It has an unusual narrative that holds the reader from the first moment. It is an experience as it is not limited to written, is illustrated and even the letters characters change to give greater emphasis to the narrative. It is a metaphor for good and evil and that forces us to think and wonder as we read each chapter.
This book has a very unusual thread. The story that gives the title is somewhere in the middle, we do not understand very well how the link appears and then we are surprised. When you began to write you had that in mind?
Alfonso Cruz: Yes, the content on the history of Kokoschka doll is real. The painter Oskar Kokoschka ordered a replica of the woman he loved, Alma Mahler. It is a very romantic story, very unusual and unique, I think. I thought it was a good metaphor for a number of things in life that we live and therefore ultimately be the backdrop for everything that happens in the novel. There are a number of characters that function as this doll.
You select various types of letters for the same text, why? They were important in what sense?
AC: This is a book inside another book. Therefore, because it changes It has a cover and back cover, as is another book. After that changes because it has some missives that are important, had to look as if they had been written by a typewriter, and there is another part that was necessary to distinguish, because it is narrated in the first voice is so different from the rest.
Why chosen as a backdrop the second world war and the city of Dresden? You knew some of these stories? I know you travel a lot.
AC: The stories are invented, except the doll. But at the time I wanted to write a novel about a Jewish child who served as a consciousness to a very little intellectually gifted German, and when I reflected on that thought that the ideal scenario would be to put this story in Nazi Germany. The choice of Dresden is because it is a very special place, unlike other cities, has suffered greatly at the hands of allies. Not what we expected. Usually we know the cities that suffered under the yoke of the Nazis, but Dresden has also suffered much from the constant bombardment of the allied forces. And I wanted it to reflect a bit on this notion of good and evil, in this case the good guys destroy a city with an architectural design.
There is a persona that always has his mouth open, why?
AC: As I mentioned a moment ago he is not very gifted, he is always amazed at the things he sees. He has a very different notion of life, he is also a little child, and he sees the world a bit like children.
This metaphor symbolizes a degenerative disease? Since the book is dedicated to your mother who suffers from Parkinson plus.
AC: Yes, and also what happens with the Kokoschka doll. This painter is trying to give life to an object, inanimate. What's wrong with my mother is more or less like she has a disease that is very serious, there is no cure or treatment, is similar to Parkinson's disease in which the body is closed, unable to communicate. It's kind of a soul locked inside a body that does not work well. Stop walking and organs stop working, but the intellectual part remains intact. It is a very cruel disease.
When you thought this story began with the illustrations, since you have this very strong aspect in your literary career or you written first the book and only after you created the images?
AC: The illustrations are a complement. The book lives perfectly well without them. But even when I make books where the illustration is more important, I think the text first and then start drawing. I begin with something more rational. I do not look at a blank screen or on paper, draw something and then something comes out. First I have to think too much what I am going to do before writing it down. There is a process, I try to digest the thing inside and then outside. It's like sowing, you do not see the plant germinate, but it is there on the grown doing something. It's an invisible job. I always have a frame on my mind before moving into writing.
How long did this book, the passage from your head to the writing itself?
AC: It's a bit difficult to answer that. Depends on the book. Between one and a half or two month before making a sketch. Then there are many modifications, reinterpretations and revisions that may be long or short. It is not as tangible as the work of writing. I spend a lot time reread in it, to change a thing; I have to re-read everything to see if I modify the general content. I write everything at once and then start the review. Do not know how to work otherwise. When we started to review just at the beginning, we do not advance and never made it anywhere. If in the end, everything is already built.