Mercedes CebriánSpainWriting2009

I am currently in the process of writing a book to be published next year under the provisional title, Dos ejemplos de animismo [Two Examples of Animism]. It consists of two novellas and will be published, if nothing prevents it, by the Spanish publishing subsidiary Mondadori (of the Random House group) in the spring of 2010.

The center of the first of the two novellas, whose title is Qué inmortal he sido, is the theme of the reconstruction of memories, at the same time that other sub-themes come out of it, such as the acceptance of loss and the passage of time or the false authenticity of situations and places in which we often move and find ourselves. The second of the two novellas is entitled Logopedia and it revolves around the complexity of social relations, especially in regard to the use of the word and one’s voice. How do we make ourselves heard in the crowd? How do we get others to respect and listen to us? How do we interact with people who are aggressive or conflictive? As a narrative support to these questions, I use a ventriloquist, a suitable profession in my opinion for this thematic universe.

Both Qué inmortal he sido and Voz de dar malas noticias are intimately related by the way in which the two women protagonists treat the objects of the past (in the first case) and the potential dolls of ventriloquism (in the second). Both do everything they can, with greater or lesser success, to breath some life into inanimate beings- if we accept the bedroom of an old childhood boyfriend and the ventriloquism dolls as inanimate beings- and make them speak and express themselves. That is, they do everything they can to bring to light the spirit that they might hold within them. This point that the two stories have in common leads us directly to one of the meanings of the word “animism,” which is defined as “the belief that natural objects, natural phenomena and the universe itself possess souls.”