Xabier Montoia

Xabier Montoia
Cover of 'elektrika' by xabier montoia (susa publishing house)1
'Not the singer, but the song - I too find the song more interesting than the one who sings it. By the same token, in literature, the lives of the writers matter little to me. What´s more, I believe that far from helping their work in some way, the writer´s life stories mystify and muddy it. (Maybe that explains why editors are so given to publishing them.) Who cares about the likes and obsessions of the author of the book you hold in your hands, his sex, race or age? As a reader, I find such information a hindrace. There are more than enough intermediaries between the text and the reader as it is. The only thing all this information about the author seems to accomplish is to make us read with prejudice, according to our aesthetic, ideological or personal phobias. So here I will limit myself to saying that, since I started publishing in the early 1980s, I have produced three collections of poetry, three books of short stories, a sort of musical travelogue, and five novels. As the bard said, the rest is silence.' Xabier Montoia
Xabier Montoia turns to the past in his book Gasteizko hondartzak (1997, The Beaches of Gasteiz). Though in his last two novels, this author also revisits the different moments and epochs of our history, Montoia's narrative goal is to bear no historical witness. The characteristics of dirty realism also appear in his collection of stories Emakume biboteduna (1992, The Mustachioed Woman), for example, in which he presents sharp and realistic stories based on love or the lack of love, and which are echoed in the provocative nature of M. Duchamp's painting on the cover. The stories in Baina bihotzak dio (2002, But the Heart Says), on the other hand, focus on homesickness for the Basque Country but, above and beyond this, Montoia offers us the chance to see the world through the eyes of his believable characters. Credibility and intensity are conspicuous in the story we chose for this anthology, Black as Coal. This, the first of the twenty-two short stories of Gasteizko hondartzak, opens in the town of Gasteiz (Vitoria) at the end of the 1960s. The history of the city passes before our eyes as the backdrop to the lively cast of characters who appear and disappear from story to story.

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