Javier Sierra en Montsegur
06 Jul 2012 0 comments Lídia Penelo

Javier Sierra: “Everything related to Montserrat fascinates me”

Writer and journalist Javier Sierra (Teruel, 1971) has been fascinated with the communication world since his teen years. He soon become interested in writing  and shortly after, fell for the many unanswered questions in history and science. Which now fuel his novels. A very active traveler, Sierra does not hesitate to unravel mysteries when he is away from home. But his curiosity goes beyond the inexplicable and drives him to know well the countries and areas he visits.

How important are locations and cities in your stories?

In my novels, geography, settings and environments are treated as characters. I document myself and explore them thoroughly so I can be very familiar with all the details. All I want is for my narration to reflect that familiarity. As it happens with people, cities or landscapes have biographies. A writer must pay attention to the smallest detail.

Is there an enigma in Catalonia you think is suitable for a novel?

There are many, actually. But I love particularly everything that has to do with the mountain of Montserrat. From the supernatural discovery of the Moreneta, to the lights on the mountain that St. Ignatius of Loyola saw while writing his “Spiritual Exercises”, or the “mysterious light” of the town of Manresa, which after being seen in the year 1345, today is revered in the town’s festivities. In fact, “The mysterious light” could be a good title for a novel. Who knows.

What parts of Catalonia do you have left to visit?

I haven’t been to Vall d’Aran yet, but I hope to go soon.

Trips are inherent to your job as a writer. Where you escape to unwind?

Any place in the Mediterranean with pine trees and views to the sea fascinates me. As a child I spent some summers in the coastal town of Sant Carles de la Rapita. I think it left a mark. Since then I carry an obsession to gaze at the blue sea under the shade of the trees.

What surprises you most of Barcelona?

I think it’s a city with an impressive combining ability. You can be in the Gothic quarter and imagine how was the seaport in the Middle Ages, welcoming ships coming from exotic places. And next, catch yourself in front of a crystal tower, symbolizing the most absolute modernity. And in the middle of it all, discover magical and evocative places like Sagrada Familia or the Museo Clos de Egiptología.

What are your favorite spots in the Catalan capital?

I love the Arus library, located on Paseo de San Juan and its past associated with Freemasonry. But above all I love two of its parks: Güell and the maze of Horta. Each in its own way are enclosures full of symbolism, whose meaning has been lost but it is worth exploring again.

Can you tell us something about what are you writing now?

I’m writing about art. The lost meaning of some works of art, much like the parks I just mentioned. I’m learning a lot with this investigation!

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