The writer and gastronome Daniel Vázquez Sallés stars in the new episode of the Quédate a Comer podcast. We talked with him about what it meant to dedicate himself to literature as the son of “a totem” as he himself describes Manuel Vázquez Montalbán and about the possibility, which he has not yet ruled out, of signing with a pseudonym, “because it would surely be better for me.”
With a sense of humor, he suggests the convenience of creating a “psychiatric hospital specialized in children of…” for those who decide to dedicate themselves to the same discipline in which their parents succeeded. He claims to have gotten rid of the desire for success and ironically defines himself as a seller of Carvalho encyclopedias or, as he prefers to say, as “my father's representative on Earth,” convinced that his memory deserves to be kept alive. He explains that Carvalho's novels "speak about many things, they are multi-genre and in them is the chronicle of 30 years of Spanish history." Vázquez Sallés reflects on the weight of his father's intense hooligans who seek the ghost in his son.
Vázquez Sallés, a regular contributor to Comer La Vanguardia, tells us about the death of his youngest son, Marc, who died in 2021 at the age of ten. The little boy suffered from two rare diseases, but it was a bacteria from the ICU that put an end to the path of constant improvement “of a luminous being.” He dedicated the book The Prince and Death (Folch) to him
Vázquez Sallés opens up about love, how to survive absence (“The night before my son's death was the darkest night of my life”) and how your loved ones come to live with you. He talks about crying, which for him is “the eyewash of sadness” and about the rituals that help him pay tribute to his son. He also talks about cooking and Marc's relationship with food, due to the limitations he had and his mother's insistence that he enjoy the flavors and the act of eating even though he was unable to chew (“it was the step following, which would have given the year that would have followed that of his death").
Vázquez Sallés talks about friendship, about the time he was in the pit of addictions, about how that “being who made those who knew him happy” was the driving force to get ahead. He talks about happiness that, as he explains, the detoxification center where he was admitted told him that it is overrated. “Do you know when I knew the rehab process was working?” he asks. And he himself gives the answer: “When I was eating a French omelette and I discovered all the pleasures of something in theory so simple. Marc was that, someone capable of finding the most beautiful in the simplest, enjoying the simplest. “My son was my great teacher.”
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