the book that takes up the rural debate from the beginning

Reading time 7 minutes


Many books are written, but not so many are read. If, in addition, they generate reflection and debate, we are facing a rare jewel. That’s Empty Spain (Turner) – five years ago it was published, with the subtitle of Travel to a country that never was–, a travel book that combines the literary essay, the social chronicle and the autobiographical brushstrokes. The author, Sergio del Molino, put this expression on the table –original after others such as’ emptied Spain’– which, as its editors say, seems to have always been there. But not: Sergio’s book was, as Santiago Alba Rico said, “up and out” of a general atmosphere that accompanies us until today.

His approach to the history and ways of life in our country generated a great conversation that has not stopped since then, not without discussion either, about what happens to the unpopulated areas of our map. The issue ‘Empty Spain’ reached political programs, cultural spaces, the media and even it gave rise to a renewed literary genre on the rural and urban dichotomy, often in the form of an essay.

Now, Sergio del Molino publishes Against empty Spain (Alfaguara), in a way a continuation – “All my books are”, he tells us – and, also, a certain retracing his own steps to reach new conclusions. “I think of books as a kind of matryoshka. From a piece or a thread of one comes the next. So it happened to me with Empty Spain, that was born from a reflection of What no one cares (2014, Random House). Whoever reads me a lot understands the connections but, at the same time, they are autonomous titles. A friend has already told me that they are going to recommend reading the latter before Empty Spain ”.

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