Interview Greece I

1) What do you believe make someone really brilliant or genius? Do you agree with the professor in your book and these two kinds of intelligence?
Yes, i basically agree with the idea that there is a quality jump between just being quick and smart, and to be really a genius, and it has to be to have a different, original insight of things that the rest of the people have been accostumed to see in just one way.

2) Why in Crimenes imperceptibles you used the form of a crime novel?
I think that this novel is a sort of ephistemological novel, under the disguise of a crime novel. I liked the idea of playing a little with the genre, and to have these different layers of meanings, you can read it just as a whodunit, or go for the branching of ideas and subtexts...

3) What do you think about crime novels in general and the development of this literary form in nowadays? Is it a more appropriate form to describe social and political themes in a more complicated world?
I don't tend to think " in general" about crime novels, because you can find all kind of different things inside the same bag... In my country crime novels can be "respectable" because Borges and Bioy Casares tried the genre, and they made a wonderful selection of the best British and American titles in an almost mythical collection called The seventh circle. From then on most of the " serious" writers in my country tried once or more times their own perspectives through a crime novel. You can tackle and speak of very different moral dilemmas through a crime story. One of the writers of my country, Ricardo Piglia, uses to say that there are in fact just two things that stories speak about:  a crime or a travel..
I am neither a reader nor a fan of crime stories in general, but i like very much Patricia Highsmith, for example, and the crime stories in which there are "turns of the screw"  with respect to the expectable in these books, like The investigation, by Stanislav Lem.

4) Do you believe that we are seeing some kind of an end in our way of thinking? Do you consider that there is some kind of crisis in our logical system of thinking?
It depends on what discipline or area  you are addressing, in fact many times the problem is that there is no logical thinking at all, for example when you see some of the decisions of politicians and country leaders... There is just a hidden will of power, invested with silly tiny excuses. Most of the times, when you come to a crossing road about thinking and opossite opinions, there is something behing, not totally revealed through arguments, that is not any more reductible to logical paths. In many senses, and in most human behaviours, we do not follow clear logical paths... So you cannot speak of a crisis of something that never was fully developed...

5) More specificly: Where are you standing between Aristotle and Pythagoras? Do you believe that we are continuing to live with these ghosts?
I think that Greek philosophers tried to show a way of dealing with moral dilemmas through careful distinctions, paying attention to paradoxes  and trying to find the narrow paths for a more fair way of living and understanding, through the development of the rational faculties of human beings. In my country this kind of distinction takes the form of the option Civilization or barbarism (civilizacion o barbarie). I am in the side of civilization.

6) Where are mathematics standing exactly in our world? Is life only mathematics?
Mathematicians, as i say in my novel, have a way of thinking that could set itself free of any model ot exigence  of "real world". It is many times like a game in which human intelligence is left alone with itself. Also, the way in which mathematicians gets knowledge is somewhat different from other disciplines: mathematicians go deeper and deeper, no in a horizontal way of erudition but in deeper leaps of abstraction... 
Of course that life cannot be reduced to mathematics, but mathematics is behind many more things that we tend to consider, like air is there and we don' t notice it all the time. 

7) And chess? Is the victory of the computer a proof that the game of strategy and imagination is also only mathematics?
The way that machines play chess is so different from the ways that human beings think during the game, that you have in fact two totally different games. All the subtleties, the inspiration, the intuition, the experience, that a human being employs to consider just two or three variants at any time, is replaced in the computer's turn for a incredible tree of branching of thousands of possibilities, in a kind of brute force checking that has nothing to do with the esthetic we admire through the analysis of the game. 

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