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I thought a Euro coin would be a good main character for my story, the perfect medium to go everywhere and traverses social strata, gender and culture. The story and character are a pretext to visit different European countries, following the uncontrolled trip of the coin from one’s pocket to someone else’s wallet. Through the point of view of the coin, we are able to apprehend slices of daily life in Europe, of the actual state of the unity of the countries, at different levels, political, administrative and cultural. Through the coin’s experiences we see the reactions of ordinary people to the new currency: resentment of the way Europe is changing, indifference to whatever may occur, or the feeling that idealistic values are in danger when facing Kafkaesque bureaucratic decisions or the fact that 380 combinations are needed to translate every speech in every language of the Union. I chose a low-value coin rather than a banknote, because of its greater insignificance. A five cents coin comes and goes. The novel is also a reflection on money, its power, the triumph of capitalism in countries formerly communists or socialists and examine if this power is a “necessary evil” or a human weakness that needs to be reformed if possible. The novel is written using literary constraints, so the theoretical component of the thesis presents a short history of constraints as they have been explored, analysed and put in practice by OuLiPo (A Primer of Potential Literature) and authors like Georges Perec, Raymond Queneau or Christian Bök. Some of the constraints I used were unexpected like the use of daily News Agencies news (Reuters, AFP) dealing with Europe and the E.U. that I discovered and incorporated in the story while writing it. I believe that constraints can trigger creativity. The strategies I used while writing have been identified, analysed and categorized, as well as the solutions I found to sometimes overcome these constraints and keeping the novel readable and consistent.
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