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Rivers that flow into a novel

The sea that you give me calls for diverse readings and multiple readers

Thought turned into writing, since the appearance of the book and, especially, the printing press, has been reproduced unalterably. The content of a work does not change, however, the reading is so variable that, beyond the variety of readers, the same reader facing a work, over time, may have different readings.

It also happens with the times, that according to editorial fashions, the same work can be read according to the imposed canon. Ricardo Piglia in an interview reflected that his book Artificial Respiration was read at different times as an epistolary, detective, and historical novel until it became postmodern, when postmodernism was in vogue. He just hoped it wouldn't be read as a classic.

In this way literature is pigeonholed. There are commercial and, to a lesser extent, academic reasons for dissecting it. For those who produce it, the task of marketing a product is made easier and for those who sell it, being able to put them on the appropriate shelves.

Publishers, who try to mediate styles, tastes and return on capital (sometimes capital is not just money, although it is an important factor in commercial stability) expect or go after authors who allow them both the satisfaction of gaining readers.

Also read the literary criticism about the same book Deep sea, lovesickness by Cosimo Mandrillo

In the 19th century, an editor asked a writer to write novels, but the author at that time was concerned about the changes generated by modernity, the destruction of what today are called heritage monuments, especially an ancient cathedral in the city ​​of Paris, which apparently had little interest from citizens if it were demolished or restored.

He wrote an article, like a manifesto, that he titled War to the Demolitors. It was published and translated throughout Europe, but no one mobilized to prevent it from suffering the demons of modernity. According to Santiago Posteguillo in The Blood of Books, the editor sitting next to the author on a church bench tells him:

“—You know you promised me a new novel and I'm still waiting. […] Your poems, your plays, your articles…: all that is very good, but the only thing that is going to give you real money will be your novels. —And she got up, but before leaving he added a couple of sentences—: Besides, it is novels that make people famous now. The world has changed. —And the editor looked toward the white stained glass windows—. Everything has changed. Like this church.”

Once the conversation with the editor was over, Victor Hugo promised him a novel that raised awareness among readers with Our Lady of Paris (1831) more than what he achieved with War on the Demolishers.

There are writers who revolve around a topic and deal with it in possible genres—when it comes to writing—or in crafts and arts.

The work of Jorge Rodríguez Gómez has that particularity, that its parts refer us to a whole and vice versa. The novel The Sea That Gives Me (2023), the first that he publishes, refers us to his stories that appeared in The Dream of the Blind (2000) and The Skin of the Lizard (2015).

Between the stories and the novel, two books of poetry appeared: Papeles de la dementia (2020) and Río Quemado (2023), which also makes us turn to the novel, especially the last collection of poems.

All rivers do not necessarily flow into the sea, but it is the most common. In literature, each genre responds to its own codes, therefore, they lead to themselves. The author, in this case as a poet, permeates the literary aesthetics and takes the reader through a playful experience that although he tells things about dirty realism, “love must have something of this,” as a poem by Andrés Arias says.

Jorge Rodríguez Gómez establishes a dialogue between his stories and his poetry. In The sea that gives me the political theme and love, as well as the police genre are present, but the reader has the say beyond the literary canons and fashions. This way we will know how literature is being read at the moment.

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