'Originality must come from other resources: from one's own voice, personality, character.&#
Luis Pizarro, an author, a great historian and an editor at the oldest publishing house in Spain, Planeta Publishing. Also one of our great judges, please read below, our interview on London Independent Story Prize Flash Fiction competition.
What impresses you the most in a Flash Fiction as a historian author?
I think that above all we should be impressed by the experience that the story gives us. All work of fiction literature should do to be a full experience. But a short story is an experience of an instant, it should shake you more because it compresses a story in a short moment in time and space, as if it were a shot, a lightning, a photo, but a photo of words. But this is because the word is the center and must be it. Narrative cannot mimic the world of images, neither in terms of priorities, objectives, themes or anything.
But let's get to the point, I am attracted by a short story that is like an "applied philosophical aphorism" or a practical philosophical aphorism, as the critic and thinker Raymond Williams would say, an aphorism unfolding in the everyday life of a situation. It may be a very particular opinion of mine, I don't know.
On a short story, further, I also demand something similar to what I demand of a poem. As in poetry, a short story must concentrate beauty and the reader's gaze on a tiny point. But the short story embodies more than the poem, treads more on earth, lives more in the world, however it able be imaginary world. The short story differs from the poem in its approximate linearity, similar to that of life.
Can you tell us, as an editor in Planeta -which is the oldest publishing house in Spain!- how it would affect an editor to know that the writer has won an award?
I'm currently an author of Planeta Publishing House, not an publisher. I think that for a new author, winning an award is a very different phenomenon from publishing for the first time, but it shouldn't be so much. But both things have in common that they are an important demonstration, a revelation of the writer's inner world. It's different in what from my point of view in a literary award there is, or should be in the selection of the winner more impartiality, seriousness, or at least more intellectual rigour than in an editorial. Both things are an important demonstration, a revelation of the writer's inner world. The author in a prize gives the face. Every award has something more beautiful, as festive, celebratory that have no other situation in the professional life of a writer. And a prize is also a celebration of literary art. Let's go for it!
Would you like to tell us about your book?
The set of volumes in which I am currently engaged is an divulgative work of universal history, not a literary creation. Jewels of History, by Editorial Planeta. I will only tell you that, like all literature, my work pursues a totalizatory ambition of human experience, as holistic as possible. It's not going to be easy.
On the other hand, my other current activity is as a PHD researcher in contemporary gender history. The last years, I'm also working punctually as an essayist and cultural and literary critic.
Finally, what advice would you like to give for the ones wanting to enter our 300-word Flash Fiction competition?
I'd tell them to try and surprise us. Although, please don't surprise us poorly, shallowly. They will no longer be able to surprise us with the originality of the story's plot, plot or subject matter. They should know by now, that time passed many years ago.
They must make of brevity virtue: a value. That's sure. In short story space is time at a time, both are much more decisive than in other narratives. It's a different dimension, in which the writer has a different relationship with the reader. More directly. Even the realitist may sometimes believe that he is in front of the reader, whispering in his ear, looking him in the eye, tempting him.
The idea is to contribute on prize with something that is a new aspect, the story has to be an uninvented literary device. Because, short stories are more like small machines that fit in one hand.
Originality must come from other resources: from one's own voice, personality, character. And here the language: the literary form, has a decisive importance, much more than some people believe. Precisely for this reason, because the dimensions of the text put a lens that other literatures do not put. The story they write must have a soul, own's life. The story must be an experience for all readers. The story can be an experience in many different ways, but all of them are connected to each other. Good literature always has a transforming power over every human being. The reader's life has to come out of here overturned. One way or another, because he has experienced something that subvert him. It has transformed his thinking. Or it has transformed its principles. He has stirred his emotions, to the point of catapulting geared to others emotions he barely knew. Or it has transformed his life path, his destiny. His spiritual capacity has been strengthened. Finally, it's this: their life has known other lives, it has greeted to other lives.