SUSANA MÉNDEZ GAGO

Susana Méndez Gago (Vitoria, 1965) studied clinical psychology at the University of Salamanca. A specialist in social behaviour and health education, she has worked for decades in the design and management of social integration services and programmes for different population groups while lecturing in social psychology at Camilo José Cela University. 

She has also edited and written a wide spectrum of teaching materials for social care and education professionals. 

In 2009 she brought out her first essay targeted at the lay reader entitled La hipoteca del amor, published by Plaza & Janés and co-authored with psychiatrist Norma Ferro. 

Her essay, La bondad de los malos sentimientos, was published by Ediciones B in October 2012. 

Susana Méndez Gago has just published his new essay El complejo de espermatozoide ("The sperm complex"). 


Invited to the TV Program "Millennium" 

http://www.susanamendezgago.es

WORK

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El complejo de espermatozoide (2016)

Entitled the sperm complex in Spanish, this book is an ironic essay on mediocrity, an all-pervasive social ill that has led to individual and collective mediocrity. It is a metaphor about how we live today and how our eagerness to be number one and our thirst for success have made us lose sight of our true goal. 

In a fast-moving world it is very easy to lose our bearings and to rush forward without really knowing where we are headed, dragged along by the tide of urgency, the quest for practical solutions and the drive to achieve objectives. This individual race becomes a collective race where people measure each other up as they are sucked up in an existential vertigo. Life has become a competition where winning is what matters, not the journey along the way, and where we have turned others into our rivals or the mere means towards an end. While we amass experiences, objects and triumphs in this frenetic competition, we are incapable of assimilating what we have lived. 

This is an ill that affects men and women of all ages and all societies. Nor is it new. Cases of famous people who suffered from the same problem are to be found in the history of the world’s civilisations, but modern-day circumstances have exacerbated this trouble, making it no longer an isolated phenomenon but a common disorder in the society of the 21st century. 

La bondad de los malos sentimientos (Ediciones B, October 2012)

In this essay, Méndez raises issues about the happiness-oriented culture of recent decades. She looks at how the feelings that call into question the ‘feel good’ marketing pitch have been banished from our vocabulary and how now, in the midst of a global crisis, our inability to come to terms with ‘feel bad’ emotions is being unmasked. 

Converted into capital sins in our battered consumer society, emotions like frustration, shame, anger, pain, boredom or guilt are now surfacing powerfully without our being able to recognise them.