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The nomadic Nobel returns. The Frenchman JMG Le Clézio (Nice, 1940) returns with Love in France (Lumen), stories about worlds near and far, children and adolescents who walk alone and invisible people told “from the point of view of the fallen or of children, of the short, of those who do not have height.” Always, with “a spark of light, of kindness, that can save, perhaps because of my Christian heritage,” he smiles.

Despite which Le Clézio, who has lived halfway around the world and whose parents came from the island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean, where his Breton ancestors arrived, has always liked “the idea of ​​not having true roots, of being free “, without being tied to a territory, being able to change.” He believes that his homeland is literature, “because entering it is like traveling, if I read Juan Rulfo, I feel like I have known a mystery that real life is not going to grant me. I share Borges’ idea that reality does not exist. What exists is the imagination. Without fables, what can reality be?

“The indigenous Panamanians never made me feel undesirable. But the drug traffickers came to the jungle and I was one for them. They shot me”

With them he explores the brutality of Western urban societies, racism, and child exploitation. Human beings versus machine men. And he tries to make the invisible visible: the original title of his new book is Obverse. News of the undesirables .

Some undesirables, he says, “who live next to us and are not seen, are invisible, and are not desirable because they are a nuisance, they occupy the street, they seem dangerous. A large population that lives next door but apart, especially in rich countries. In others they are not so undesirable, they belong, they see each other, they share.”

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Justo Barranco

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Maybe that’s why he closes the book with Etrebbema , a story that evokes his years with the Panamanian indigenous people. “After having lived 30 years with the feeling, at times, of being a misfit, I came to a place where people were generous and immediately accepted a guy like me, very different, too tall, completely useless in their society. They saw it as funny. They never made me feel undesirable. But the drug traffickers arrived in the jungle and for them I was: they shot me and I saw that it was time to leave. The indigenous people also had to march. A lost paradise: heirs of a very aggressive culture, after the conquest of the Spanish they changed. It was as if the beatniks had achieved a balanced society, renouncing violence, injustice and even justice, without prisons or judges or authority. I, a product of the West, always stayed on its threshold.”

A West where the number of undesirables grows amid strong migrations. “I believe like Pope Francis that empathy is needed, economic problems should be secondary, the main thing is to share. When he was 20 years old, there were many Africans on the train between Marseille and London. They entered France and England without problem and, still dressed in traditional costumes, they went to work in the factories. They needed them after the war. Not now. Because? What has changed? They say there are too many in Europe, I don’t believe it. People’s perspective has changed, they don’t see the human being, they see the color of the skin and images of people who are going to rob them. A fantasy that has changed the necessary freedom of human beings to move, because we are all heirs of emigrants.”

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