koldo izagirre: "I wanted to stir up a little discussion on this writing" kirmen uribe   I  mikel saiz He has always been in favour of trying out new methods in writing. As soon as a book is published, he leaves it behind and heads off in search of new untrodden paths. He doesn't like to settle or do things the easy way. Of fiery desire and quick with the pen, Koldo Izagirre is undoubtedly one of the most intelligent Basque writers around. The latest we have from him is the novel he's writing on internet. Four chapters have already appeared. The readers, as they finish each chapter, can make any suggestions they feel worthwhile to the author. The reader and writer, closer than ever. You are writing the novel on the net and recieving opinions from readers all at the same time. What has the experience been like so far?
Really interesting. Readers have sent messages on the novel. Advise, criticism, opinions, information... all kinds of things. I had a general idea floating around my head for ages, one I'd never gotten down to developing because there would always be something else I had to do. In that respect, Internet is a really useful tool, just think how many writers, or even more so, movements, who have had the setting up of "a collective workgroup" as an objective. That's still a long way away, but I do think this tool opens up new possibilities. All the same, I have to be honest and confess that I am not trying to write "a story written by consensus". I wanted to stir up a little discussion on the writing, and, of course, cast doubts on my omniscience.

Where did the idea come from?
My friend Josu Landa provoked me by saying we would give a present to Gorka Arrese. The present would be an electronic edition before we gave him one on printed paper. Josu works non-stop at renovating Susa Publisher's web site, the new one-off special publications' section, electronic editions, then there are reviews... but there was one section missing: literature workshop, and this was the first step that had to be taken... I know other writers who are planning to publish their work by chapters on the net. As you can see, this has all been a very positive experience.

So far you have finished four chapters. Will it continue?
Yes, sure it will... to tell you the truth when I started I kind of said to myself: you get the silver spoon if it works out well, if it doesn't, well, you get the wooden spoon. I had a few ideas when I started out, I knew what story I wanted to tell, but there was no form to it. That made it even more interesting to me. The idea of openly writing something with the help and advise of others. There are some problems in transfering it to book form because I would like to incorporate the suggestions I have been sent about the version on internet, and not just as simple foot notes.

What is the intention of the novel?
I have written in the novel that when I write about us, I'm interested in the adventures of others. The protagonists who appear in the novel are nothing but an excuse to offer some reflections on ourselves. But it's mostly fiction or, at least, that's how I'd like it to be. I'd like fiction to open up the way for reflection. The objective of the novel is finish off some of the myths that are deeply rooted here, and if I can't do that, well, I'd like to start undermining them at least.

Young Magrebees are present in the novel. Is it true that two worlds are clashing?
Young Magrebees? I thought the protagonists of the novel were Senegalese or people from the Lower Sahara as it's called now. From the region below the Sahara. Your confusion is perfectly logical all the same. Now all immigration is based around Magreb, or at least that's how it seems. Makeshift rowing boats - excuse the frivolty - are all the fashion these days, your generation has been marked by them. I knew another class of emigration. I knew those who were right here in the Basque Country, the French-speaking young blacks here trying to get into France between 1970 and 1975. Irun was full of black people then. The mafia controlled a part of the movement...the dark side of smuggling, the dark side of a false romantic idea... God! I'm so old!
Two worlds clashing?... not a chance! One world beats up the other everyday. Communists from Central Europe agree with the attack on Afghanistan. Basque patriots say "Bin Laden" instead of what was "Ben" until a short while ago -Ben Bella, Ben Barka, Tahar Ben Jelloun- have all been Americanised. We are more colonised than we think, and we are not aware of it. As are a result of this we use the language of the colonisers. We, therefore, become colonisers ourselves.

The spirit of The Agirres, however, is still alive?
I don't know what the exact meaning of "The spirit of The Agirres" really is, but thanks for the compliment anyway. I sense you place me amongst those who have tried to spread the word of "Agirre-ness". "Agirre-ness" is not, in my opinion, a set ideology; it's more of an intuitive love of rebellion, one that tries to learn from past mistakes rather than from past exploits. At the moment we left-wing Basque nationalists are going the wrong way, but we are not capable of of speaking about this painful topic. Heroism brushes away analysis. If we are not capable of seeing what causes these mistakes, why, and who they favour, there's absolutely nothing we can do. If "Agirre-ness" is a breath of fresh air that doesn't swallow those beliefs so easily, then I wouldn't say it's still alive, I'd say it's just about to be born. But, It will only come to be after severe self-critisim, and I don't think that's going to happen soon.