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by Marco Ferro

"When we talk about the life of a man or a woman, when we draw a recapitulation or a summary of it, we usually tell what that person has accomplished and what has actually happened. And we almost always forget that people's lives are not just that: each journey is also made up of our losses and our rejections, our omissions and our unfulfilled desires, of what we once left out or did not choose or did not achieve, of the many possibilities that in most cases did not come to fruition -all but one, in the end". 

I find that in this respect, the lives of people - which Javier Marías manages to photograph so well - are very much like the lives of artworks. 

Any artistic elaboration, be it a novel or a painting, a film or a musical score, is, in fact, the result of a chain of choices. 

Choices that the author makes quickly and intuitively or, on the contrary, choices that are decided upon after long deliberation, weighing and weighing with the utmost care. 

Choices that may be forced, uncomfortable or painful, random or circumstantial, choices that in hindsight turn out to be unfortunate, decisive or providential. 

In any case, these are choices that determine the work in its entirety, that ensure that the work is that one - just that one - and not another. 

At the margins, outside the frame of the painting, there remains everything that is not visible on the surface: the cancelled sketches, the ideas left pending, the desired projects and those that failed. 

The remnants of our hesitations, all those intuitions we had but did not want to follow, the fears that paralysed us, the fragments of all that we have abandoned or that, perhaps, has abandoned us, remain outside, accumulated.   

This column aims to lend a hand to them: to that large audience of rejects, to the aborted ideas, to the sentences that have not found space on the page, to those images that have missed the appointment with the Work because they arrived too late, or because they arrived on time but with the wrong clothes. 

We are addressing them: the misunderstood, the rejected, the replaced, the eliminated: they will have a new opportunity in this column, and here if they wish, they can play their part. 

It is an appeal to all of you, the unrecognised children of Madama Imagination: we will welcome you into this space, we will introduce you to your peers, and with respect and delicacy, we will try to revive you. 

In this way, at least in part, you will be restored the dignity that the Work - your stepmother - has preferred to grant to your brothers denying it to you. 

Because after all, the Work - although it will never admit it - is a bit like us: "we people who consist as much in what we are as in what we have not been able to be.

We who are perhaps made up equally of what has been and what could have been”. 

What we will do, then, is to involve a small circle of people, each time different for each issue of the fanzine: artists, theatre-makers, lovers of the animated and, more generally, visionaries by vocation and not necessarily by profession. 

We will ask them to entrust us with a fragment of an idea or a phrase, the shred of an image snatched from their imagination and then left hanging somewhere. 

We will take care of ordering, re-animating and orchestrating this small pile of scraps, thus composing a small collective work that will have as its theme the element - different according to the number - of the fanzine.   

The quoted text is a quotation from the speech Javier Marías gave at the award ceremony for the Romulo Gallegos prize for the novel "Think of me in the battle tomorrow".

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