We asked Eduard Márquez five questions about what it’s like to write for children versus adults and the inspiration behind his latest book, Brandes’ Decision. You can find him at IFOA 2017.
IFOA: What is your favourite genre to write in?
Eduard Márquez: I have written fiction for many years (novels and short stories), but in the beginning, poetry was the only genre I wrote in. I believe that my dedication to it has been fundamental to consolidate my predilection for a poetic language, lexical precision, euphony of the text and musicality of the syntax. I totally agree with Charles Baudelaire’s words: “Always be a poet, even in prose”. Music training has also been very important to me. In some way, writing is composing. Poetry and music form the substratum of all my work.
Márquez: From my point of view, there is no difference. In both cases, a good story and narrative, a formal and stylistic requirement is necessary. Readers, children or adults, should be treated with the same respect. Children are the readers of the future, and it is necessary to help them develop their taste and reading criteria.
IFOA: What inspired you to write Brandes’ Decision?
Márquez: Brandes’ Decision comes from an anecdote from Georges Braque. During the German occupation of Paris, the painter was subjected to blackmail. He could recover several of his paintings requisitioned by the Nazis in exchange for a Lucas Cranach canvas for the collection of Hermann Göring.
From this real anecdote, Brandes, in his final days, goes over his life and looks for the moments that help him feel less guilty for all he could have done, for all the wrong ways, for all the unsaid words…So he talks about the “small forms of resistance”. In our capitalist society, we are often subjected to great words and great gestures. I believe that we must vindicate the greatness of small rebellions since they are “small forms of resistance” and despite seeming insignificant, they can dignify an individual’s life.
IFOA: What makes a great villain and what makes a great hero?
Márquez: I think a great villain and a great hero both need the same things: verisimilitude and coherence. The two sides of the same coin.
IFOA: Who is your favourite author, singer and actor? Why?
Márquez: My list of favourite authors is extensive and changes often depending on the periods of time and moods. Nowadays, my lead authors are Robert Frost and Francesc Garriga because when I work on a novel, I only read poetry. My three indispensable musicians since I can remember are: Johann Sebastian Bach, John Coltrane and Patti Smith. To me they represent strength, spirit, beauty and contemplation.
Eduard Márquez lives in Barcelona. He published two books of poetry in Spanish before writing Zugzwang, his first work in Catalan. He has continued writing in Catalan, publishing another collection of short fiction, twelve children’sbooks, and four novels. His work has been translated into German, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish.