When the pandemic broke out, Anna Pazos (Barcelona, 1991) had been in New York for two and a half years, where she had arrived after years traveling around the world. She took a plane to return to Barcelona quickly and running, thinking that in two weeks she would return. “Suddenly the world changed and I realized that that stage was over. It was the day the confinement began. And I thought that even in a confined and dead Barcelona, this is where I want to be,” the author recalls.
In Kill the nerve (La Segona Perifèria/ Random House), Pazos explains the years that led her there, and also how, the mountain rolls and returns to Born, all the movement and adventures of youth that he has experienced stop in a chapter about his family that serves as a culmination, and ends a trip that had begun with an Erasmus in Thessaloniki and continues in Israel, Turkey and a crossing across the Atlantic. “I felt the need to live, to experiment and have an interesting life. It was an obsession that haunted me. I imagined: if I died now, what would my obituary say? Would I say that I studied Humanities? There had to be something better. It’s very ridiculous to say that, I’m aware, but it’s true. And all that was more important, at that time, than the act of writing,” she says.
“That you explain your traumas and your intimacy has no literary value in itself,” says the author.
He was chasing victory. “The urgency has disappeared,” he confesses. Maybe I no longer need validation because I have already received validation,” and remembers that having gotten ahead in the Big Apple –she worked in The New York Times, among others – has allowed him “to have the immense luck and privilege of being able to dedicate myself to what I want and earn a good living. That brings peace of mind and in a certain sense that is what it means to succeed, more than being famous or anything like that. But I no longer have this little motor of wanting to be someone.”
“The underlying feeling that I explore is quite linked to age,” he explains, “to this need to always pursue a goal without it being possible to reach it because by definition this state of plenitude, of sensation, of arrival, can never be had.” because then you would already be dead, there always has to be something to which you aspire, but when you still don’t have the feeling of having achieved anything, when you are still at the beginning of everything and you are just starting, the need is more intense,” he continues, while recognizes that “the book obviously does not reflect reality, but rather my perception of the facts, and how the passage of time changes when we look at things from the future.”
Pazos exposes himself and the people he talks about, one of the reasons why some places and some people are identifiable, but without last names, like Guillermo, the war and surf photographer with whom he lives an intense love story with a great vital and work project – around the world on a sailboat – that is shipwrecked, but also reveals the friendship relationships that are made and undone, but she does not believe that this is a problem: “Feminine confessional writing seems to have exploded from blow, but for you to explain your traumas and your intimacy has no literary value in itself.” At the same time, he insists that “at any time there have been writers who do their work and who do not follow any current, they simply write and have their own format, which may or may not include their privacy.”
Pazos will present the book on the 16th at La Setmana del Llibre in Català, at the Moll de la Fusta.