I will talk about something special for me: my first day at the University.
When I was 18 I wasn’t this elegant, smart and humble man you can see now… I just was a child who had only read two books about Kant. In fact, I was a little scared about my presence. I imagined people at the University like genius who have read everything about everything. I read Thomas Mann’s novel Doctor Faustus and I had read how they were speaking about philosophy and music and many things I didn’t understood in those times. I spent the whole year preparing to go to the University reading books and trying to understand everything. Well… and I was at my first glorious day.
Smoking a cigar (or a pipe, I cannot remember) I was prepared to understand that marvelous world of wisdom and knowledge… and the facts were very different I had imagined. No student of journalism knew anything about my beloved Schopenhauer, Thomas Mann or Joyce… and I was there like an extraterrestrial man of other times. The students were there with a unique objective: to get a future job and make money. No, they weren’t interested in philosophy or literature or anything I liked. In fact, when I tried to talk about similar topics to them, I tackled it in a different way… in the end, I was disappointed and I felt sad, since my dream was in fact a part of an old illusion.
Like Bob Dylan said in one song, things have changed, my friends and these are not times for philosophy and reading. After years, I had the same feeling with publishers. I also imagined them like wise men who know everything about literature and writing. Again, I was wrong. They just want to make money and they were forgetting everything else.
‘Good writing? Is it a joke? I need to sell more and more!’
That was their unique thinking. As my classmates, they haven’t read any interesting book in years. Book publishers usually specialize in some genre and they try to make money even if they have to kill, lie or publish any kind of bad book. The important thing was, for my mates and my book publishers make money… and these are our times!
I know people need the money and I don’t want to criticize capitalism or the social structure… I mean, you cannot do anything either and I think these times are losing the correct perspective of things. Wouldn’t it be easier to sell good books than bad books? I found the secret to this question at the university with one of the worst teachers I have had in my whole life: J.R.P., teacher of Marketing and a true s.o…. No, you don’t need the best product, the best book… you need the correct book to sell. Then, the quality is just a secondary thing and it’s more and more important things like the aspect of the book and its distribution… what do I care? I wanted to write best books but guys like it have changed the world (I know it would be written ‘him’ but it was not a man, it was just a cockroach) .
Now, I continue trying to write best books. Sometimes, I think of him (or it). That kind of people is destroying illusions, that kind of people is making this world worse and worse. I hope they have all of the money of the world and, in their lonely bed in their lonely lives… they die slowly, very slowly.