Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

Pau Luque in conversation with Paula Ducay

Radical Epics
March 24

Friday, 19h



Casa del Lector
Auditorio Casa del Lector

Imperfect Virtues

Narrative art and moral philosophy. These are the two core themes of Things as they Are and other Fantasies. Moral, Imagination and Narrative Art (Las cosas como son y otras fantasías. Moral, imagination y arte narrativo) (Anagrama, 2020) for which Pau Luque was awarded that same Publishing House’s Essay Prize. This work, which in the words of the jury is “an intelligent and lively book that explores the complex relations between morality and fiction, which are once again - or perhaps have never ceased to be - at the centre of the debate”, is an exercise that sums up Luque’s philosophical practice: a space for reflection that eschews lapidary answers, leaving the reader with the same questions that the author asks himself. Is there such a thing as morally reprehensible art? Or is art immune to moral judgment? To understand this false dilemma, he resorts to the point where the two fields meet, to the literary essay as a genre that allows certain artistic licences, and to three works –Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov, The Sea, The Sea, by Iris Murdoch, and the work of Nick Cave– as a common thread.

Pau Luque (Barcelona, 1982) teaches Philosophy of Law at the Institute for Philosophical Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He graduated from the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona with a degree in Law and was thereafter a Visiting PhD Scholar Student at the University of Chicago. In 2012 he obtained his PhD in Philosophy of Law from the University of Genoa in Italy. His book Things as they Are and other Fantasies. Moral, Imagination and Narrative Art (Anagrama, 2020) obtained the Anagrama Essay Prize and is, in the author’s own words, “a defence of the imagination and a eulogy to uncertainty and imperfection”. Two years prior to the publication of this work, he had published The Secession, in the Realms of the Wolf (La secesión, en los dominios del lobo) (Catarata, 2018), an essay on the “Autumn of the Catalan pro-independence movement” of 2017. He is a regular contributor to Spain’s El País newspaper.

Paula Ducay (Santiago de Compostela, 1996) holds a degree in Philosophy and a master's degree in Publishing from the Autonomous University of Madrid. She works in the world of culture and books as a writer, publisher, and translator. Together with Inés García, she is the co-founder of the Punzadas cultural project, a newsletter and podcast on philosophy and culture from which they organise book clubs, literary workshops and other cultural events. She has collaborated with Zenda, Marie Claire, Penguin Random House and Clara Obligado's Creative Writing Workshop.


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