‘I never expected to lose my freedom.’ Roberto Saviano

‘I never expected to lose my freedom.’ Roberto Saviano

I never expected to lose my freedom. What happened ten years ago was a disaster. Had I known, I would have used a different strategy.

I was naïve. I decided to tell a true story in a novel way. I took elements that were true in a literary manner. The spotlight went on this. The whole thing blew up. You start to think how to approach a problem you were not aware of.

I describe reality but it’s not journalism in that sense. News story events are linear – what counts is the scoop. I try to make things circular: the way I put things together shows how it involves them.

Much writing is written in ways so people don’t choke. I want to do the opposite.

There is hope and the hope resides in the option to understand. I believe in goodness, a universal meaning of goodness, eye to eye, hand to hand and I hope my readers will feel that too.

My sense of responsibility has devastated me. It’s similar to guilt.

In the TV show Gomorrah I’ve taken away everything good in any character. It’s all vermin. I want evil to be inescapable. The one thing we need is the truth.

As a child I was taken by the disease of writing. I wanted to write in baroque but at 16 I found myself at war. A priest was murdered. I could not look. That was the turning point. I want my words now to make a difference.

People think I’m obsessed with transparency and corruption. By corruption I don’t mean the police, or politicians. I mean financial corruption. If the UK leaves the EU it will be devoured by foreign capital. The Brothers’ Circle, the mafia in Russia, are waiting to jump in and do their worst.

Literature has the added value of conjecture. It can go beyond proof. I feel it’s true, this rigour of explaining the mechanism.

There’s Catalan saying: “The first thing that happens with a flood is there’s no drinking water’. It’s the same with the internet: you know what to drink and I try to explore with a greater dimension of time and reflect, rather than [seeing things as] cut and dried.

If speed is the essence you’re risking an oversimplification. Don’t fear complexity.

From the English PEN event The Freedom of the Writer

Related Posts

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *