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On the natural paranoia that comes from publishing a book about religion.
CATALONIA TODAY – SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE SEVENTY-FOUR
About a year and a half ago I wrote a piece for this column about the paranoia that besets many writers when they bring out a new book. During the first crucial month, eager to know how the book in question is faring, they find themselves hanging so desperately on any word - good, bad or ugly - concerning it, that their nerves end up as frayed as a cat's blanket. There is probably no apter noun for what they feel than the Catalan (and Spanish) malestar.
In the case of my own most recently published book ('La vida després de Déu'), there is yet another factor to be taken into account. Given that it is opposed to all organised religions, it is almost bound to offend at least a few people, some of whom will, inevitably, be of an aggressive bent. A situation which has me trapped between the usual desire to see the book do well - which would increase the possibility that the wrong people get to hear about it - and a fervent, dread-driven wish that everybody forgets about it as soon as possible.
Recently it struck me that I could have the worst of both worlds. Sod's law - the only supernatural entity experience has taught me to respect - might well ensure that the book sells hardly any copies, but that one of these will, by some ghastly chance, fall into the hands of one of those believers so true that he (or she) feels impelled to dispense with my presence on a permanent basis. I have already taken a few simple precautions, to be on the safe side. After all, as the London anarchists used to say, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not watching you.