The Spanish author, Santiago Posteguillo, starred yesterday in the fourth appointment of the cycle 'Mares de Papel', held at the Mirador del Cabezo de la Reya (Mirador de Bahía) and coordinated by the journalist Lola Gracia, with an interesting conference on his latest novel 'And Julia challenged the gods', but which also served to bring its readers closer to the world of Roman mythology and history. 'When the enemy is your own son… is there victory?' With this thoughtful phrase the cover of his book is presented.
According to Posteguillo, Julia Domna's answer would be a resounding yes.
The admiration for this woman led the Spanish writer to dedicate years of her life, between books, archives, travel and constant study, in rescuing from oblivion one of the most powerful women of ancient Rome.
The result was two volumes: 'Yo, Julia', with which she won the Planet Novel Prize in 2018, and now 'Y Julia challenged the gods', the second part that has reached more than 200,000 readers.
His fascination for Julia Domna was born after reading her biography, written by Professor Bárbara Levick. The author explained that to build this novel he had to travel a lot; from Egypt to Rome, "because to write I need to feel emotion, know the history of my characters, follow in their footsteps; without that sensitivity I could not convey everything I want." In addition, he expressed his special love for Rome, "it is a place where you find the world.
From the novelistic point of view you have a tremendous network of dramatic resources; gladiators, empresses, assassinations or betrayals, and from the historical point of view it explains much better who we are, "for that reason," knowing the history of Rome would help us make better decisions from the present to the future, "he added. In addition, Posteguillo has a constant interest in the protagonism of women in the history of humanity, since it maintains that "in this fight that we carry for equality, between men and women, it should not only be carried out from the present, thinking about the future ", but also" we can support that present by showing that in the past there were women who stood out a lot in history, but we only know the story told from the point of view of men, and I think it is time to tell the story complete, the history of women and men ".
Therefore, the objective of Santiago Posteguillo is that his historical novels are aimed at showing the truth; that both men and women are part of history and that both genders have done very relevant things throughout history,a thought that he already showed in his triology Africanus or The Seventh Circle of Hell, where he wanted to vindicate the figure of several writers in literature. He also dedicated a space to talk about Galen, an influential doctor of the time and Julia Domna, who discovered that washing hands and washing wounds reduces infections.
"It was thanks to him that we know that one of the most important things we must do to protect ourselves from a virus is wash our hands." And not only that, it managed to stop the pandemic generated by smallpox in Egypt, isolating the infected and separating them from the healthy.
As he explains, many journalists ask him when he will write about current affairs and "I tell them that in my books I talk about cancer, Brexit, gender equality or viral pandemics, but according to them I still do not talk about current affairs." Finally, he explained the relationship between 'And Julia challenged the gods' with the noir, historical and narrative novel; "Well, this second book not only revolves around historical events, it is also based on introducing Roman gods as characters in the novel or dedicating sinister spaces, such as murders; but I believe that this book will never be treated as a crime novel", concluded. Lola Gracia, coordinator of the 'Mares de papel' cycle, defined this conference as "interesting and necessary, since we have had the great opportunity to meet a phenomenon of Hispanic literature, because his works are based on Ancient Rome, and As he explained, Rome is our root and what happened at that time concerns us, so much so that we could take an example of how they managed pandemics, which now undoubtedly would not hurt us, "he clarified. The Deputy Mayor for Culture, Ginés Campillo, present at the meeting with the Councilor for Archives and Libraries, Conchi Aparicio, and the Official Chronicler of the Villa de Mazarrón, Mariano Guillén Riquelme; explained that "this cycle of conferences is held under a strict protocol with all the security measures against Covid-19" and highlighted the good progress of the cultural activities that are being held this summer being "the Mirador de Bahía a great success and a success to enjoy Culture and great writers like Santiago Posteguillo in our municipality, because every Thursday we see that it has a great reception from the public ". Ginés Campillo also highlighted that the cycle "has already established itself as a benchmark within regional culture, with impressive media coverage, thanks to the quality of the speakers and the excellent coordination and organization of the cycle, but it will be located now also within the national scene with the publication in a few days of an interview with Santiago Posteguillo himself in various media in different regions of Spain ".
For the person in charge of Culture, "Mazarrón is once again in the place it deserves when it comes to Culture and, with the projects we have and the management we are carrying out, this projection will go beyond national borders as we have proposed ".
Source: Ayuntamiento de Mazarrón