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Interview with Matéi Visniec during his visit to Madrid

The writer Matei Visniec, author of “The Word Progress on my Mother’s Lips Doesn’t Ring True”, has been invited by the Institut Fraçais from Madrid, within the commemorative events of the Day of Francophonie 2017 on the occasion of the Jean Monnet Prize of European literature which won his novel “Le Marchand des premières phrases” in 2016.

4 may 2017

Matéi Visniec was born in 1956 in Radauti, northwest of Romania. Since he was very young, the author grew up in love with literature, which he considers is an area of freedom in the heart of the Ceausescu communist government. In 1987, being thirty-one years old, he went to France into exile where he obtained the nationality and political asylum. In France, he started working as a journalist in 1990 for Radio France International where he continues working at present. Visniec is one of the most represented authors in the Avignon off festival, which highlights the more creative and bold facet of the major annual event of theater.

His change of residence caused in Visniec a thematic evolution, from critique of comunism to a critique of a capitalism that in many ways shares worrying characteristics with the then prevailing ideology in Eastern Europe. I discovered in France that it was much easier to report the brainwashing in authoritarian nations than in the West, because in totalitarian countries this washing is primitive, burtal, violent and grotesque in itself but in the democratic countries it is subtle, thin and it infiltrates in the soul and change gradually the citizen into a consumer” warns the author.  “A submissive consumer that feels happy, rich and because of that stops thinking. I discovered a huge topic, the new forms of brainwashing by the consumption, the advertising, the fashion. In fact, it is the same topic, the manipulation of the individual in a world and in another”.

His word “The Word  Progress  on my Mother’s Lips Doesn’t Ring True” has been translated by  Evelio Miñano, professor of the UV and co-director of the Master’s Degree in Language and Literature Research.

Making the most of his visit to out country, Matéis Visniec has offered a large interview  where he thinks about some of the problems of today’s society and of the literature as a cultural element.