Alejandro Zambra is a Chilean writer. His latest books in English are My Documents, Multiple Choice, and Not to Read. His latest novel is called Chilean Poet and will be published by Viking in 2021. He lives in Mexico City. (July 2020)

NYR DAILY

Multitude

Sophie Charalambous: North London View with Ted, 2014

It’s not strange for me to dream about crowds; on the contrary, my dreams tend to be full of extras who turn into secondary characters, and these secondary characters suddenly take on primary importance, but I wonder if this dream is new, if this crowd is new. I think of my friends in Chile, who, two months ago, were occupying the streets and now, momentarily alone, are revisiting our collective dreams. I think about the arguable beauty of the word multitude. About what that word shows and what it hides.