Natàlia Romaní: ‘For women, romanticism takes a lot of time and energy from us’

The Spanish writer and journalist presents her new novel about the love triangle between a student and a married couple.

Madrid (EFE) .- “Women are charged with the label of romanticism as one of the engines of our life, and I think that takes away a lot of time and energy and does not help us at all,” says the Spanish writer and journalist Natàlia Romaní, author of the novel The history of nostalgia (Cathedral).

In an interview with EFE, Romaní assures that, in the fight between the heart and the brain, she is “always in favor of the brain.” .

The two axes of his novel are a love triangle between a professor at an American university who is married to Laura and a student, Sarah, and the journey that this student undertakes through the Balkans from Trieste (northern Italy) at the hands of the writer and Italian intellectual Claudio Magris.

At the time of writing the novel – Romaní affirms – “I have asked myself to what extent one can be happy when the happiness of one is at the expense of others, and also to what extent the emotions that today seem to command everything are those that they have to end up ruling our life ”.

The heart is fine, let it beat, but in the end we can also make rational decisions about emotions, which was what this novel tries to raise ”, he adds.

Of the two protagonists of his novel, the student Sarah and Laura – the teacher’s wife – Romaní believes that “Laura is a woman who fights against terrible things and manages to forgive and see the other, and that also seems interesting to me” .

“Laura, who rejects passion from the start, does not want to have children, she does it in a very defining way, which is completely modern, I don’t know if feminist, but motherhood does not define us women,” she says.

Narratively, letters, diaries and notes help to outline the history of the characters in a North American university environment, because “there they have a comfortable economic situation and live in a very closed universe, where there is the luxury of time dedicated to reflection and thought ”.

The novel is not situated in a feminist context, the #MeToo had not passed and you have to be consistent with the time you are telling, which is the one that was lived after the attack on the twin towers in New York ”.

Sarah’s trip to the Balkans is the other line of the novel, more philosophical and of ideas, a scenario that the author has known well since the late 1990s, having lived there as part of her job for the European Commission.

The real character of Magris, “who is a great writer, would be the paradigm of a teacher of a Europe that he perfectly masters and that he describes very well in his book. Danube”.