José Luis Sampedro. Writer and economist. Economist and writer. In what magnitude?, many frequently ask to those introducing him. It is understandable: he was writer before becoming an economist, but he was known as an economist way before he was known for his writer side. Many years later, the situation was reversed and his novels, together with other circumstances, posponed his economist work. La Sonrisa Etrusca, Octubre, Octubre, La Vieja Sirena, Real Sitio and El Amante Lesbiano, completely dethroned and cornered Conciencia del Subdesarrollo, La Inflación en Versión Completa or Los Principios Económicos de Nuestro Tiempo, titles that only his disciples who had to pass the exams of Economic Structure now remember. Which, by the way, were not few and made good use of the knowledge, considering that some even became ministers and others occupied important positions in banks and department stores.
But as all of them learned "structure is what remains, the rest are circumstances". An the circumstances changed. Globalization arrived and it had to be explained, the barbarians invaded Irak and they had to be denounced. Thus in these "bad times for lyric arts", José Luis Sampedro now neither an economist nor a professor, but precisely the opposite by merging all three sides, found himself writing informative essays and novels of thought. After being impressed by a sentence of Martin Luther King that he frequently quotes, and which reads: "Once we reflect about our 20th century, the greatest tragedy of this period was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people", he produced titles like El Mercado y la Globalización, Los Mongoles en Bagdad, La Senda del Drago and others, as well as other texts in collaboration with Carlos Taibo (Sobre Política, Mercado y Convivencia), Valentín Fuster (La Ciencia y la Vida), and with the author of these lines. His most recent work, Cuarteto para un Solista, has been described by the experts as "an allegory of our times and radiography of the human being". Summarizing, all of them represent books for reflexion, for inner trips, for re-education, for constructive doubts, for a change of course.
We will speak about these an other things while we review the life and work of this young humanist 94 years old.