fugitivus errans

Posted October 23, 2017

On account of the publication of a book with my name on the cover, Pere Portabella. Towards a politics of the cinematographic story , I am accused from the pages of Cahiers du Cinéma-Spain of being "digressive", of having a "diffused and blurred vision" and of "lacking rigor". I am not so worried about this criticism, that it dispenses with all argumentation, as what might indicate: that somebody thinks that I am ascending, much to my regret, in some tortuous and illusory ladder at the expense of their interests. It is the only reason I find for so much vain animosity. First of all, "digressive" I can not be because the word "digressive", at least in Castilian and in their dictionaries, does not exist. Apparently only investigators can be accused of "lacking rigor", and not those who outline their work. It is normal, on the other hand. Let us read, in any case, the writer: "The study of Ruben Hernandez is quite more digressive [sic] despite being defined as an essay." Perhaps in fact the writer wanted to write "the study of Rubén Hernández is quite more digressive since it is defined as an essay". I dedicate several pages of the book to establishing the relationship, both etymological and historical, between the notions of digression and essay. Or the writer understood everything backwards or simply did not read them. It is curious: they are the first pages of the book and methodologically define the whole project.

Thirdly, "lacking in rigor", since in a passage of the book I erroneously write the name of a researcher: Torres by Torrell. Moreover, says the writer: "It does not seem to be critical to criticize several opinions of Josep Torrell and, for a couple of pages, to change his last name to that of Torres." It is true: this error invalidates all the detailed arguments that I make in order to propose a different vision to that of Torrell on the end of the Portabella films, arguments that the writer decides to ignore. In addition and beyond the tendentious and not very noble game, the articulista obvious, of course, that the name is well written in the rest of passages of the book, in all the footnotes and in the bibliography. "The rigor must also be noted in these small details." He concludes with this last line and climatically his text the writer, trying to propose this typographical error as an example of the alleged general neglect of the book. My apologies, in any case, for Mr. Josep Torrell.

Of course, not a word about any of the proposals, approaches, analyzes, inquiries or lines of research that appear in the book, so others, and to the disgrace of some, voluminous.

I'm not at all reluctant to criticize. A few months ago, and in relation to another book, I received a rather hard, but absolutely just, written by Manuel Rodríguez Rivero and published in Babelia . The next day, as he himself can attest, I wrote him a letter to thank him for making me see those mistakes.

I fear that the work done by this writer is not the work of a professional: he has left too many clues on the scene of the crime. He does not even deserve to be named.