“Courtroom dramas are passionate”

The Roman goddess Justice is represented with three symbols of Law: the sword, which is the power of the State; the balance, which symbolizes the balance between the rights of the litigants; and the blindfold, which represents impartiality.

Salvador Raga (Valencia, 1968) has a degree in Law and founder of the Editorial Vinateawhich has just been published 101 court reportsa book in which the “sword” is replaced by the pen, the “scales” weigh the border between reality and fiction and “the blindfold” is detached from the eyes to show the reader the path towards a greater knowledge of Justice through Literature.

And it is that Raga has converted a hundred legal professionals, such as the popular jurist Baltasar Garzón, or the lawyer Cristina Maruri, author of The vanguardin writers of stories based on court cases.

Where did the idea for this book come from?

This arises from a collection that we have in the editorial and that has given us many joys in the past. In it we have given a literary opportunity to form part of an anthology to members of the same profession who make fiction with real cases that occurred in their professional field and that become editorial successes. After that of librarians came that of the world of nursing and now comes that of court cases.

Why 101 cases and 101 stories? What does this number respond to, which has already been used in other volumes on other topics?

The most difficult thing in the publishing world is having an element that makes you recognizable. We have found it in the number 101, as it is the first palindromic number and it has generated the fortune that it has given us brand image and visibility in bookstores. When someone enters them and asks for 101, it is already known that they are looking for something from our production.

The word “right” derives from the Latin word “directum”, “what is in accordance with the rule, the law, the norm”, and seems to be perceived as something rigid, while literature is “the art of expression ” and it is associated with creativity, how do they come together in these two very different disciplines?

Really one of the challenges of this project is to make two apparently antagonistic concepts compatible. Literature has the enormous power to bring disciplines such as Science, History or Law closer to more friendly and understandable grounds for those who see them with a certain fear due to your technicality.

Literature has the enormous power to bring disciplines such as Science, History or Law closer to kinder grounds.



Salvador RagaEditor of ‘101 judicial stories’

How did you select the cases?

This has been a very important part and time will tell us if we have been accurate or not in their selection. We have tried to ensure that the cases turned into narrative have an element of historical or legal interest that makes them especially attractive to the possible reader. In this work, well-known cases are brought together for affecting media characters as well as other less publicized ones that will surprise us.

And the selection of authors?

The virtue of this project is that it witnesses the convergence of authors from the legal world with proven experience in the publishing world with others for whom it has been their first serious foray, and this has led to the final selection of stories being very rigorous for the sake of a quality that seems to us very remarkable, others having been left out of the final filter.

What did you think of Baltasar Garzón’s story?

Of course, the trial that corresponded to him was one of the most difficult to carry out. Based on the fact that the trials furthest back in time are the ones that offer the most edges, that of Socrates was especially delicate since the philosopher was convicted and executed on charges of corrupting the young and lack of belief in the gods. I am not mistaken if I say that the result is brilliant, which is not unexpected considering the author’s talent.


Enlarge

Cover of the book ‘101 judicial stories’.

Editorial Vinatea

Is this book a demonstration that reality is stranger than fiction or is it the other way around and fiction is stranger than reality?

I believe that this book demonstrates that the priorities and ideology of the different stages of humanity have been marking a singular interpretation of Justice, which in many cases has moved away from Western conceptions of good and evil. This means that perhaps reality is stranger than fiction in more cases than is desirable, and that it continues to happen today.

Perhaps reality is stranger than fiction in more cases than desirable



Salvador RagaEditor of ‘101 judicial stories’

Do you think that writers like John Grisham have done a lot for the Law? Does this book follow in his wake in any way? Have you discovered any Spanish John Grisham among the 101 authors?

It is true that sometimes the revulsives for a noble purpose come from authors who become best sellers in their respective fields to become champions of knowledge of subjects that were previously remote from the public. Grisham is a good example of this with legal plots, as Posteguillo can be with stories from ancient Rome. They become icons. It could be said that this anthology humbly intends to be a sequel to this, although in this case I would highlight the efforts of professionals who write field literature far from the focus of large corporations eager to turn their work into a commercial product. Due to their talent and dedication, several of the contributors of stories in this anthology deserve an opportunity to move on to more ambitious formats.

Apart from being a publisher, you also have a degree in Law, what can the legal field contribute to literature?

Undoubtedly, one of the most fertile grounds, not only for Literature but also for Cinematography, is given to us by Law, and more specifically by the judicial world. Just look at the list of best-seller books or most viewed movies to understand that people are passionate about courtroom dramas.

One of the most fertile grounds, not only for Literature but also for Cinematography, is given to us by Law



Salvador RagaEditor of ‘101 judicial stories’

You chair the NGO Valencianistes per la Solidaritat, this book is for charity, raising money to buy tablets for Ukrainian children. Does literature really have enough power to help others?

Absolutely. Valencianistes per la Solidaritat was the germ of the creation of the Vinatea Editorial Foundation. There are innumerable projects that we have carried out to improve the dignity of boys and girls here and there, of the homeless or of families in poverty, with the full product of what the sale of our books has generated. More than a thousand are the volunteers who with us write, layout, design covers or prepare presentations to tell the world that we make books so that others save their lives. In this particular one, they will be tablets for schoolchildren who in a war zone have had to see their school activity cut off. Tomorrow there will be many others…


Enlarge

Salvador Raga.

Salvador Raga shows the book ‘101 judicial stories’.

Editorial Vinatea

We make books for others to save their lives



Salvador RagaEditor of ‘101 judicial stories’

What state is justice in Spain?

It is true that one of the highest aspirations of the litigants is that the time element does not end up frustrating the legitimate expectations of those who want their rights to be repaired. Creative solutions must be imposed so that one of the pillars of the Rule of Law, such as faith in the functioning of the Administration of Justice, becomes a reality and not just an aspiration. The terms must be shortened yes or yes.

What is going through a better moment, Spanish literature or the profession of Law?

I couldn’t answer definitively. What is absolutely certain is that the number of published titles and graduates in the legal field does not stop growing, which is a convincing example of the strength of both areas of reality.

Does the public understand how justice works in Spain? Is it a power close to the citizens? And, how can Literature help to achieve it?

Of course, the public does not understand what in some cases even the professionals who make a living from this do not understand. Procedures and instances must be simplified for the very survival of the system and so that it does not continue to be an entity so separated from reality with laws in many cases from the 19th century. Literature can undoubtedly be a witness that gives accessible alerts against everything that seems counterproductive to us in the judicial world.

■ HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE IN THE LA VANGUARDIA COMMUNITY?

“Courtroom dramas are passionate”