“Bajo 30”: youth is not bliss

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The other day, a presentation of a short-story and fragment-of-novel anthology written by authors under 30 took place at the bookstore-winery Tipos infames, in Madrid. Nowadays, most of the books collecting stories by presumably a generational group of writers, is more a marketing idea than a real entity with common literary interests, influences, themes, style and final product. And, in the end, as Guillermo Aguirre, one of the YOUNG writers said, literature is something written by a guy in underpants at home to be read by another guy in underpants at home (let’s change the male-oriented “guy” for the more politically correct “person”), and he is not interested in more; neither am I, but here I am, surrounded but twenty-many and thirty-few happy literary wannabies talking about political and cultural power and forgetting to address their own texts, as if that question were something banal. In the anthology, apart from a few jewels, like poetic and experimental Juan Soto Ivars’ text, or Cristina Morales’s perfect example of autofiction in the line of Vila-Matas, with an ironic criticism of extreme and nonsensical feminisms, many of the rest in the pack look more like an useless and uninteresting exercise of style promoted by a writing school’s teacher, funny stories by cool guys imitating the beat generation or even children literature; not the real content and stylistic literary pieces that you expect to find in really promising authors. Two other passable ones are “Romperse”, by Aixa de la Cruz, the story of a vigorexic young man vomiting blood after extensive bulimic episodes, and the unpretentious and well structured “Delfines” by Aloma Rodríguez, in which the narrator recalls her grandfather’s funeral intercalating her memories from the past with him.

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