AT A LEISURELY PACE, without feeling rushed, with no other object beyond seeing things under a new light and with the pleasant sensation of having taken part in a long and rewarding dialogue. This is how to stroll through and enjoy In Good Times by Bernardo Atxaga.
Even though they are only side trips, as he puts it, around the periphery of his more energetic works, the short rambles collected in this volume perhaps throw a clearer light on writing method – the constant work needed to render everyday speech, pertinent anecdotes, and fleeting thoughts – as well as the virtues of a watchful eye for detail, openness to marvels and optimism despite everything witnessed.
A travel book, sort of autobiographical, anecdotal, the musings of a wanderer and a daydream about times past, with In Good Times, Atxaga manages to make a precise instrument from different genres and lesser forms so as to be able to speak from the fringes of politics and literature.
Twenty years after its publication, we return to this title, adding formal and thematically linked texts to those which appeared in the 1997 edition: eager to promote a work which celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of the world in these perennially threatening times.