For Jorge de los Santos, a library is an accumulation of affections. And his house, in Vidreres, is an emotional memory. He lives surrounded by books that have stimulated him, in which he has wanted to delve deeper and with which he has created a bond. As objects, they are not as important as what he brought them: he could tell where he bought almost each one and under what circumstance. He entered a bookstore for the first time when he was twelve years old and looked at everything with the shyness of a sex shop. It was in Mataró. He drew his attention to one of the Zen koans where he said: “The sky is originally transparent, but by looking at it, the view becomes dark.” He still keeps it.

He also remembers the time he found, at a Sant Narcís festival and very cheaply, a copy of Antonin Artaud’s Heliogábal. He sat on a terrace with his father, who used to accompany him to the book trails, and when he leafed through it he saw that it was a first edition dedicated by the author himself. De los Santos studied philosophy, but his training is more in buying books than in the university: suddenly you became passionate about something, and in second-hand bookstores you looked for a title, you discovered others. Having one as your bedside terrifies him, because reading is his way of being in the world, “it is what positions you outwardly; You are extraordinarily grateful to those giants who give you references and allow you to progress, to go from one place to another.” He has done it physically. The eldest of three brothers, he was born in Seville. At the age of four he lived in Barcelona, ​​then in Valencia. In 1977, his father – an industrial engineer – was general director of a company in Maçanet and they moved here. As a child he gave him The Lightning that Doesn’t Cease, by Miguel Hernández, he read the Iliad to him before going to sleep, “it is a concrete conception of the human being, and the tragedy was enormously significant for me.”

De los Santos began exhibiting in 1990 and won several painting awards. She lived in Madrid, London, Paris, “you went with two dollars and two empty suitcases, and you returned from the Latin neighborhood absolutely overwhelmed.” The house, with a fireplace in the center and the adjacent studio, is from 1989. There are his paintings, a punching bag; He has always practiced some martial art, such as kendo. He has two Pyrenean mountain dogs (Onix and Copy), and two very affectionate Persian cats (Kuroneko and Nuga). On a billiard table, a sheet of Luther’s Bible; manuscripts on parchment, with the notary’s signature in 1691; a Coptic cross; a Balinese doll.

He is interested in the whole, and he is interested in being interested in the whole, “everything that keeps the question alive.” His, he points out, is a working library, organized by eras, movements or nationalities. Theory of art entering on the right, poetry in the background – to which he often resorts, “especially in these times”; He is enthusiastic about Pizarnik, Bachmann, Celan, catalogues, theatre, music. They occupy shelves that were fixed to the walls, the first made of glass, the others of wood: “Everything is progressive, a process of development, like existing, you try.” On the upper floor, literature. Philosophy, next to the door. He is dedicated to contemporary cultural criticism, prepares conferences, writes articles; the last, about to what extent we can bear all the truths. That takes him to Nietzsche, he enters Cioran, he passes to Primo Levi. The thinkers of the 20th century cannot understand each other without the classics: “It is inconceivable to know Deleuze if you do not know Heraclitus.” Surrounding the sofa, the “out of orbit” books that do not fit on the shelves are stacked; two columns by Lobo Antunes, fascinates him.

He recently purchased Graveyard of Bitter Oranges, by Josef Winkler, French edition, on Amazon. A girl dedicated it to her deceased father. De los Santos does not read in digital format because he encodes the text on the screen as an image, and is unable to retain it; He prints what interests him. In the kitchen are the books that he would like to get rid of, but he has a hard time, “the logic of throwing away doesn’t suit me.” He believes that his attachment and loyalty to things and people may be more of a defect than an asset. He interprets that they are part of him and it is difficult for him to let go. Surrounding yourself with books gives you a feeling of home. They are the memory of what he loved.