEIDA. May 31th 2018. Visions of Guinovart: “I’m a savage, ergo I exist”. Museum of Lleida. Coordinators: Maria Guinovard and Alex Susanna.


    LLEIDA. May 16th 2018. University of Lleida. Director of the Theatrical Party. It will be performed plays by students.  The playwriter and director Jordi Coca will gave a lecture about Palau i Fabre and Avantgarde Theater.

    CALDES DE MALAVELLA. April 13th 2018. Lecture at the Library’s Reading Club about “Al Vertigen”. Coordinator: Albert Mestres.

    BARCELONA.  April 6th 2018. National Theater of Catalunya. Discussion about “Que rebentin els actors!” by Gabriel CalderĂłn. Coordinator: Albert Arribas. You Tube: A talk between CalderĂłn, PerpinyĂ  and the actors

    SOLSONA. March 2nd 2018. Lecture: “El camĂ­ que va de les ruines medievals romĂ ntiques fins a l’avantguarda”. Season: “Divendres de pensament al museu: Territori, Art i Literatura”. Museum of Solsona. Coordinator: Victor PĂ©rez.











    BARCELONA. February 20th. Presentation of new Ada Castells’s novel at Comanegra Publisher.

    BARCELONA. January 10th 2018. Speech on Aristotle Poetics (s.IV aC / 2017) FundaciĂł Bernat Metge. Translator Xavier Riu. Publisher coordinator: RaĂŒl Garrigasait. Alibri Bookshop. Balmes 26.

    US. University of Chicago. Spring 2017 (april-june). Visiting Lecturer at Coromines Chair. Course: Catalan Avant-garde Theatre. Academic coordinator: Mario Santana.





    MADRID May 29th 2016. 18 h. Panel discussion with  Constatino BĂ©rtolo (Debate’s publisher), the writer Alberto Olmos et alt. about Cultural Criticism. “Philosophize in Freedom”, CafĂ© Libertad. Moderator: Ramiro Ribeiro.

    LLEIDA Speech: “Loving Literature” INSTITUTO LA CAPARRELLA (Abril  25th 2016). Coordinators Montserrat Querol, and ex-student Marta Estrela.

    caparrella nuria caparella & marta estrela Caparrella

    FRANCE Mai-June 2015. Writer’s residence at Villa Marguerite Yourcenar with the writers Karla Suarez, Makency Orcel and Marc Molk. Principal of the Villa: Achmy Halley.



    I magnifici tre Francesco Gattoni pp


    yourcenar llibre   imageMont Noir   marc molk etc Ecrivains Villa

    GIRONA, April 19th 2015. Festival MOT about Imaginary Cities. Organizer: Margarida Casacuberta. With Marina Espasa, Joan-LluĂ­s LluĂ­s and Mar Bosch. Moderator: Xavier Grasset.

    BARCELONA Saturday December 12th 2014. “A day with…” Arts Santa MĂČnica. Organize: Isabel Olesti.


    VENICE Monday November 24th 2014. UniversitĂ  Ca’ Foscari. Speech about Catalan Theatre in the Seventies. CongrĂ©s ruptures estĂštiques dels anys 70. Organize: Hispanic Dpt. / Enric BOU

    Foscari 24-11-2014

    FRANCE  Mai-June 2015. Writer’s residence Presentation at Villa Marguerite Yourcenar.

    villa yourcenar

    GIRONA Tuesday October 28th 2014. afternoon Aula d’escriptura / Aula de Lletres/ Ajuntament de Girona. Organize: Vicenç PagĂšs

    pages nur girona 14 p

    LLEIDA Wednesday April 23th 2014. Books’s signature. 14h / 17.30h: Bookshop Punt del Llibre. 18h: Bookshop Abacus. 19h: Bookshop Caselles.

    Susana Mtez Sant Jordi


    SAINT PETERSBURG. April 19th 2014. Club de Lectura Maiakovsky. Organize: Iban Mañas.

    Club Maiakovsky p

    Univ Sant Petersburg

    At St Petersburg University, in April 2014, with Montserrat Galofré and the Chairman of Romanic Languages Dpt, Prof. Natalia Grigórievna Med.

    Univ StPetersUni_St.Petersburg_1nur univ st petersb 2

    BARCELONA Wednesday, November, 13th. 21 h. Literary dinner in the Semproniana restaurant. RossellĂł, 148. Organize Ada Parellada and Ada Castells.

    LLEIDA 19:30h Friday October 18th, 2013. Centre excursionista of Lleida. c/ Comerç 25. Presents: The climber Mina Corbella. Associated bookshop: Caselles.

    7 np mina lluis taberner w


    6 np asseguda cel w


    ANDORRA Wednesday October 16th, 18h: Press briefing. 20h. Presentation of the book in Catalan Culture Center. c/ La Llacuna 14. Andorra la Vella. Organize Txema Diaz -Torrent from University of Andorra and Arnau Colominas from Catalan Culture Centre. Presents: the Himalayan mountaineer Kathy O’Dowd and Anton Not (Spanish translator of Al vertigo). Associated bookshop: The Puça.

    BARCELONA Saturday September 5th 2013 13:30 h. Catalan Book Week. Presents: Jordi Cornudella, editor and Jordi Merino, president of Catalunya Hiking Federation.

  7. Literature and Mountaineering

    15:26 by gate3freel

    Gaston Rebuffat

    Gaston Rebuffat

    Among other reasons, NĂșria PerpinyĂ  decides to write To the vertigo when she realizes that there aren’t any good novels about mountains. For a creator, a fact of discovering an ineffable new world is a real challenge. PerpinyĂ  proposes to herself to walk through unknown verbal peaks, and to turn a minor genre (the rural picturesque) into high literature. She aims to transmit to her readers the essence of the ideal of mountaneering . She considers that the fiction, unlike painting, still has not well expressed the beauty and attraction of the mountains.

    When the climbers write their ascents they usually tend to be boring. Their experiences are unusual but they still don’t have their place of honor in the literature. We hope that To the Vertigo has finally achieved it.

    The stories of climbers are generally literary poor. Let’s admit it: some know how to write and others how to climb. The mountaineers’s way of telling is schematic: We climb up, we climb down, we reach the summit, a storm surprises us, we live some critical moments, we overcome them, one of us dies, we have to move forward, we come back. The stories are very similar to one another, without any distinction of peaks, landscapes or feelings. However, there are exceptions. Those who best express their odysseys are Reinhold Messner, Jon Krakauer, Joe Simpson, Greg Mortenson or Martinez Pison. It’s also Maurice Herzog, who experienced and wrote the first and dramatic ascent to an eight thousand: the Annapurna. The book triumphed with eleven million copies. Mountain novels are scarce and most of them written in a rural style. Or, on the other side, they look for a spiritual image of the peaks. Among the most plausible, there is Frison-Roche, a writer from the forties whose books are still bestsellers nowadays. In Catalan literature, the highest poetic mountain peaks belong to Verdaguer and Perejaume.

    Wanda Rutkiewicz

    Wanda Rutkiewicz

    Poetry, romance and mountaineering: Individualism and Idealism
    Times ago, an artist was treated like a genius. Nowadays, the best sportmen are treated and laureate like gods. The Olympus of the writers and the Parnassus of the poets are out-of-date. The podium has replaced them. The fact that some athletes are vulgar and uncultured doesn’t blur the process. The Himalayas climbers risk their lives to get as high as possible; they resemble one known greek who wanted to reach the sun. The climbers and writers share a similar incomprehension of the oddity of their profession. Some do strange things; others say them. We are sensible people. What is the utility of a poem? Why people climb to the top of the mountains? We greatly defend the loneliness. We dream worthless deeds. Our worship of nature is overwhelming. Climbers are a reincarnation of those romantics who, at least on paper, used to escape from civilization and wandered through the uninhabited places. The words of ones are transformed into legs of others. The drama is to die too young for having bet too strong. We sacrifice everything for our ideal. One must win or die. We prefer a few passionate months to a long monotonous life. An ephemeral and sublime happiness. An impatient vitality of the youth. Climbing is freedom. We are people who do not want to grow. We never adapt to work or routine life. At Christmas or New Year’s Eve, instead of celebrating with family and a lot of people, we embarked on a solitary winter climb or we share the experience with a very close friend. A moment that we feel like gods compensates everything. The beautiful himalayan climber Alison Hargreaves and her husband claimed that they preferred to live one day like a tiger to one hundred years like a lamb. True to herself, Hargreaves conquered the north face of Everest without oxygen and, a victim of her ideal, died in a storm on K2 at age of 32.

    August Leu.

    August Leu. A cheerful encounter on an alpine lake. (1862)

    In the nineteenth century men fall in love with the mountains
    NĂșria PerpinyĂ  knows well the nineteenth century. While writing the novel, its landscape paintings were constantly on her mind. The men did not pay attention to the mountains but one hundred years ago. For centuries they had them beside, but they did not see them. Until, all of the sudden, in the nineteenth century, the most daring ones discovered and fell in love with them. Some were adventurers, with a desire to conquer unknown lands, others were naturalists who climbed the mountains to learn about the formation of the rocks and to collect botanical rarities. The mountain became something magnetic and sublime. A powerful force of nature on the edge between ecstasy and disaster.

    The passion for the mountains is relatively modern. Before romanticism, a mountain was seen as heinous and inhuman associated with cold, misery and discomfort. Aesthetically, they were also unpleasant. “Nature has swept all the filth of the earth to the Alps, to form and clean the Lombardy plain” said Evelyn in 1646. And in 1701, Adison riveted: “The Alps make the most irregular and regrettable scenes in the world.”

    In the nineteenth century, the general view changes dramatically. The aristocracy and the bourgeoisie go up to spend the summer in the health resorts and spas. The cartographers, geographers, botanists, painters, doctors and engineers practice mountaineering for the sake of their respective professions. Others seek thrills. The mountains are still not beautiful, according to what Whymper says in 1865, but they are great and sublime. Throughout the nineteenth century, the main peaks of the Alps are conquered one by one. The Himalayan ascents begin in the twentieth century.

    We hope that reading of To the vertigo will be less harsh!

  8. An autobiographical adventure map

    15:17 by gate3freel


    2 Parella pedra w

    The Catalan edition of the book Al Vertigen by EmpĂșries includes a map of the Tammarians where you can see the places the plot takes place. The drawing reminds us of the maps in adventure books with the paths that had to be followed in order to find the treasure, and evokes the pleasure of youth readings where everything was credible and possible.


    3 mapa w

    The Tammarians place-names recall names of climbers and people related to the biography of the author. Consequently, NĂșria PerpinyĂ  shows us a few brushstrokes of her life through the toponymy and onomastics of To the vertigo. As an autobiographical format, a map cannot be more precise. Although… it’s quite laconic!


    1 N_PerpinyĂ  cuenca 2

  9. The paradise of Tammarians

    15:12 by gate3freel

    1 Nus_bosc w
    The Tammarians is a mountain range composed of valleys, lakes and mountains; that, although intangible, is located in a remote part of the Pyrenees. Its isolation, its biological wealth and beauty are heavenly. Animals and people live in harmony in their locus amoenus surrounded by rocks and mountains. The peaks of three thousand and four thousand meters exalt the national park. The protected area occupies one hundred miles, highly admired for its waterfalls, dark green marble and curious volcanic formations.

    To the Vertigo, besides being a love story, it is an ode to a different way of life, closer to the nature. Perpinyà joins authors who invite us to escape from the “hustle and bustle” of the city and political intrigue: Horace, Saint Augustine, Luis de Leon, Antonio de Guevara, Petrarch, Rousseau, Senancour, Verdaguer, Nietzsche, Thoreau or Wang Wei, to the ideal of the Shangri-La of Lost Horizon (1933) by James Hilton, Franz Capra’s mythical film which was unusually set in the Himalayas.

    Antonio de Guevara, Contempt of Court and Praise village  (1539)

    I proposed many times to get out of the court and then I repented; I proposed to stay at home and then I apostatized; I proposed not to go to the palace and then I went there another day; I promised not to speak in vain and then I asked for it, I proposed not to be more angry and then I inflamed by passion; I surrended studying, I was tired. (… ) But at the end, I say goodbye, world, ‘cause at your home nobody is happy.

    Nietzsche: Invitation to retreat (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 1885)

    Far from the market place and from fame happens all that is great: far from the market place and from fame the inventors of new values have always dwelt. Flee, my friend, into your solitude: I see you stung all over by poisonous flies. Flee where the air is raw and strong.

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    Alfred Sisley: Allée de chùtaigniers (1865)

    The last village of the valley is Freixe, a medieval village made of stone, inhabited by four hundred people. From there, a rack railway runs through the woods and reaches 2380 meters. The train approaches hikers into the heart of the massif and provides access to the waterfalls and all the corners of the Tammarians. Twenty meters futher from the end of the railway, on a majestic esplanade, there is the Quesler’s shelter: Et in Arcadia ego.

    The Quesler’s shelter2 barun makalu w

    The Quesler’s shelter, located at 2,400 meters, is the center of the plot of To the Vertigo. It’s where we found our protagonists: Vinyot, the head of the guards, an experienced mountaineer in his sixties. His young assistants: Rene Ceverní (the narrator) and Jurdi Salma, the boldest of all. The beautiful and enigmatic guide, Irena Besikova, and hikers who occasionally stay there, starting with the enthusiastic architect Eduard Tarreny.

    The profession of Eduard and the name of the shelter are related to another book of the author, A house to compose: In this book, the main character is Olivia Kesler; a pianist who looks for an inspiring space and, who knows, maybe she would find her shelter in the Tammarians, in the middle of the wonders of nature. When writing To the vertigo, a memory of  such a civilized and artistic character as Mrs. Kesler introduces in the writer a subliminal concern that makes her wonder about where she belongs: to the artistic culture of Olivia Kesler or to the beatus ille of nature of Quesler?

  10. The vertigo of an amorous passion

    15:02 by gate3freel

    The title of To the vertigo refers to the vertigo of the summits and love. In both cases, the cliff is very close. The preposition “to” is a homage to the excess and, at the same time, indicates an unrestrainable movement toward the destruction which defines the passion. Despite the risk and its final destructive power, a passionate man, instead of braking, accelerates. As a victim, he is faithful to his addiction. The things he most desires (the mountains, an intimate relationship) will raise him to the skies and provide him sublime moments. Nevertheless, he will dearly pay for it.

    « Drug in Russian means ‘friend’, and in English, ‘drug’,” says Irena Besikova.

    2 christophehuet w

    Christophe Huet: Les Revenants

    To the Vertigo (fragments of the chapters “The island thawed” and “White Sky”):

    “It was the first time that she cursed to be an athlete, that she realized that climbing was a drug that made her much harm, detached her from everybody, made her a strange and obsessive person. Her way of life was abnormal, cruel, misguided. The mountains possess her, they became her blinding temptation. She was ruined by them, she renounced everything for them, gave them her passion robbed from her friends and lovers. It was a criminal vice, sterile; it was always her vertigo that demanded more and more.”

    “You’re my drug, my friend. I need you, I’m hooked on you, I am constantly thinking of you, I cannot exist without you.”

    3 Abisme Jimmy Chin w

    Xavier Macià: “The Vertigo” (2013)

    You would do well to leave,
    you’re still on time.
    it’ll be too late.

    this desire
    that’s hurting you,
    to dig
    deeper and deeper?

    It won’t work.
    Let it be.

    There are wounds
    that cannot be closed,
    in a simple way,
    and we should learn to love them.


    Your trip
    doesn’t lead anywhere.
    When you arrive,
    you won’t have anything.

    True, you’ll be another one,
    not a better or a worse one.
    Just another one.

    But, at what price?
    You can lose everything,
    you know.

    Listen to your heart,
    that won’t hurt you and knows
    the angles of danger,
    the density of crying,
    the vast depth of grief.
    Listen to your heart.

    All right,
    if that’s what you want,

    head toward the abyss.