Visit his site: josefelixvaldivieso.com
José Félix Valdivieso was born in Brussels, later graduating in East Asian Studies (specializing in Chinese) from UAM and in Law from UCM. He also holds an Executive MBA from IE Business School. He has traveled the world in search of languages, from Ancient and Modern Greek, as well as Russian, German, Chinese Japanese…and has now set about unraveling the language of the street—perhaps the most cyphered—through its graffiti. A problem, because as Ayako says in Love, one of the stories featured in this book “all languages are imprecise, and when they are precise they are so in their own way and she says that she knows this all too well because she translates, not just words and languages, but like everybody else, life, love, into something more chewable,” and that’s where the problems start, because everybody understands in their own way, and everybody’s way is their own way, not so precise…
José Félix is also Chairman of IE China Center and author of Graffiti of the World, the poetry collection La Geografía del Erizo (Cuadernos del Laberinto, 2020), as well as the short story collection Dibugrafías (Libros.com 2017) and Cosas y Murciélagos (Incipit Editores, 2010).
Cogito, ergo we are all confused
Graffiti of the World is composed of fifty stories inspired by fifty graffiti from different cities around the world that tell —through their hallmark of finitude— how we are all unique and ephemeral at the same time.
Graffiti is the Mono no aware (物の哀れ), the feeling that expresses the fleeting nature of things; that these creations are beautiful precisely because of their impermanence.
There is nothing more poetic than paying a bill
Just as Xu Guangqi (徐光啟) asserted that East and West shared common principles, the sea urchins of this geography break their silence and speak to us directly, and in their way call for a terra communis… They seem to be clear that identity is only confirmed when other identities capture our signs of life and return them: Pink Floyd sang Is there anybody out there? This Hegelian echo is fundamental, even if one carries spines, because this is what dictates to every being the imperious need for the presence of another, even though bristly fear and hatred will inevitably, although paradoxically, arise from that need. Nothing destroys us more, wrote George Steiner, than the silence of another human being. Hence Lear’s foolish fury at Cordelia and Kafka’s profound observation that many men survived the siren’s song but none their silence.
Even nothingness has something
Singapore, New York, Beijing, Madrid, and many other locations around the world are the inspiration for more than 50 stories, each a reply to a painterly inquiry.
The result is Dibugrafías, as clear an example as any of “writing on the move”, creating wherever, free from the shackles of “sitting down to write” and the setting for such enigmatic characters as the numbered woman, the headless man or Mister No.
I´ve also heard that flight exceeds the wing, in the same way that painting exceeds the hand
The world is travelling at 01 speed, unable to keep up with its own narration. These Things and bats are a bridge, a way of holding onto the world, of approaching the words of these things and the bats that live in it. Things, bats, you and me, are all points and the connections between two points and the bridge we have to extend to know ourselves as “existed”.