Spanish-English translation for a disclaimer that I omitted in my last book of the Whispering Leaves (WL) series:
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Not a single novel by a writer of my mother tongue I’ve ever read or will read. I am a social architect, not a writer. The only work I would’ve energy to do would be a cabinet post in a world state with an enlightened despot in charge like a Karellen as in Childhood’s End, a novel that I will discuss in the book.
As this is not possible, I would take that novel or another of my favorites Arthur Clarke novels to the big screen.
Since even this is impossible, I write.
I originally planned that this fifth book of my series was a long letter to my father. I also wanted, in a sixth volume, to gather facts of my loneliness and celibacy arising from how I was emotionally crippled after I was abused at home, and also had in mind a seventh book critical of my brothers who dissociate the family tragedy, and even an eighth unmasking the charlatans of the soul—from the founders of great religions to the builders of philosophical systems. In this ambitious scheme this would have been the ninth, and climaxing manifesto of what I think about my species. I even toyed with the idea that this book, which proved to be the fifth, includes all that; that it was much longer than my previous four.
I decided to burn stages. No more volumes for this work. In this final book I’ll just talk about the core of my worldview: the legitimacy of the human race. After all, if I myself cannot take it further the expansion of this quintet, the less will my readers want it.
My father once told me that he was satisfied until the eighth Beethoven symphony; that his ninth one rambled. I was a teenager then and I was stunned. As Wagner wrote in his autobiography, I thought that the ninth of Ludwig van had “the secret of secrets.” But Wagner squandered his enormous gifts for pure music composing with overflowing tetralogies, and now I think dad was right. Although I still maintain that the scherzo of Beethoven’s last symphony is great if listened alone, together with the other movements the composer “grandiloquent” intention (the word my father used) raved a masterpiece. So I won’t have my nine books under one cover. Too much pretention to believe that it would be read when, in advance, its author is a declared non-writer but a social architect frustrated that could not even be a director of films (a vignette: as a background for my computer screen I write this book with the beautiful images that Eyvind Earle drew for Sleeping Beauty).
I am so disgusted by the world of letters that I suffer a lot when entering the vast majority of libraries. I think a lot of human knowledge that has nothing to do with the hard sciences is crap: and the proof is the level of suffering in the world today. With the exception of the eccentric fans of literature, Who reads from cover to cover the thick volumes of autobiographies of Casanova or Proust? In his later years Gore Vidal wanted to get away from writing to approach the cinema. If there is something I like in the seventh art are the cuts made so that viewers don’t move in the theater’s chairs: proof that the film has exceeded the captivation limits. The analogy with the literature and philosophy, or the mockery of both, would be admirable booklets as Voltaire’s Candide: short, compact and crushing. Stefan Zweig wrote in his memoirs that he had suggested the editors to publish a complete set of Homer to Balzac and Dostoevsky abbreviating everything superfluous in each, and he enjoyed nothing more than putting his scissors onto his own manuscripts, even if only two hundred pages—the essential—survived out of a thousand, leaving the rest for the trash can.
Five years ago this day a small Mexican editor accepted my first two books for publication. I declined and sent those early manuscripts to major publishers, making disregard of the saying, “Bird in hand is worth two in the bush…” When they rejected me I was left, for years, without a publisher. But the setback gave me the chance to mature my worldview.
For example, the original version of the second book of WL was a heavy treatise of psychiatry. Quantitatively I had written five anti-psychiatric books in one because I knew nothing of the revolutionary potential of the discoveries of Alice Miller. Realizing this fault, and recalling Zweig’s merciless scissors, I eliminated four-fifths of the book. Then I relegated the “fallen leaves” to a blog converted into an e-book, leaving only the essentials for the printing press.
What’s more, when I was accepted in that small publisher in late 2002 I knew nothing of the psychohistorical model, central to my current worldview, and even less about the Islamization of Europe. In an excursus of the fourth book of WL I criticized Lloyd deMause, among other things for slipping away from sight the psychiatric abuse of children and adolescents. Originally I had planned to include, at the end of this book, a critique of Alice Miller; in part due to the way she treated a couple of his fans. It is important to do the criticism to make it clear I’m not taking Miller as guru. The acid test to discern if one is taking a thinker as a tutelary spirit or a guru is the ability or inability to criticize him or her. However, for the reasons given above I have decided to compact this last book to the bare essentials, relegating criticism of Miller to the internet.
Since 1984 I had entertained the idea of writing a long autobiography. An agony of two decades took me to understand that it’s almost impossible to work without a quorum. Compared to a published writer, until the time of writing this line I’ve not been a writer, only an aspiring writer. Few artists progress in solitude, and those who do it suffer so much that sometimes kill themselves, as van Gogh. Arthur Clarke, who died while reviewing this book, said that nothing is more inspiring than the meeting of minds with similar interests. But there is nobody like me in the continent’s largest city. With twenty million humans I’m like Diogenes and his lamp at full sunlight of noon. In terms of elemental affinity—to devise and implement the most urgent social engineering measures—my fellow citizens are “nonentities” as Clarke wrote in another of his novels I wanted to film, The City and the Stars.
Many years ago I thought that in order to communicate my labyrinthine mind my work would be similar to the autobiographies that flourished in the Romantic period. Now I know that the purpose of my books is rather to provide a theoretical model of Evil, as well as emotionally detonate a bomb in the minds of a few of my readers: something that in my most cherished dream is to trigger a chain reaction that eventually will affect the rest of humanity. So I’ve been breaking the linear narrative, however unwise it is from a novel or literary perspective. In fact, this book will have more “filmic” cuts than my previous books.
Originally written in 2007.