Ana Navajas says she writes without rituals: on her phone and in all kinds of places, at a party, over coffee after dinner, waiting in line at the supermarket. It is easy to picture her in a corner, a bit bored and unimpressed, alert to the conversations around her, on the lookout for curious pieces of humanity to collect. Estás muy callada hoy (2019) is the story of a woman whose mother has died, who observes her kids as they grow up, who writes her graduate thesis, who has a dog. Ana captures the slow rhythm of crises and cycles with an offbeat sensibility that strays from “the concept of happiness shared by common people”, and examines time, sadness, and love with eyes of lunar caustic.
Crouching, out in the open field of her own lucidity, she devises — with a taste for the scenes that play out in the background — an aesthetic of distance, a tart sense of humor; a language to come to terms with her emotions without sentimentalities: “For each one of my kids, I have put together a scrapbook of pictures, anecdotes, and memories. They love to look at them. Now I’m going to write down Pedro’s first disappointment”.
Life unfolds idly and the narrator watches from the sidelines. “Everyone always coming and going from one place to another, and you stay back there, always there, there. What are you looking at? Have you ever thought about it? What do you long for, Ana?”
PHOTOGRAPHY: UKI ESPONA