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Wilden.herbals meets / Interview with Libreria Gogogl&Company

We interview Dani, the heart behind the Gogol bookshop project, a space for independent culture, where time stands still.

Gogol&Company is an independent bookshop where one can spend time reading, thinking and giving free rein to one’s creativity without being disturbed. The selection of books is carefully curated by their booksellers, as is the relationship with each publisher.
Gogol organises literary and musical events, writing courses, literature, publishing training and cultural proposals that reflect this. They also offer a dedicated co-working space for those who want to work on their own projects in freedom.

How was the library project born?

The bookshop project was born out of the desire to build a social cultural stronghold, a new way, when we opened 15 years ago, of doing bookshops, trying to propose the code of permanence: being able to let people stay here. It was a historical moment in which there was not much of this offer; there was no co-working, there was not yet this need for a physical space to stay, so when a space was proposed where you could stay, where you could stay and read a book, where you and I could chat over a cup of tea without the hassle of a receipt: that stuff worked quite well. Within the stay we were allowed to do our work, particularly for me, that of telling the stories I had read.

What is your favourite aspect of running a bookshop?

My job in a bookshop is not about being smarter, but about being able to experiment and then tell the next person about it. My school career was tremendous, I am far from being extremely knowledgeable, so this has led me to be curious, always looking for and discovering new things.

Some time ago, a university research on hybrid spaces identified us as an area, a space where there were analogue influencers: this is because I drink Wilden and I tell it as a project and a product that I really liked and that I therefore recommend; like I recommend people to use vegetable milk instead of animal milk or to eat less meat and more fruit and vegetables. This also works perfectly with the literature we read. So that’s what I like the most, to have a space where we can compare, advise on topics and things that I particularly liked and that were good for me.

What does being “Healthy and Wild” mean to you?

The theme of ‘Healthy and Wild’ is very much my own and ours. Today, we have gone from being devourers of sausage sandwiches and craft beer to being a much more conscious experience. We have almost all become vegetarians or vegans, many of us have stopped drinking alcohol: it is the part of the balance between the physical body and the subtle body, between what was once a physical and spiritual wellbeing that now marks us out in an overbearing way: that is, our quest goes towards a new goal, that of being healthy. We started drinking a lot of herbal teas, and in approaching this world we discovered Wilden, which has also become an important word for us when presenting our gastronomic and literary offerings.

While Wild is another part that has always characterised our way of life. This has always been identified as a punk bookshop, perhaps because our cultural background was very close to that kind of values. Wild is reminiscent of an area in which I am very interested – I remember reading “The Instance of Morin”, a philosopher who invited us to rediscover the connection with a devastated earth, to rediscover the balance between the earth that welcomes us and allows us to live, and our body, our biological machine. Wild represents rootedness with the earth, rediscovering those paths where we can best express ourselves, which are naturally those linked to the environment that surrounds us. These ideas have led us to share common values with Wilden: that’s why we have been very happy with your narrative, both ideals and products. Wilden belongs to us as a manifesto of values and is therefore easy to narrate.

Is there a book you would associate with Wilden?

Jean Rolin – Joséphine
There is one word that I like to associate with your brand, or that the Wilden experience has suggested to me, which is: elegance. This is an extremely delicate book, a love story that ends badly. It is a story between two young junkies; he remembers her when she disappears, always with moments that are not at all dramatic, as much as very delicate and elegant, which is always what Wilden suggested to me, and which is an area that interests me a great deal in the conception of space-place: the search for beauty has always been one of the fundamental parts for me – a beauty that is not only of epidermic satisfaction, but precisely of intellectual content, of narrative depth, and Wilden is beautiful, like this book.

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