Urbano San Segundo has been a teacher for 23 years. During all that time he has created stories, stories and poems to encourage children to write, but he had not published any. In the pandemic he found the time for one of those stories to take the step. He dystopian desert pilgrimage that plasma in ‘The Guardian in the Sand’ (Adarve) also took on a new meaning with the times we had lived through.
Saint Second draws in the book a world that survives a nuclear catastrophe in which the surviving Spaniards build a shelter similar to the space imagined by Chillida for the Tindaya mountain, but near Melilla. After hosting two generations, the construction collapses and the protagonist is exposed to the blinding light of the desert for the first time. «With this I try to reflect the ecological urgency. Two issues come together. On the one hand, climate change and on the other, we are in the hands of people, of countries, who have the possibility of pressing a button and ending everything. Furthermore, they are in conflict and can explode at any moment. It is urgent that we look for a solution,” explains the author.
On the pages they parade Ukraine or Israel like erupting volcanoes, but also Spain and its perennial internal struggles. «I have always thought that our problems arise because within every Spaniard there is an anti-Spanish«he emphasizes. Hence, his protagonist, Sciulo Mauregato, is obsessed with our country (unnameable in that imagined future) and that he traces its origins and traces of identity through its great thinkers, such as Jovellanos or Ortega y Gasset.
«If you see the history of our country explained by them, you realize that the reason for this dislike of the Spanish for their nation lies in the fact that Spain He has not behaved well with the Spanish, she has not been a good mother. That’s why now what happens is that any excuse in quotes, such as a different language, a different DNA, serves as a justification for not wanting to be Spanish. What it leads to is justifying the past, Francoism, the empire or whatever to say ‘we want to leave’. And there is the issue of how they try to start dismember Spain«remarks San Segundo.
The desert as a metaphor
The author of ‘The Guardian in the Sand’ uses the desert as a metaphor for the journey that is life. The protagonist “flees from the shelter and pilgrim between dream and reality. That’s where the poetry. It is the border between both worlds,” indicates the writer. San Segundo intersperses his poems (“I am reviewing them one by one to compile them and publish a collection of poems later,” he announces) into the story so that they play a sacred role, rather than a religious one, and in them he collects the responses from writers and scientists at essential questions: who are we?, what do we do here?, what is the meaning of existence?…
This is how the writer sews together the two threads that, in his opinion, life has: “What reality pushes you to do and dreams that you are having and how you intertwine both to build yours. It is a pilgrimage (hard, because it is in the desert). In the end, the message is not where we want to go, but how we go. Walking is what is important, what gives meaning.”
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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