El murmullo. La autoayuda como novela, un caso de confabulación
Non-fiction , 2023
An essay about self-help brimming with intelligent observation and social sensitivity.
El murmullo questions the basic premises of self-help manuals. These books often promise magical solutions to all our problems, as well as proposing shortcuts to the fulfilment of our desires and our dreams. However, the false promises are not the only problem. For the author, what is most criticisable is the way the readers are viewed as isolated individuals on whom all the blame must fall for not making an effort, for not being better, more ambitious, more optimistic, more successful or happier, as if all this depended solely on personal courage or willpower.
Belén Gopegui shows enormous insight in this analysis of the self-help genre and the conception of society underlying its precepts. By way of a countermeasure, she proposes a radically alternative user manual and reminds us that effective, lasting progress is achieved through organization and the collective struggle to solve the fundamental problems affecting our lives. The blame for all these problems cannot be placed solely on the individual. Rather, the responsibility for finding solutions must always be collective.
Far-removed from academic discourse, El murmullo is an unclassifiable book that combines a political and philosophical gaze and an astounding ability to portray, dissect and understand some of the mechanisms of human behaviour, all accomplished in writing of poised and intelligent beauty.
“Gopegui does not confine herself to posing questions; instead, she is takes a proactive approach. Her proposal is to encourage collective organization, the bonding of anonymous wills.” Babelia, El País