THE THREAD OF LITERATURE
In its special task of commenting on the world, in the 20th century literary expression faced competition from film. It dealt with this by interiorising its vision to reveal, in a thrilling journey into the human being, that forms of social and artistic expression begin within, in the psychological roots of our thoughts and emotions. It also had to take in the horror of wars, as well as the promised efficiency of the new social and political organisation of the world. By the second half of the 20th century, literature had a unique connection with the new intellectual discourses, sometimes towering above their academic forms and falling below at others. Now, in the 21st century, literature has been forced to survive the impact of technology. It is not that literary creativity is suffering from an identity crisis – or perhaps it is – but whether indirectly through the narratives of the I or by opting straight for globalist forms of writing, literature has had to rise to avoid being taken as a mere appendix of the new flows of communication. While it is true that the contemporary is read more than ever, what is read does not conform to the old canons of excellence, sensitivity and self-awareness. Via the screen human beings are bombarded with messages, information, linguistic ruin, lies, advertisements and fragments of badly-typed literature, while books represent a break from so much rushed reading to offer us wise doses of thought, time out and beauty. So what is the result of all this movement? The answer is none other than a literature that on the one hand enjoys a symbiosis with today’s relativism, but on the other sets out to offer those who want to read it complex forms, where words hybridise with content, and which set out to resist the commercial or ideological propositions of a world built on impulse. For literature the spirit of the past remains relevant: that tireless mission to find the most appropriate and – vibrantly – new ways (that are not evident) to fix the forms that shape us. In this case – the current post-humanist scenario – literature fortunately survives in the midst of a communicative frenzy, technological ambivalence, economic tyranny, warnings of environmental disaster, the new map of sexual and social emotion, relying on its old promise that not everything has been told, and there still remains another word to be set in the river of time.