Between the 9th and the 11th of April, Carles Adamuz from Escola d’Escriptura (Barcelona) will impart a two days course in Casa de Letras (Buenos Aires). Adamuz’ workshop will deal with the complex genre of Autofiction and its undiscernible verge between autobiography and fiction. This pedagogical participation is framed within our EACWP Teachers’ Interchange Program. Casa de Letras interviewed Carles Adamuz: this is the outcome of their recent conversation
We are used to read and write in first person. This happens not only in literature, but also concerning the rise of the so-called «literature of the self» and the overtly autobiographical stories told every day, right here, on social networks. «As soon as we say the word ‘I’ we start lying,» affirmed Jorge Asís in a recent interview. «When we narrate our life, we transform and cross the border that joins reality and fiction,» reinforces Carles Adamuz, teacher from Escola d’ Escriptura in Barcelona concerning his program of Autofiction, the brief reading and writing workshop that he will impart from the 9th to the 11th April in Casa de Letras. Is it possible to narrate ourselves? Is it inevitable to fiction the stories we make out of our own experiences? We discussed some of these and other issues with Carles Adamuz.
In the program of the workshop, you affirm: «We do not write about ourselves but about someone else we partially know.» Is all autobiography an autofiction?
Unlike autobiography, autofiction is not a unifying form and regards the discontinuity of a fragmented individual that does not suit with him or herself, and whose identity is constantly on (re )construction. In this sense, the self that says «I» in the text is built from a dialectical interplay between the intimate and the public, between desire and reality, between what it is and what it looks like. Whoever says «I” is and is not the same author at the same time and thus fictionalizes his/her experience.
When we start writing about ourselves, we start looking at us and treating us as though as we were other. In other words, we get away from ourselves by approaching ourselves. It is as if the author-narrator-character of the autofiction would contemplate the outcome of his/her story, would reconsider it, would look at us sideways, and between skeptical and cynical, he or she would tell us: «This ( not) me?.» From this ambiguous deal with the reader, I believe that the resulting work is paradoxically more trustful when it balances fact and fiction because at the end of all we are literature.
Do you think that the web (blogs, social networks ) has influenced, in some way, the gender of autofiction?
Indeed, I think the web has exacerbated the phenomenon of fictionalization of reality. There in that bubble we become a virtual identity that blends what we think we are along with what others believe we are and what we really are. However, I doubt we actually end up being what we really want. And perhaps this fact reflects two of the symptoms of hiper-individualized and globalized era we live: the affirmation and the disappearance of ourselves and even the troubled relationship between reality and its representation.
What will be the work methodology in the workshop and to whom is it addressed?
In this brief narrative autoficcional course I will invite participants to enjoy this genre. It will be a space for those who want to be seduced for them to cross the border between fact and fiction. And also for those who are interested in reflecting on the relationship between identity, experience and narrative. But above all, the workshop is addressed to those wishing to become a half-truth, a fiction.
In the first session, each participant will have an overview about the genre along with basic narrative strategies in order to write a short story at home. Afterwards, we’ll review, share and discuss all these stories in a second meeting regarding the agreed criteria. We’ll enjoy. For sure.
Teacher at Escola d’ Escriptura Barcelona (Ateneu Barcelonés), where he imparts courses in Introduction to Creative Writing, Narrative, Autofiction, and works as reader of his Cabinet and Literary Language Advisory.
Political scientist, coach and expert in strategic narrative. Director of Coma (www.wearecoma.com ). His career is remarkable for its transdisciplinary character, combining teaching, research and university management with strategic consulting on social innovation and public-political coaching.
Full program in Narrative Writing (Introduction to Creative Writing, Narrative, Novel I Novel II, etc.) by the Escola d’ Escriptura Barcelona. Degree in Political and Social Sciences by University Pompeu Fabra, Master in Public and Social Policies by The Johns Hopkins University, Masters in Citizenship and Management of Cultural Diversity for the Barcelona School of Management, and a Masters in Coaching and Personal Leadership by the University Barcelona.