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José Félix Valdivieso

"Even nothingness has something"

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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 several poetry collections, such as Besos de otros mundos (2024), Grito de amor (2023) and La Geografía del Erizo, and of the book Graffiti of the World (2020), all published by Cuadernos del Laberinto. He is also author of the short story collection Dibugrafías ( 2017) and Cosas y Murciélagos (Incipit Editores, 2010).

Cogito, ergo we are all confused

China para los nuevos bárbaros: 100 ideas para comprender este país

China for the New Barbarians: 100 ideas to understand China
Written in Spanish

Can we identify who are the new barbarians of our civilization?

The Western order to which we were accustomed is becoming a second-grade order. The world is watching some of the parts of the geopolitical model established after World War II collapse, while the economic axis of the world has shifted to the East due to the action of China, the great engine of Asia.

The purpose of this book is not only to shed light on those who are far away, which in this case is China, but also to reveal to the reader what the West is in the eyes of those who are far away. Will the West be hopelessly and deeply influenced if China achieves its goal of deploying soft power to create cultural trends outside its borders? We do not know, but as the years go by, this possibility is gaining strength. Since the Enlightenment we have learned that moving forward does not necessarily imply progress, and that it is perfectly possible to move forward in time, but backward in spirit.

Besos de otros mundos

Kisses from Other Worlds
Written in Spanish

This book is special. It is about kissing. And a kiss, as we know, is capable of anything. It is susceptible, like any nuclear reaction, to produce chain reactions of unforeseeable consequences. A kiss can be used to break concepts, as well as to break families. And also to do the opposite. “I’ve had many first kisses, and all real ones, so I realized that the truth is many,” said Kostia.

But if with all kisses you have to be extremely careful, with the first one even more. This is not to say that, as far as other kisses are concerned, including the infamous osculum, one can relax. It is only that the first is the first, just as no sin equals the first sin, the original sin. So don’t miss the survey on the first kiss, contained in this Kisses from Other Worlds, something novel and unusual in a book of poems.

Grito de amor: Hacia una teoría general de las cavidades

Shout of Love (Towards a General Theory of Cavities)
Written in Spanish

Shout of love is composed of a series of stories poems and theories that are meant to fill the cavitities that we are more obsessed with, such as love, head and even sex.

This is a book that deals with love from all perspectives.

Grafitis del Mundo

Graffiti of the World
Written in English and Spanish

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

La Geografía del Erizo

The Geography of the Sea Urchin
Written in Spanish

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


Written in Spanish

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

Of things & bats

Cosas y murciélagos
Written in Spanish

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”.

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