• Philip K. Dick The hallucinated prophet of Blade Runner

  • Essay Einstein, idolized and persecuted

He arrives with his sunglasses on and will not take them off throughout the interview.

She wears black from top to bottom and a kimono-style jacket that reveals the tattoos on her arms.

She doesn't want photos.

The Chilean

Benjamín Labatut

has quickly become the latest literary sensation writing about the

malaise

that living in today's world entails.

He is the author of

A Terrible Greenery

(Anagram), a blend of fiction and fact about scientists

Alexander Grothendieck, Albert Einstein, and Werner Heisenberg

, whose discoveries changed physics in the 20th century.

The novel has been translated into 22 languages, adds non-stop editions (it's up to 13) and

Obama

he put it on his famous reading list last year.

Now he publishes

The Stone of Madness

, also in Anagrama, where he returns from a mathematician,

David Hilbert

, and from the delusion suffered in his last years by the science fiction writer

Philip K. Dick

to reflect on how reality has become in a drill.

When do we stop understanding the world?

Why do we feel like it's going to end, he asks himself.

What is the connection between both books? In both I write about the crazy dreams of reason.

I'm interested in the sanest part of madness, the parts of reality that are hard to believe.

Madness is the most acute and painful experience.

The mind builds a sense of the world and madness strips that sense.

In doing so, it raises questions that are very uncomfortable and that we all avoid in order to make our lives.

It seems to me that normal people, so to speak, do not realize that they share the same mechanisms.

Everyone is creating a world that is both very fragile and firm, very difficult to alter.

All the people you write about deal with the limits of knowledge to the point of madness, why does it attract you? Irrationality gives a perspective on reality that, in my opinion,

it is closer to the heart of literature.

Literature is one of the few human arts that has one foot in each world: we are interested in reason, it is completely necessary, but for me the center of literature is delirium.

That unleashed imaginative capacity that shows you not only the obvious and shared meanings of things, but also their darker meanings, more difficult to grasp.

Texts without a rave quota are dead.

Everything I write I do looking for certain extreme ideas, which are almost out of the human.

That unleashed imaginative capacity that shows you not only the obvious and shared meanings of things, but also their darker meanings, more difficult to grasp.

Texts without a rave quota are dead.

Everything I write I do looking for certain extreme ideas, which are almost out of the human.

That unleashed imaginative capacity that shows you not only the obvious and shared meanings of things, but also their darker meanings, more difficult to grasp.

Texts without a rave quota are dead.

Everything I write I do looking for certain extreme ideas, which are almost out of the human.


What ideas? I exaggerate the lives of the characters, but their biographies are full of certain ideas that are radioactive, that have the ability to change you.

Like the idea of ​​God.

You can walk in front of the Church every day, but if that idea becomes flesh for you for a second, it changes your life completely.

I had a moment like this in my life where, so to speak, the sign of the world suddenly turned around.

From one second to another.

I think most people rightly avoid such experiences.

We live making constant efforts to maintain consistency.

What I try to look for are those moments in the history of science and art in which something so new, so strange, prevails that you cannot remain the same.

That transformation is what interests me,

that moment when you lose your sense of the world and everything is rebuilt again.

Kind of like an enlightenment? When you get to a point where there's no ground under your feet and no sky above and you're floating in the air, falling down: that moment is where you can be closest to who I think you are all traditions.

Wisdom and the state of radical uncertainty are comparable.

It is very similar to the mind of madmen and children.

Crazy people suffer from it because, in their case, it is out of control.

Children can enjoy it.

And for the rest, us, it's something that happens.

The problem with epiphany is that it doesn't last.

The issue is what to do after the light hit.

I write about it. Have you experienced epiphanies? Several, sometimes reading.

Deep down I've been an epiphany junkie all my life.

I don't know why, ever since I was a kid.

I was the type of child that when they spoke to him about God, he would ask: where is he?

I want to see it!

For me it was very painful the moment of growing up, when you lose contact with the wild reality.

It usually happens around 10, 11 years old.

I was left with a gigantic nostalgia.

I write a little to get it back.

I'm always looking to get back to that.

It is very difficult to find and write about it, because they are experiences that elude language and resist communication. In the book he says that we are "victims of speed" and how the "orgy of the new" has caused "an catastrophic failure of our ability to understand".

Are too many things happening to be able to process them? Life is taking on nightmarish traits, because many of the dreams of human beings are coming true,

like creating an intelligence similar to ours, something that gets closer every day.

These are things that exceed our current understanding.

It has always happened, the human being creates something and sometimes does not understand it.

I don't think any of our ancestors understood what a tool was, although he did use it.

Understanding is something exceptional.

There are many moments when the world becomes incomprehensible to those who inhabit it, but this version of the 21st century is different for several reasons.

We no longer talk about a piece of the world like the Roman Empire, now we are feeling the limits of the planet and the consequences of our actions.

It's what happens when a teenager becomes an adult.

Suddenly you are terrified because you realize your power and your freedom.

Maybe that's why the dreams of leaving the earth are coming back.

He believes that although the human being has faced many transformations, "the speed, violence and scope of the current crisis" are unparalleled. We have reached a point where the pace of change is so great that the feeling for excellence of living now is fear.

And yet, this process is necessary because we have to face the 21st century with another mind and that requires breaking the current one.

What we feel are labor pains.

Any mother knows that the most dangerous time for the baby is just before coming out, both for the baby and for the mother.

We are right now, in the birth canal, with our heads crushed.

What I like is that it is a moment where nobody knows.

The experts don't know what to say.

We are taking a bath of uncertainty.

I don't have any answer either. He doesn't mention it much,

but the idea of ​​God hovers throughout the book. People have to build their sense of the world, and part of that is rebuilding a relationship with the invisible, which is what we've lost.

I am absolutely convinced that we cannot leave God in the hands of believers.

It's too important.

We have to recover all that aspect of the human experience.

Art without a relationship with the invisible is a dead letter.

The deepest aspects of experience are those that exceed the human being.

It is not necessary to go to mass or have a religion to understand that the universe exceeds us.

And, therefore, to have a relationship with him not only of humility, but of fascination.

You have to be fascinated again with the great mysteries of reality.

What happens is that we have no language other than the one religions have developed to talk about them.

I don't believe in God, but I think about God a lot.

In the relationship with the invisible and the mystery is the basis of human consciousness. Why do you have a weakness for mathematicians? Mathematicians have a relationship with mathematics that is very similar to that of monks with divinity.

They don't know where it comes from, they don't understand why it works, there is no one who can tell us why we developed this language that shows us so much of reality, things that we could not know otherwise.

There is a part of quantum physics for which the human mind is not built, that a thing is its opposite, its negation, its multiplicity.

The mind lights up when it doesn't understand, when it comes before the mystery.

And that is what makes good cinema, good literature, those moments of wonder in which the human being reconnects with the invisible. And with madness. Literature and madness are almost sisters.

When they separate, literature is just a little story.

Books should contain that voice, talk about what scares us, about our dark side.

We all have it and when we try to cover it it is like a pot that boils, if you put a lid on it the fire goes out.

You have to be boiling, always.

Madness gives us much more than we think. How do you deal with success? It has changed the perception that others have of what I do, but that does not change my vision.

I think of literature as an ethic of failure, a shadow habit.

We writers are like cockroaches, as soon as a light is turned on we hide under the refrigerator.

good literature, those moments of wonder in which the human being reconnects with the invisible. And with madness. Literature and madness are almost sisters.

When they separate, literature is just a little story.

Books should contain that voice, talk about what scares us, about our dark side.

We all have it and when we try to cover it it is like a pot that boils, if you put a lid on it the fire goes out.

You have to be boiling, always.

Madness gives us much more than we think. How do you deal with success? It has changed the perception that others have of what I do, but that does not change my vision.

I think of literature as an ethic of failure, a shadow habit.

We writers are like cockroaches, as soon as a light is turned on we hide under the refrigerator.

good literature, those moments of wonder in which the human being reconnects with the invisible. And with madness. Literature and madness are almost sisters.

When they separate, literature is just a little story.

Books should contain that voice, talk about what scares us, about our dark side.

We all have it and when we try to cover it it is like a pot that boils, if you put a lid on it the fire goes out.

You have to be boiling, always.

Madness gives us much more than we think. How do you deal with success? It has changed the perception that others have of what I do, but that does not change my vision.

I think of literature as an ethic of failure, a shadow habit.

We writers are like cockroaches, as soon as a light is turned on we hide under the refrigerator.

those moments of wonder in which the human being reconnects with the invisible. And with madness. Literature and madness are almost sisters.

When they separate, literature is just a little story.

Books should contain that voice, talk about what scares us, about our dark side.

We all have it and when we try to cover it it is like a pot that boils, if you put a lid on it the fire goes out.

You have to be boiling, always.

Madness gives us much more than we think. How do you deal with success? It has changed the perception that others have of what I do, but that does not change my vision.

I think of literature as an ethic of failure, a shadow habit.

We writers are like cockroaches, as soon as a light is turned on we hide under the refrigerator.

those moments of wonder in which the human being reconnects with the invisible. And with madness. Literature and madness are almost sisters.

When they separate, literature is just a little story.

Books should contain that voice, talk about what scares us, about our dark side.

We all have it and when we try to cover it it is like a pot that boils, if you put a lid on it the fire goes out.

You have to be boiling, always.

Madness gives us much more than we think. How do you deal with success? It has changed the perception that others have of what I do, but that does not change my vision.

I think of literature as an ethic of failure, a shadow habit.

We writers are like cockroaches, as soon as a light is turned on we hide under the refrigerator.

Literature and madness are almost sisters.

When they separate, literature is just a little story.

Books should contain that voice, talk about what scares us, about our dark side.

We all have it and when we try to cover it it is like a pot that boils, if you put a lid on it the fire goes out.

You have to be boiling, always.

Madness gives us much more than we think. How do you deal with success? It has changed the perception that others have of what I do, but that does not change my vision.

I think of literature as an ethic of failure, a shadow habit.

We writers are like cockroaches, as soon as a light is turned on we hide under the refrigerator.

Literature and madness are almost sisters.

When they separate, literature is just a little story.

Books should contain that voice, talk about what scares us, about our dark side.

We all have it and when we try to cover it it is like a pot that boils, if you put a lid on it the fire goes out.

You have to be boiling, always.

Madness gives us much more than we think. How do you deal with success? It has changed the perception that others have of what I do, but that does not change my vision.

I think of literature as an ethic of failure, a shadow habit.

We writers are like cockroaches, as soon as a light is turned on we hide under the refrigerator.

We all have it and when we try to cover it it is like a pot that boils, if you put a lid on it the fire goes out.

You have to be boiling, always.

Madness gives us much more than we think. How do you deal with success? It has changed the perception that others have of what I do, but that does not change my vision.

I think of literature as an ethic of failure, a shadow habit.

We writers are like cockroaches, as soon as a light is turned on we hide under the refrigerator.

We all have it and when we try to cover it it is like a pot that boils, if you put a lid on it the fire goes out.

You have to be boiling, always.

Madness gives us much more than we think. How do you deal with success? It has changed the perception that others have of what I do, but that does not change my vision.

I think of literature as an ethic of failure, a shadow habit.

We writers are like cockroaches, as soon as a light is turned on we hide under the refrigerator.


Well, not all.

Of course not, there are so many assholes who write because they want to be seen... what I want is for the reader to feel the same wonder that I do when I come across the stories of my characters. He also dedicates a few pages to the "big bang Chilean". It is very difficult to explain to someone who does not live in Chile, which is an oasis of tranquility with a volcano below, what happened.

Santiago seemed those days the set of a Hollywood movie, we did not recognize what was more familiar.

What is happening in Ukraine is much more terrible and yet it is more understandable because it is a war and we all know what they are like.

What happened in Chile was lighting a cigarette and an atomic bomb exploding throughout the country, that was the part that fascinated me.

What has happened afterwards, the new government, Boric,

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