In the future, Jonathan Safran Foer He will be one of the writers to (re)read to (re)live the great questions of the beginning of the millennium. The relationship between family roots and individual identity, great History and daily choices, personal experience and moral judgments. Since the publication of his first novel in 2002, everything is illuminatedTo this day, alternating writing novels with essays on transcendental topics (climate change and food sustainability), he has narrated the tension between loneliness and empathy, memory and truth, duties and desires, understanding and incomprehension. , testing language as the world tests us, our consciences and actions.
As a writer, Safran Foer does not simply weave plots around small and large questions about existence, but rather grapples with our emotional reactions to the answers we sometimes know, but do not fully accept. If he were to write a letter to his youngest daughter to read in the future, what would he tell her about the present?
“I would tell you how the context in which we live determines our struggles and how difficult it is to understand which ones are correct. For those who live in comfort, it is difficult to act thinking about those who do not have anything to eat. For some, the COVID-19 pandemic 19 was an eye-opening experience to see the disparity in the distribution of the vaccine, I think of America compared to sub-Saharan Africa. And then I would talk to you about another fight, which we must carry within us. It has been shown that we have a certain base level of happiness and that even people who win the lottery return to that level, you cannot overcome it, just as people who lose a child also return to that base level of happiness,” explains the author.
So, should we think more about expanding the right to basic happiness for everyone, instead of getting our hopes up about increasing our own happiness? “Yes, although the welfare society fights against the feeling of vulnerability, insecurity and feelings of loneliness. I would talk to my daughter about my own context, my adult life and her childhood, highlighting the things that had to be resisted and the beautiful things to celebrate when we triumphed in our inner battles.”
Safran Foer has always been attentive to environmental issues and food sustainability. What is his least public inner struggle? “Make good use of time. I know what is good: writing, being a good father, being a good companion, being a good citizen. But it is not enough to know it, you must defend it. You must organize your day. Mine has very different. A morning when I’m at home with my kids, making breakfast, getting them dressed, and getting them ready for school. Then there’s the middle part of the day, which really belongs to me. Writing. And then at the end of the day, I come back to be with my family,” he explains.