Sabina Urraca: “All the time I spend reading things that I like, I feel that the book is intoxicating me” | Fashion, Pleasures | The USA Print

Sabina Urraca: "All the time I spend reading things that I like, I feel that the book is intoxicating me" |  Fashion, Pleasures

«Editing is finding treasures. Rub them and improve them as if they were a piece of art that you come across on the street and try to fix so that it shines a lot, without damaging it, maintaining its charm. But tightening the nuts a little to make it look more”. This is what it consists of Sabina Magpie (San Sebastián, 39 years old), guest editor of Caballo de Troya in 2023-2024, the editing work. A task that in Spain has traditionally been blurred, if not directly ignored. “In general there is no awareness of what the editor’s job is. It seems that it is reduced to publishing a novel that they send you. I constantly meet people who compliment me on things like the cover or the design of the book. And it’s not that at all. It is a very close accompaniment work that takes a lot of time and work”.

And there lies Trojan Horse: in this need to give certain visibility to a figure as important as that of the editor (remember, without going any further, Gordon Lish, Raymond Carver’s editor, and it seems that the true architect of the much imitated later carver style). Since 2015, the publisher —a Rare avis in the publishing scene, given its independent nature within the giant that is Penguin Random House— it has invited editors such as Jonás Trueba or Luna Miguel and has given birth to authors of the stature of Aixa de la Cruz or Elizabeth Duval. In her case, Sabina has taken the ‘Trojan horse’ to the letter and has decided to make this opportunity militant. “As an editor I am interested in respecting orality, localisms, leísmos, laísmos, but not of the characters, but of the narrator voices. Sure, spell checkers are totally baffled…. I’m not RA Elista. We must respect the voice of each writer and forget a little about spelling and false neutral language. It is something that has already been done in Latin American literature. They are freer than us. Here we are very gripped with language. I am going against all those racisms between accents and regions that are a kind of fascism of language”.

Sabina Urraca: "All the time I spend reading things that I like, I feel that the book is intoxicating me" | Fashion, Pleasures | The USA Print

Editor Sabina Urraca is wearing a houndstooth blazer by MAX MARA WEEKEND, a basic black t-shirt by UNIQLO, and her own rings and earrings. Photo: Antarctica

Six books are now published (Condensed milk by Aida González Rossi, The whore and the ferret by Martha Luisa Hernandez Cadenas, the orange blocks by Luis Diaz, Your hair darkens by Maria Jose Hasta, Seven faces in the background of a guitar by Manuela Espinal Solano and dad loves us by Leticia G. Domínguez) and next year many others. Books that didn’t exist, women writers who didn’t know they were, narratives brimming with the periphery, texts that shatter any established format, but, above all, stories that scratch. “I like art that pokes me, that hurts me, that makes me feel bad. I poison myself reading. Katherine Mansfield said: ‘All the time I spent reading, I felt that the book was feeding me.’ Me, all the time I spend reading things that I like, I feel that the book is intoxicating me. That’s what interests me. And these books are very toxic. There is a lot of poison in them. With poison I mean pain narrated in a very stark way”.

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For Sabina, this immersion in editing is not new. She though she was already widely known for her newspaper articles when she published her dazzling and stinging debut the prodigy girls (Fulgencio Pimentel, 2017) which was followed by He dreamed of the girl who stole a horse (Lengua de Trapo, 2021), his landing in the edition was, although he hates the expression, a true phenomenon. donkey belly, the novel by the Canarian author Andrea Abreu, published in 2020 by the Barrett publishing house, has already gone through 12 editions and more than 30,000 copies sold. Sabina points out: “I don’t really like this idea of ​​’the great literary success’ and ‘this collection is going to sell a lot.’ It terrifies me a bit. I hope these books are widely read, but it matters more to me that the millions of layers to them are truly understood. I would not like them to enter that kind of crazy hamster wheel of the world of the literary industry.

And it is that for Sabina the edition has an eminently personal character. “I am not a very practical person. That means that my life isn’t life either, and makes a very intimate editing process possible. A true work of follow-up and literary and emotional accompaniment. For me, the relationship established with the people I edit is very important and that ends up forging a kind of friendship”. As an editor, Sabina knows herself “intrusive as far as they leave me” and, above all, a control freak that you need to review and be on top of every part of the process. In this case, the fact that the precious design of the collection was done by his partner, Choche Hurtado, has greatly facilitated that need for supervision.

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A very involved involvement that sometimes makes it difficult to return to her role as a writer: “It’s pretty bad for me to constantly get out of my book to enter others. Plus I feel like I’m a better editor than a writer. I love to write and I will never stop doing it, but I don’t know how to edit myself. I need a figure like me that is not me! I find satisfaction in editing that compensates me, although there are times when I feel that the editing part eats up the writing part, that I don’t have time to write and I worry. What has happened is that by encouraging my authors to break formats I have learned a lot of freedom when it comes to writing”.

Sabina Urraca: "All the time I spend reading things that I like, I feel that the book is intoxicating me" | Fashion, Pleasures | The USA Print

Portrait of Luis Díaz and Leticia G. Domínguez. Photo: Antarctica

Luis Diaz and Leticia G. Dominguez
Dynamiting structures

In 2022, Luis Díaz (Alcalá de Henares, 28 years old) published the collection of poems Men with a milk tooth, a book that dazzled Sabina and that touched on what, at the moment, is the constant in the work of this author: the difficult relationships between men. In the orange blocks, Luis focuses on the opaque universe of male friendships. And he does it with such mastery of the internal rhythm of his prose that it allows him to dispense with any punctuation throughout the text. An experiment in which he has felt absolute freedom. “I wish all editors were this attentive. Sabina has Helping order my ideas. Also Leticia G. Domínguez (Madrid, 35 years old), a physicist who makes a living as a programmer “although 10 years ago I started with writing workshops” talks about relationships in dad loves us, his first novel. And she dares with the sacrosanct family: “The institution that gives us the most identity and that steals the most identity from us. Much is said about the individual’s struggle with society, but the family is a magnifying glass: it takes all the disorders of society and throws them at you”. And Sabina’s work? “My novel was very finished, but wished an editor with whom I connected and who did a parallel reading to mine. And so it has been.”

Sabina Urraca: "All the time I spend reading things that I like, I feel that the book is intoxicating me" | Fashion, Pleasures | The USA Print

Portrait of María José Hasta and Aida González Rossi. Photo: Antarctica

Photo: Antarctica

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María José Hasta and Aida González Rossi
From the peripheries

María José Hasta (Huesca, 34 years old) had never written. Until she went to one of Sabina’s writing workshops, where she discovered a writer she didn’t know she was with a unique perspective on the world. For her part, María José, a graduate in Fine Arts, was going through a creative crisis. “Writing was finding the ideal medium for my creative flow to have a natural course. I realized that I could write and that I had signed up for this workshop to unblock myself”. In fact, the bulk of the texts that make up the stories in Se te oscure el pelo were born there. For the journalist and writer Aida González Rossi (Tenerife, 27 years old) this was the opportunity of her life. “Writing is my job. I have always moved in the precarious world of writing trying to make a place for myself. An occasion like this makes everything stand”. Its just posted Condensed milk It’s in the second edition. A story starring Aida (“I liked the idea of ​​playing with the difference between fiction and reality being a tilde”) about abuse and not knowing how to say things soaked in wild orality. “The question of language is very important to me. Sabine got it. He doneeither The fact that he grew up in Tenerife and has a sensitivity towards dialects is fundamental”.

Styling: Paula Delgado. Makeup and hairdressing: Cynthia de León (COOL) for Elizabeth Arden and GHD. Makeup and hairdressing assistant: David Pelaez (COOL) for NARS and GHD. Thanks: José Ortega y Gasset Foundation – Gregorio Marañón, Calle Fortuny 53, Madrid

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