Where Real Art Lives

There’s a whole generation of talented young Spanish writers (mostly women but there are some men, too) who are saying, “we were sold a lie that freedom is all about being alone, unattached, not having a family or any property. Now we are in our thirties and we are miserable. This kind of freedom sucks. We’ve been robbed.”

“I have fancy trips to Thailand when my mother at this age had a kid, a husband, a mortgage, and a bunch of kitchen appliances. And guess what? I’m miserable in a way she never was,” one such artist writes.

Most importantly, these are talented artists. They are creating art that grows out of their disillusionment with the neoliberal idea of freedom from attachment, family, and property. They aren’t buying the Great Reset slogan of “you’ll own nothing and you’ll love it” because they already figured out that they are being had.

This is why I love Spanish literature. While their Anglo counterparts are still chewing the stale cud of identity, young Spanish artists are talking about things that matter. You pick up a novel by some random unknown kid in Spain, and it’s a punch in the gut.

7 thoughts on “Where Real Art Lives

  1. I see a lot of people talking about this on twitter, but all they seem to be making is tweets and podcasts. Though of course I could be missing stuff; I’m not hugely plugged into the underground art scene (there is apparently a whole pro-Trump independent art world, for example.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe there’s something deep in the underground, and that would be great. But in Spain it’s so advanced, we are doing a whole session at a conference on this subject in June.

      I’m really curious if there’s something like this in other European countries that were hit by austerity. If anybody on here knows anything, please let me know.

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      1. I read an article a few years back (don’t remember the source) about a trend of young people in Greece moving back to their ancestral villages to be farmers and fishermen because there is no work for them in the cities, basically going back to the lives that their grandparents or even great-grandparents abandoned. Apparently, it’s fairly common in for families in Greece to still own property in rural areas, partly for nostalgic reasons and partly because there was a big rush to the cities at some point in the 20th century and zero market for rural houses. So the young people can easily get permission to live in the old house from the parent or aunt or uncle who currently owns it. No idea if this is still a thing or if dissatisfaction with city life has made its way into literature, but I thought it was an interesting phenomenon.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes! It’s exactly what I’m seeing in this new Spanish literature. There are novels that are being written about this, and they are very good. The disappointment with city life, with the EU, with migration, so good.

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  2. I don’t know. I think if the current trend was to have families and kids, the same people would complain that it’s hard and their freedom is limited. This happens to people who do things because they are fashionable and not by what the gut is telling them.

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  3. // There are novels that are being written about this, and they are very good. The disappointment with city life, with the EU, with migration, so good.

    Have those novels been translated into English or Russian?

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    1. No. This is why it’s important to promote them and make a big splash in scholarship. These are young authors and it’s up to us to make sure they get recognition.

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